ASHES, CRICKET FASHION, THEN & NOW

 

We’d thought we’d give you another Ashes themed blog post, to celebrate the team moving on from Adelaide to Perth. We’ve looked to the present with our current fashion leading cricketing stars and with Christmas just finished, lets take it Christmas Carol style and have a look at Cricketing Fashions from the past.

Historical fashions come in to play with this one, from the pitch to off the pitch. With suits from what the stars wore as well, in a range of styles that we can draw on to the present day. It’s interesting to see how the fashioning styles of the time are transferable into the cricket wear.

For example, in the pictures below of Lindsay Hassett and Ernie McCormick who were both Australian cricketers before the Second World War, show them wearing wide legged trousers/oxford bangs, which were a key feature in men’s tailoring in the 1940’s and 50’s. Even the club jackets are in keeping with the fashion with the very wide notch lapels, they also sport the embroidered logo on the patch pocket in which we still keep this traditional look for todays club jackets. (See our most recent post of the latest club jacket we at McCann’s did for Surrey Cricket team and check out their website for everything Oval)

One of the main players we will look to, who is arguably the best cricketer of all time, is WG Grace. We can even draw comparisons to our current England Cricketer Moeen Ali, with that striking beard which we probably haven’t seen on the cricket pitch since WG’s time.  In todays fashions beards are on the fore front in many different shapes and sizes, particularly in the hipster spheres, however Moeen wears it for a reason and wishes to use his status for it to be known “I wear the beard as a label,” he said. “I want people to know I am a Muslim and I want people to know I am representing the Muslim faith.”

WG was in what we’d call the ‘Golden Age of cricket’.  It was cricket in its infancy with being one of the first true sporting famous superstars that we look up to, in posts like the previous. He was not only recognisable for his beard but also his figure combined with that, a rather large size about him that did not disrupt his leading amazing cricketing skills and was one of the dominant players of the beginning influential era, often called the Doctor, Master or Champion.  For more on WG Grace check out this bio overview.

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However, back to the fashion we can see a lovely cap sported by WG Grace, so what about what they wore on their heads? Compared to now we have turned away from the classic soft, short peaked cap, made from felt it would normally be right on the top of the head in either a tight fitting style as we see to the right or a baggier style as we see below sported by Don Bradman. Sadly, not common now but the cricket cap used to be a fashionable form of headwear for people who were casually dress and not necessarily worn just for playing cricket, it could be transferable. They would often be in multi-coloured stripes dependent on the cricket club.

We often now see the more wide brimmed cricket sun bucket hats in a panama type style as seen on Stuart Broad in the previous cricketing blog post or mostly now opt to wear a wear basketball cap with the club logo on, which again the basketball cap is worn in many different situations today.

Don Bradman sporting the hats here is another sportsman widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time and became Australia’s top sporting idol at the height of the Great Depression. He was so good at scoring a controversial set of tactics were specifically devised known as Bodyline by the England team to try and curb his scoring. Following a enforced hiatus due to the Second World War, he made a dramatic comeback, captaining an Australian team known as “The Invincibles” on a record-breaking unbeaten tour of England.

As a sporting hero he had an impeccable style off the pitch. Pictured above with fellow teammate Ernie McCormick.  His style was attacking and entertaining and drew in spectator’s high numbers. However he wasn’t a fan of the constant adulation, but this focus on him from the public, which would often affect his relationship with teammates, and he later became very reclusive.

In the above photo he is pictured in the height of fashion in a wide peaked lapel and wide striped suit, with the longer collar on the shirt and hat, he mostly favourite the three piece, with a matching waistcoat.

We now look to shirts. They have always remained casual, as seen here on Andy Ducant with the buttons open. Often polo shirts though with a larger collar and buttoning a lot lower down with wider space in-between the buttons than your regular modern polo shirt. It would have originally been in thicker cotton and shown here in the dual colour.

If we look to slighter closer to today, though still perhaps far away enough, to the 1970 & 80’s we can see quite an evolution of the uniform, particularly in the fabrics and colour and we focus on shirts. Below we have the incredible Ian Botham sporting a most of the time hairstyle and moustache and Australian Ian Smith showing that move into colour.

To show the real transformation, back in 2002 the New Zealand cricket team revisited history and donned the teams 1980’s beige jerseys, which were produced at the dawn of coloured clothing, however was considered a fashion disaster and most definitely not as becoming as the previous classic traditional styles we’ve spoke of previously.  They eventually moved on to teal and the finally black, which the team are most known for.

For all your up to date Ashes News head over to the Ashes Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38295335

And to leave you on some great team photos from the ages:

Not satisfied enough? Get more Ashes News on: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/ashes

 
Andrew Lloyd