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Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Powerhouse, May 17, 2006.
Magenta? We are not talking stage costumes here, do we?
Flo, i also have a hard time imagining trousers in those colours in 1925. i feel i may need some photographic proof before i believe they actually existed. unfortunately colour photos from England in 1925 are as rare as hen's teeth.
This makes me think of the "Bottle Green Bowler" which they talk about in Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, reporting on it as a trend, when, in fact, no one had ever seen one worn.
Since we don't have photographic evidence, we have to rely on the only evidence that we have.
All of these colours were taken from newspaper reports published in 1925. I can't say how widespread any of these colours were but maybe the sensation was not just about the width, but also the colours. Remember, we are talking about a short period of time among a relatively small number of people.
I would personally think that most of the original Oxford Bags were silver-grey (with grey going on to be very popular in the years that followed) and various shades of light brown/cream/mustard etc, rather than the more extreme colours.
That said, contemporary reports suggest that the pinks and brick-reds were popular colours among some elements (in particular, students who holidayed in France): pink came from French yachting trousers and reds were for use on clay tennis courts (i.e. to hide the clay stains).
TT, i'm not suggesting that the newspaper report is inaccurate exactly but , as in the example given by Yeps above, a colour such as magenta might have only been worn by one outrageous student in Oxford or Cambridge and reported upon by a bemused spectator.
I think that's always a problem. Unfortunately, I don't think there is any way of finding an answer. I will check through the newspaper reports to see if there are any hints to the various geographical locations of extreme sightings.
If i were to guess at the most popular colours for Oxford Bags, i would say that they would be the colours that became widely available in the 'semi-Oxford' styles in the late 1920s - i.e. the industry made the most popular colours available to the mass market.
TT, you took a photo of the page in Esquire's Encyclopedia that talks about John Wannamaker's introduction of bags to the US in 1925. There's a list of the apparently most popular colours in England - powder blue, dove grey etc. I don't remember exactly and don't have access to the Encyclopedia right now.
The American connection just got a bit more confusing:
This article from the USA in 1925 claims that bags started in US universities, went to the UK with American students, then were christened 'Oxford Bags'. This would fit in with reports i have read about American students wearing wide trousers pre-1925. However, if i recall correctly, they were bell-bottomed (as were later 'collegiate pants') which British Oxford Bags never were.
Plenty more research still to be done.
I'm more distracted by "DIGNITY OF COURT RUFFLED BY CHICKENS", to be honest!
As we know, TT, bags were around in the rowing teams loooonng before '25.
Do any members have a pair of original Oxford Bags (British) and Collegiates (US ) that could be loaned out to Luxire to get templates made and dimensions?
Oxford bags spotted in Malaysia, 1926:http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=singfreepressb19261018-1.2.34
Wearers faced jail in Turkey in 1927:http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=singfreepressb19270820-1.2.35
...and they were out of fashion in Oxford by 1926:http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article.aspx?articleid=straitstimes19260324-1.2.32
as far as i know no FL member owns a UK pair beyond the 11"-12" wide legged 1930s 'semi-Oxford' style that you commonly find with UK 30s-40s suits.
8 days in jail for wearing wide legged trousers ?
this thread is going from Kafka-esque to surreal.
Credit: this blog.
if it wasn't for this clip:
and this photo:
... i think i might lose faith that anything wider than 12" ever existed on British soil (aside from the 'wager' photos).
i was thinking about who might have seen / handled / owned a pair of original very wide legged Oxford Bags (whether in magenta, puce or not). my money would be on:
-Roy Strong, former director of the V&A museum, who has an interest in dandyish clothes and the 'bright young things' era (he curated a Cecil Beaton exhibition as far back as 1968).
-Jeremy Hackett, who's 'Hackett' shops used to be vintage emporiums in the early 80s, and would have sold a ton of vintage ex public school kit.
-Hogspear for access to ex public school / museum stock.
-David Saxby of 'Old Hat'. same reasoning as above.
Cream flannels or fluffies?
note that the pair on the right -first photo- appear to be the narrower and shorter 20s style blanket bag:
Mr French CanCan posted this picture on his blog. Not much information though. It appears to be a "secret society". Older than mid 1920s for sure.
PS: It's the founders of the Book and Snakes society 1865.
any info on what country ?
p.s. i was asked today by a man in a pub if i was wearing 'Oxford Bags' (i wasn't. i was only wearing typical 11" wide high-backed trousers with braces. i first cleared up whether he meant the term in the 1970s 'soul boy' flared version.... he didn't).
this is the second or third time i've been asked this question, so clearly there's still a percentage of the public who think that a wide 30-40s trouser is an 'Oxford Bag'.
I thought it was the "Skull and Bones" club Harvard.