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Original Issue


Architect Bill Atkinson applies a slide rule to the design of "country" clothes

A name becoming familiar to the shopper who picks up functional sports clothes in the "country stores" that keep popping up in all parts of the suburbs is Bill Atkinson, designer for Glen of Michigan. The character of Atkinson's clothes fits into the cracker-barrel atmosphere, as indeed does the personality of their tall, reticent designer. Atkinson is an architect who has applied the precise standards of the building trades to the making of women's clothes. As a result his man-tailored sports shorts, slacks, skirts, shirts are precision cut and finished, and made of fabrics that wear well and are easy to care for. Atkinson crashed the women's sportswear business by designing a red bandanna square-dancing skirt for his wife. He laid it out on the dining-room table and gave her instructions for sewing it on the family Singer. That one skirt started a business. First it was demanded by friends who wanted copies for square dancing; then by a men's work-clothes manufacturer who saw it as a good way of using up an abundant supply of bandannas; finally by Glen, who launched Atkinson with a full-fledged collection in 1951. His clothes have a New England look about them, chiefly because of the quiet calico prints he likes to use, and a certain modesty in design. To adapt his designs to different climates—a boon for travelers—Atkinson divides warm weather clothes into four seasons: resort, spring, summer and Indian summer. On these pages clothes by Glen of Michigan to fit three different seasons are shown in a Sea Island setting: Glen-plaid cottons for spring; Sea Island cotton poplins for summer; and autumn-colored calicoes for Indian summer. All of the clothes are available at Davison's Sea Island Shop in Sea Island, Ga. and at all Lord & Taylor stores.

Architect-Designer Atkinson decorates the Glen of Michigan showroom in country-house style as background for his sports designs.

Glen-Plaid separates are so versatile they can be worn for golf or dressed up for spectating. From the left: Pat Hammond's blue shirt, $8.95; shorts, $11.95; Hilda Jernigan's red cardigan, $9.95; same shorts; Mary Frances Gould's white pique bow shirt, $11.95; skirt, $12.95; Patsy Cummings' jacket, $12.95; flared skirt, $12.95; pique shirt, $7.95; Doris Hayes the same except for slim skirt, $11.95.

Tawny Gold calico pinafore ($16.95) with midsummer sun back is modeled by Hilda Jernigan of St. Simons Island, Ga.

Over-Printed calico shirt ($9.95) and deep-tone Dacron-and-cotton shorts ($11.95) are worn by Doris Hayes of Atlanta.

Sea Island cotton dresses in silky pastels and almost invisible dots or stripes are put together from blouses and skirts. Patsy Cummings wears a blue striped man-tailored shirt ($14.95) and matching slim skirt ($14.95), Pat Hammond a red dotted bow-tie blouse ($14.95) with soft-pleated skirt ($25), and Doris Hayes a pleated-back shirt ($16.95) with stitched-pleat skirt ($29.95).