Vintage late 1940s chambray blue wool tweed shorts from legendary haberdasher and tie-maker Sulka feature a herringbone twill pattern.
With neatly pressed creases in front, the shorts have a button flap watch pocket and 2 onseam pockets in front and 2 button welt pockets in back; all pockets are lined in soft chambray cotton. The same chambray is used to face the waistband of the shorts, which are otherwise unlined.
The self-fabric belt has a silvertone buckle with hammered texture on front, and hand-bound belt holes. Piping in a lighter blue color tweed—on the front pocket, the edges of the belt, and down the sides—adds visual interest. A burn test of the fabric suggests a blend of wool with either vinyon or nylon, both of which had come into their own as alternatives to rayon by the mid-1940s.
Label reads “A. Sulka & Company, 661 Fifth Ave., New York, London Paris Chicago”; Sulka had stores in all these locations at the time of Amos Sulka’s death in 1946. A museum deaccession, the shorts have a cloth inventory tag on the reverse of the belt which dates them to the 1940s; a second, paper tag narrows the date to circa 1947.
Amos Sulka, a travelling salesman from Pennsylania, opened his first retail store with custom shirtmaker Leon Wormser in 1895; in the course of the 20th century, the store’s notable customers included the Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Clark Gable, Rudolf Valentino, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and members of both the Kennedy and Rockefeller clans. Babe Ruth wore only Sulka’s custom-made shirts.
Measurements are as follows: Waist 39”, rise 14.5”, inseam 8.5” and length 21”; the shorts have been clipped to fit the form. Good condition, with slight discoloration to the facing of the back waistband and one moth nibble on the left front leg (photo #7).
NOTE: Though not included in the sale with these shorts, the c. 1950 Enro rayon shirt used for display in this listing is also available in my shop.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild