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Original Issue

Knit blazers and western-style hats produce a new look for the sports-car buffs

At the Sebring, Fla. 12-hour endurance race this spring, knowledgeable spectators, as well as some of the drivers, wore wide-brimmed Stetsons and club blazers, usually with a Le Mans souvenir 24 silk-print tie or pocket handkerchief.

Now while the idea of a blazer is not exactly new, a blazer wardrobe is. Blazers, of course, abound in all sorts of colors and fabrics, but the newest ones make the most sense for the sports-car crowd. These are knit of a nonbagging worsted jersey, a fabric with plenty of innate flexibility. The knit blazer should provide a car buff with comfortable style for turning and twisting behind the wheel of a sports car. Stanley Blacker of Philadelphia makes the jersey blazers ($60) in 11 different solid colors.

As usual, the drivers themselves wore the most functional garb at Sebring—the high-collared racing coveralls that are doled out to the teams by Pirelli or Dunlop, the foreign tire companies. Mike Parkes, the driver (above) who shared time at the wheel of the winning Ferrari with Umberto Maglioli, managed to set the sartorial style as well as win the race. Parkes wore a double-breasted blazer as a warmup jacket over his Dunlops.

Everyone in the business is making some sort of L.B.J. model, but the best western hats at Sebring were the wide-brimmed (3-inch) Stetson panamas. Stetson has a full assortment of western hats in straws ($9 up) and felts ($14 up) to suit anyone's money belt, making them in different shapes for people with less than 10-gallon-sized egos. Their L.B.J. model ($14), the type favored by the President, has a 2¾-inch brim.

Those racing status symbols, the Le Mans silks, are not available in this country. The thing to do is to buy them at Le Mans in June. Hermes of Paris, the harness shop, probably will sell them at its booth there.