Baseball’s Fashionable History
To celebrate the start of baseball season, we decided to take a look at baseball’s fashionable history–which begins and ends with its players. As America’s pastime for over 170 years, baseball has captivated us with stylish legends like Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, Ty Cobb, and Joe DiMaggio. The fashion sense of Babe Ruth is well described in this 2010 Forbes article, Sports and Style. In it, Raquel Laneri writes:
“Babe Ruth was not a peacock, exactly, but he epitomized the modern gentleman in his impeccably cut suits (he was actually trained as a tailor, so fit and quality were extremely important to him) and his newsboy caps.”
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Fenway Franks aside, Mr. Sid is proud to host an event highlighting the collaboration between fashion and baseball with “An Evening with The Baseball Reporters” on March 31st with Tony Massarotti. Benefitting the Boston Children’s Hospital, the evening begins at 7pm with a cocktail reception followed by exciting baseball talk and Q&A with 98.5’s Tony Massarotti.
Today’s baseball players–think Derek Jeter and former manager Joe Torre–have influenced the way men dress off the field. Interested, Mr. Sid decided to take a closer look at how players look on the field by researching the evolution of fabric, pattern, color, and construction of baseball uniforms. Marc Okkonen, author of Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century (1991), has done extensive research on the history of baseball uniforms and how they are a product of America’s economic and social climate. In the 1900s, uniforms were made from 100% wool flannel or a blend of wool and cotton. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to play baseball in such heavy fabric! Similar to what we see today,home uniforms for all clubs at the turn of the century were white, while road uniforms were either gray or a darker hue. Although trim colors were abundant in uniform schemes, the selection was limited to blacks, dark blues,, maroons or reds and browns, and seldom in combinations.
So, now what should you wear to the game? Mr. Sid suggests a nice pair of cotton pants with deep–maybe even cargo–pockets to store the foul ball you’re sure to catch. Roll up the sleeves on your lightweight cotton shirt from New England Shirt Company (make sure to have a pocket for your ticket stubs!), topped by a nice lightweight sweatshirt like Zegna’s tech merino would be perfect to throw on in the later innings when the sun goes down.
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