The Sporting Life - 1980s trad/prep

Tom Buchanan

Super Member
The Sporting Life was a catalog business out of Alexandria Virginia that operated from the late 70s to the late 80s.

The company received a favorable mention in TOPH for its use of a great embroidered mallard as its logo.

While surfing around the web today, I found a blog which featured several pictures from The Sporting Life. The funniest part is that the blog writer featured the pictures as "Awful 80s Fashion". I would call them "Awesome 80s prep/trad." Thought some folks here might enjoy and remember the Sporting Life. Sure wish I could get a few of their old shetland sweaters with the mallard embroidered.

https://coutureallure.blogspot.com/2010/07/awful-80s-fashion-8.html
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
I find the blogger's disdain sanctimonious and hypocritical. Given some of the truly ghastly things that are shoved forward as feminine fashion every damned year, the celebration of the color pink in men's clothing hardly qualifies as 'awful'. BTW, I don't like pink, at all.
 

Pliny

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
change the hair and the guy could get props posting in 'what r u wearing' here and SF. in fact, Spoopoker have a Dad who was a model?
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
LOL. Hoping not to incur anyone's ire, but some of those "Go To Hell" men's fashion examples should have done just that! ;) Although, kudos to the Sporting Life and the many, many good memories associated with such!
 

Francisco D'Anconia

Senior Member
Photo #2: it's from a vintage Ben Silver catalog. I think I saw the same thing in their last spring catalog. They got a new model, and told him to wear the same expression on his face.
 

L-feld

Elite Member
Not super notable, but I was out shopping yesterday and I noticed that The Sporting Life still has a store in Baltimore. Sadly, they only sell women's clothing.

Just thought I would share.
 

Tom Buchanan

Super Member
Not super notable, but I was out shopping yesterday and I noticed that The Sporting Life still has a store in Baltimore. Sadly, they only sell women's clothing.

Just thought I would share.

Thanks L-feld, I had forgotten about this thread and those pictures. I would guess that the Baltimore store is not related. The other "Sporting Life" was mail-order only and went bankrupt in 1991 or 1992 after trying to do a turn around (I guess the 80s were over and styles changed for some). https://business.highbeam.com/5554/article-1P2-1086407/alpert-hopes-resuscitate-sporting-life-inc If it were related, they should bring back the embroidered mallard logo, but I think that the embroidery machine was sold in the bankruptcy.
 

L-feld

Elite Member
Thanks L-feld, I had forgotten about this thread and those pictures. I would guess that the Baltimore store is not related. The other "Sporting Life" was mail-order only and went bankrupt in 1991 or 1992 after trying to do a turn around (I guess the 80s were over and styles changed for some). https://business.highbeam.com/5554/article-1P2-1086407/alpert-hopes-resuscitate-sporting-life-inc If it were related, they should bring back the embroidered mallard logo, but I think that the embroidery machine was sold in the bankruptcy.

Hrm, interesting. Based on a business records search, the store in Baltimore has been around since 1982, while the catalog had been around since 1978. You'd think that the catalog would have attempted to enforce its trademark against a store with such a similar name selling similar clothing. Who knows, maybe they did. Or maybe the Baltimore store purchased the trademark at a bankruptcy auction. It's fun to speculate.

It's also interesting to note that the President of the Sporting Life was previously VP of Merry-Go-Round, which was based out of Baltimore.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
It's funny how things come back around but in a different way (kind of like Twain's History doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes). Yes, those clothes are tight fitting but in a different way from today. They scale of the clothes hasn't been shrunk the way it has been today nor has the rise in the pants been shortened. And the shirts and pants look tight but not so much the jackets. I can also feel a bit of a hangover from the 1970's earth-tones and polyester in the orange blazer.
 

Tilton

Elite Member
The comments are the best part (both those by the author and those by readers). It is like they don't understand why people weren't wearing then what is in fashion now and can't seem to fathom that trends come and go.
 
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