Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
This is the current (12th) Duke of Northumberland wearing a ratty old polo coat in the field. Note torn right shoulder, and distended button holes. Note wet and smelly retreivers.

 

Tom Buchanan

Super Member
Great pictures, thanks.

While on the topic of polo coats in pictures, I recently pulled out my "Pimm's Book of Polo" (something I bought on a lark when the second incarnation of Abercrombie & Fitch was clearing out its real stock to start selling tee shirts and thongs).

The book has a couple pictures of very stylish Indian players wearing polo coats while accepting their trophies. The pictures appear to be from the 1920s or 30s. Their coats are fully belted "wrap" style, without buttons. This makes perfect sense since they were to be thrown on between chuckers.

Since I have read that the British adopted this style from India, my guess is that the British tailors took the camel coat wrap, and added the double breasted aspects typically found on Naval great coats, or British Warms or Ulsters.

And, of course, us Americans have Brooks Brothers to thank for bringing it to here.

I just think the evolution of the coat is interesting.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
More ways to wear a polo coat.

(1) As a factotum or detective shadowing Frank Costello, January 1952, New York.



(2) As an aging photo-journalist shaking the hand of Frank Costello, February 1951, Washington.

 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
Cheese it, it's the fuzz!

The other side of the law: Prohibition-era detectives Moe Smith and Izzy Einstein, January 1923, before and after donning disguises for infiltrating speak easy's (I'm not making this up).

 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
Here's what appears to be a belted polo on Walter Camp, 1920, who codified the rules of football.



Polo coat accessorized with rubber overshoes and team watch cap. Vince Lombardi, early 1960s.

 

Fashionslave

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by Doctor Damage

This is the current (12th) Duke of Northumberland wearing a ratty old polo coat in the field. Note torn right shoulder, and distended button holes. Note wet and smelly retreivers.

Hate to tell you this,but -That's the original coat he inherited from the original duke.I think it's looking pretty darn good for an 80 year old coat,don't you??;)
 

Tom Buchanan

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by Doctor Damage

Here's what appears to be a belted polo on Walter Camp, 1920, who codified the rules of football.



Polo coat accessorized with rubber overshoes and team watch cap. Vince Lombardi, early 1960s.

Now we are talking role models. "Saint Walter" basically developed American football. In fact, he was so Trad in his thinking that he resisted the forward pass. If the coat is good enough for Walter Camp, it is good enough for every man.
 

Roger

Super Member
Doctor, thanks for a really interesting photo essay. Can you or someone else present the defining characteristics of the Polo Coat, and how it differs from other styles of overcoats.

Vancouver
 

Fogey

Advanced Member
quote:Hate to tell you this,but -That's the original coat he inherited from the original duke.I think it's looking pretty darn good for an 80 year old coat,don't you??;)
If by 'original duke' you are referring to the most recent 1st Duke of Northumberland (3rd Creation), then it would be at least 220 years old.



 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
Polo players weren't the only ones to throw on a polo coat to keep warm. Here's some nice old photos of various tennis players wrapped up. The first two are April 1933 and show British tennis players getting ready to travel to the US for a tournament.





This image is from June 1913. The fellow on the right has the most luxurious polo coat I've ever seen photographed.

 
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