Monday, July 16, 2012

Driving In Style

1963 Car and Driver, Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop
In car culture, clothing invokes images and expectations. 

Whether it's the rugged respect and individualism of a black leather motorcycle jacket or the sleek poplin racer jumpsuit, when we see a driver in a certain outfit, we have a vision of what kind of vehicle he owns.

Clothing makers have always capitalized on this tendency. Garments and accessories like dusters and goggles had a practical application in an open top Model T or roadster. However, they quickly morphed into style statements by adding flowing scarves and stylish caps.

Starting in the post-WWII boom and the rise of car hobbyists, magazines catered to enthusiasts with advertisements from specialtyapparel makers like Vilém B. Haan and Stirling Moss. 

Whether a car collector or a memorabilia hobbyist, they promised their customers a look rife with European class and élan.

For the apparel collector, ads are a good way to identify a garment or item found at an estate sale or racks of a second-hand store. I am big on identifying and dating my purchases. I don't just want to know that I found an MG logo lighter. I want to be able to place it in the 1963 Car and Driver magazine Haan advertisement. Finding it is half the fun. Identifying it is all the fun. 
1963 Car and Driver, Photo (c) Terri Lynn Coop

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