How I wish somebody had leaned over to the "cell phone guy" wearing the long coat and whispered in his ear - "Hey mate, you know you've left your garters on?"
This week, once again, I'm drawn to an article of clothing...you'd think I was a fashionista as I frequently focus on the clothes, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that I don't have a collection of antique postcards nor do I have an extensive catalog of family photos, so when I look at these pictures, I look for a smallish detail I can write about in a couple of paragraphs without being boring or pedantic. Or I maybe I should just confess to being a
Why did men wear garters circa 1921? Socks were made of wool or cotton yarns without much inherent elasticity. Men with small calves might experience problems keeping their socks straight and smooth, not puddling up around the ankles - a fashion no-no. Men with very large calves had the same puddling problem. For fashion's sake the well-dressed man wanted smooth socks and for many that meant garters. Not only for sartorial reasons did men endure the garter - in sport, sagging socks could be a tripping hazard; socks rolled around the ankles or pulling into the shoe might cause a kind of distracting irritation that could rob an athlete of focus. And for hurling, you need focus!
In the final analysis, "cell phone guy" looks like a disorganized type. He's the only one wearing a coat and I think he arrived late, flung on his shorts and didn't really think his finished outfit through. Did he really want to play the game in visible garters (a mere 17,000 people watched the match) or was this an unfortunate mistake in judgement. I wonder how he would react if he knew that 90+ years later and half the world away some twit like me would be scrutinizing his legs with my computer's magnifying glass and passing judgement on his fashion sense?
Like many articles of clothing, the garter-seeking consumer in the twenties had many options. If you were brand conscious you might like the Boston Garter with "the name stamped on every loop":
Thankfully, advances in hosiery fabric technology made the garter completely unnecessary and it virtually disappeared from the male wardrobe. We live garter free, but simply for the sake of research I did a Google patent search to see if there was anything new or interesting in the garter world. Much to my surprise I found the following patent application (U.S.3880160) in 1975 by a woman for the most diabolical looking garter arrangement I've ever seen! It's an athletic supporter with garters attached!
As necessity is the mother of invention I can't help but wonder what kind of situation prompted this lady to think this gizmo up. You can read the full patent here if you're interested.
Athletic supporter garter belt patent
Pull up your socks or tighten your garters and hurl on over to Sepia Saturday to read more interpretations of this week's thought provoking photograph: