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Original Issue

Clothes that fit the scene

Herewith a special preview of sports fashions for the fall of 1958—what's new and how, when and where to wear it

The shadowy backgrounds on these and the next four pages are pictures from past issues of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED blown up big as life. Setting the background scene for the apple-eating model at right, for instance, is a pregame football picnic at Yale. All of which is a visual device for making the point that fitting into the picture is a prime requisite of 1958 fall sports clothes. Knowing what to wear is an important part of the sportsman's know-how, whether participant or spectator. The purpose of this preview is to give sportsmen, male and female, more know-how about clothes as they prepare to dress for fall.

The women's fashions are the work of this year's nominees for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S annual American Sportswear Design Awards. Of 24 nominees, 22 are represented. The other two, Rose Marie Reid and Margit Fellegi of Cole of California, are designers of swim suits and will be represented in a winter preview of resort and winter-sports clothes.

The designs of the ASDA designers are without peer in the world of sport fashion. They are casual clothes that derive from the American sports scene (hence the sportscenic backgrounds) and continue the trend-setting work of the past 25 years from such designers as the late Claire McCardell, Sydney Wragge, Bonnie Cashin and Mrs. Reid, the first four winners of the annual ASDA award for continuously contributing to the American Sporting Look.

If, when you set out for the local emporium, football games are uppermost in your mind, it is good to be prepared for the news in spectators' SPORTS SUITS. These have moved quite away from the expected, practical designs and in some cases are even rather hard to recognize as suits. The WALKING SUIT, for instance (see mole-lined coat opposite) is made of coat-weight fabric and its jacket is almost coat-length, BOX JACKET SUITS are the newest silhouette for spectator sports, and these make a point of the bright pullover visible beneath the jacket. The newest tweeds are the Irish types, which have a bulky look and big colorful flecks.

Closely related to the walking suit is the familiar TOPCOAT, which this year is likely to have a matching skirt. For a complete costume, some of these coats even have matching lap robes, elegant when trimmed with fur and useful for stadiums and sports cars.

Sports skirts are fashionable at three new levels: 1) The ABOVE-KNEE skirt, cut off about two inches above the knee, is the newest and already a stylish alternate to Bermuda shorts. These skirts almost have to be worn with LEOTARDS, knitted one-piece garments which fit like a second skin from waist to toe, and as such are warm, comfortable and glamorous.

2) Street lengths for skirts are shorter this year; 16 to 17 inches from the floor is average. They also are likely to be attached to slip tops, a device which means they hang from the shoulders and skim by rather than fit the waist. With these skirts are worn short pullover blouses or sweaters which end above the waistline.

3) The floor-length DINNER SKIRT, best when done in sports fabrics such as tweeds or plaid wools, is taking hold not only in the hinterlands but in the city as well.

With shorter skirts, the SPORTS STOCKING is now a definite necessity. There are several members of this new little family. There are not only leotards, but above-knee stockings with elastic at the top which come high enough to be worn with short skirts. Stockings in bright opaque cottons can be worn with any sports skirt. Newest and most elegant for the lady spectator are the fancy-knit, run-proof nylon stockings in muted colors which blend in with fall fabrics.

Pants, the mainstay of an active sports wardrobe, are going through changes in silhouette, too. Tapered pants are even more fitted and more tapered, in fabrics which stretch due to inclusion of Helanca yarns. These trousers have built-in heels, or straps to go under the foot, to give a ski-pants look. At the opposite extreme are SLACKS, with flared legs, usually for lounge wear, or with cuffs, a detail out of style for some seven years.

In a class by itself in the pants division are the KNICKERS, now in a flattering, tapered style, that buckle just below the knee. Skiers have made a fad of knickers, and with new cable-patterned or brightly argyled knee socks, they are a fashion that will go well on a fall golf course, or in collegiate circles on bicycles.

Over all this pantsdom, the newest JACKETS are BUTTONLESS. Either as hooded pullovers or ponchos, they are natural companions to the slip-top skirts and the many one-piece pants outfits such as coveralls.

