30 May 2014

A late 1930s linen suit

Not too long ago I found this marvellous vintage linen suit from America; bought in the late 1930s at De Pinna department store, 5th Avenue, New York by a college graduate.
It is made from a lovely, quality linen fabric. And after more than seventy years still in perfect shape.
Single breasted, 3 button jacket; unconstructed, patch pockets, notched lapels. Double pleated, cuffed trousers.
The suit needs a few alterations, though, to fit perfectly; legs and arms must be shortened by a 1/2"-3/4" and the shoulders are a tad too wide. I hope to get the alterations done soon.

Inspirational photo - the suit could be matched with a white shirt with detachable collar, a halfblue tie, spectator shoes and a Panama hat. 

Here is a picture of the suit from the Seller - I can't wait to take it into use!

The seller quoted some remarks from the son of the man who bought the suit in the late 1930s:

"On Friday June 28, 1940 my Father dressed in this linen suit and his best friend - both newly minted physicians - steamed away from Pier 32 in NYC on the American Republics Line S.S. Argentina bound for a great adventure to South America. For two months they ventured by ocean liner, train, private car, donkey and dugout to 'Rio, Sao Paulo (the Chicago of Brazil), Montevideo, Buenos Aires, the Great Lakes way to the south hidden amongst the Andes, Arequipa and the Quinta Bates, Cuzco and Macchu Picchu on the swift waters of the Urubamba, the myriads of flamingos resting on the shores of Lake Titicaca and Lima the 'City of Kings.'' These were the days where each accommodation was preceded by a letter of introduction, one dressed for dinner, and the world unfurled before you."

...a lovely story 

1930s inspiration


  1. What a great story. Men certainly knew how to dress then - it makes me sigh. Fabulous suit.

  2. What a crazy find.
    If you give up on having it altered, I'm sure I can help with finding a new home for it..

    1. Ha ha, I am sure the doors are open for such an old Bugger; I do not expect to see many such in that condition in my lifetime. I will take care when having it altered, but I will not give up.