A decade ago the only sports trousers most well-dressed men possessed were gray flannels for cool weather, worn with tweed sports jackets, and gray tropicals for summer, with jackets of linen, madras plaid or cotton cord. Khakis and jeans were strictly for knocking about. Then gradually, through the influence of golfers and of resorters at Palm Beach, Southampton and the Riviera, men got used to the idea of a wardrobe of trousers, first in conservative colors, then in vivid reds, yellows and greens. They sometimes were combined with sports jackets patterned in checks and plaids.
This summer, the most popular sports jacket is the blazer (SI, April 3) and, since today's blazer is by definition a jacket without any pattern at all, the checks and the plaids have moved to the trousers. The patterns are menswear traditionals, but there is nothing old hat about the colors—as is evident in the white-and-blue-and-red windowpane plaid, the white-and-mustard latticework and the blue-and-red glen plaid to the left, seen at the N.Y. Automobile Show and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Jim Gilmore's tattersall check with a double-breasted blazer (right) is the most popular pattern of all. These new trousers are all of washable blends and are meant to be worn cuffless, with slip-on shoes, with or without socks.
WHERE TO BUY
Facing page: Windowpane-plaid slacks (top) of Fortrel, rayon and linen are by Moyer, $18 (Whitehouse & Hardy, New York, Detroit and Fort Lauderdale). The white-and-mustard slacks are of rayon acetate, $18.50 (Paul Stuart, New York). The glen-plaid slacks of Dacron and linen, by Newman Trousers, are $25 (J. Wayne, Houston). The tattersall slacks at right are of Fortrel and cotton, $13 (Saks Fifth Avenue, all stores).
J. FREDERICK SMITH