Other top news centers around sweaters, which go two ways this fall. The sports sweater of the year is the LONG PULLOVER (see page 41), usually a bulky knit, such as mohair, which is any length from almost-below-the-hips to knee-length, where it might have a drawstring and be worn as a dress. The opposite trend is the STRAIGHT-SIDED SHORT SWEATER in a fine-gauge yarn such as cashmere, which falls just to the point where flared skirts move away from the figure. Also of the moment with sweaters is a MATCHING SCARF, tossed around the neck or even bashed in at the end and worn as a stocking cap.

Pink mohair pullover ($23) with tweed trousers ($15) is from Jeanne Campbell (Sportwhirl). Boots are Pappagallo's ($15).

Shooting outfit by Mary Blair (White Stag) has jacket of Reeves Heathsuede poplin ($75), Cone corduroy pants ($25).

Shapely chemise of Lawford's black-and-white plaid ($55) is Morgan Fauth's (David Crystal); Mr. John's fox hat.

Fake wolf jacket ($55) is John Weitz's (Printzess Square) cutting of Borg's Dynel-pile fabric. Red flannel pants ($12).

Stadium coat of camel's hair ($45), zipped for warmth at hill climbs, and matching pants ($23) are designed by Jane Ford (Sportmasters). Desert boots are Clark's ($13).

After-Ski coverall of printed wool mohair ($65) is suggested by Tom Brigance (Sportsmaker) to wear while snuggling with a fur vicuna rug (Abercrombie & Fitch, $340).

Flared knitted coat ($90) is the Goldworms' (Goldworm Sportswear Corp.) idea of what to wear to the races. Sally Victor supplies the red fox hat ($85); I. Miller, the Calcutta lizard pumps ($50).

Divided kilt of olive-green plaid ($30), wool pullover ($13) and nylon stretch leotard ($6) are a practical base for skaters; designed by Ricci (Haymaker). Off the ice: Capezio's green oxfords ($10).

Fluffy dress ($55) knitted by the Lazars (Kimberly Knitwear) is appropriately elegant with Emme's mohair platter hat ($79.50) at the swank Westminster Dog Show in Madison Square Garden.

Spectator suit of plaid trotting colors by Tina Leser (Tina Leser, Inc.) has boxy jacket, high-waisted trapeze skirt ($95), silk crepe overblouse ($25). Hat copies driver's, is from Mr. John ($67.50).

Lounging outfit for the lady who takes her spurts on TV has jeweled wrestler's belt and chiffon overblouse ($55) by Kenn Barr (Casino Classics). Sandals are Bernardo's ($13).

Spectator's cashmeres ($57) in boxy silhouette are designed by Helene Maddock (Ballantyne of Peebles) to go with Stella Sloat's (Sloat Co.) camel's-hair wrap skirt ($30).

Frontier pants ($89) by Bonnie Cashin (Philip Sills) are for relaxing, East or West. The Mark Cross silk shirt is $12.50.

Knicker suit of cable cord ($38) for campus wheels, by Pembroke Squires (Mr. Mort), is matched with Capezios.

Paisley shirtwaist by Donald Brooks (Hedges Ltd.) captures chrysanthemum colors, has a waist that dips in back ($65).

Irish tweed suit ($95) by Ellen Brooke (Glenhunt) might be seen at sports car races. The pixie hat is Mr. John's ($55).

Ringside suit from the Davidows ($225) has mink collar, matching wool tweed coat ($165). Mr. John mink beret is $285.

Mole-Lined coat ($239) for the stadium by Vera Maxwell (Vera Maxwell, Inc.) has a matching furlined knee robe ($95).

Pullover of Einiger's Syl-mer-finished mohair plaid ($60) is Greta Plattry's topper for a black turtle-neck coverall ($30).

Jacket of turquoise felt ($18) skims the top of a conical skirt of pleated Forge Mills plaid ($25); outfit by Toni Owen.

Civet-Lined hood of Samuel Robert's blue kidskin coat ($240) makes this leather topper warm enough for deep winter.