First half of the 1950s. Mes amis, it is time to get the Citroen out of the garage and take a tour into the wine country to see the grape harvest. Monsieur will be correctly dressed for the country in this sport ensemble of plus fours and jacket in wool.
The waist length jacket (blouson) is interesting. In the Unites States, we've seen this style in working clothing as early as the late 19th century, with Cosmopolitan 800
, the working blouse, and then around World War I, with Excella 1111
, the men's jumper. In the 1920s, even with the somewhat loose definition of "waist length," the style, now called a "windbreaker" shows up in outerwear for boys, Butterick 7031
, and women, Butterick 7068
. By the 1930s, when the waist had risen just past normal to being a little high, the style was still popular, as seen in Pictorial Review 9051
. From here, it's a short hop of a few years to World War II and the British Army's re-design of its battle dress which included the waist-length jacket (also referred to as a blouse.) Today we typically refer to this style as an Eisenhower or Ike jacket, but it turns out that he himself borrowed the style from the British.
This is a nice interpretation, with a zip front closing, substantial pockets with flaps, and the large, wing-like spread collar so popular at the time.
The plus-fours are referred to simply as "pantalon" on the front of the envelope. The slightly more detailed description on the back of the envelope calls them "culotte de golf," which Google Translate tells me is "knickerbockers." It seems a slightly old-fashioned look, yet it must have been popular enough for Le Petit Echo de la Mode
to produce a home sewing pattern for culotte de golf, particularly as patterns for men's clothing represent just a tiny fraction of their pattern offerings.
Although not visible in the illustration, by looking at the layout one sees that the fullness of these culotte de golf is darted into bands.
Even though it's tempting to explain away these plus-fours as a style for older gentlemen who had worn them in the 1930s and saw no reason to change, some fairly stylish interpretations of plus fours show up in the men's fashion magazine L'Homme
in Summer 1954 for young men, and as late as Spring-Summer 1959 for older men. (Despite multiple searches in two languages, I've not yet been able to come up with any documentary evidence that french gentlemen actually wore plus fours for golfing in the 1950s.)
This unprinted pattern is unused.
And we're off!