Knitted T-shirts: Entwined in Old Hollywood

A welcome upgrade to a standard T-shirt – a stylish knit made by the very best artisans adds another dimension to your outfit. It also fills a formality gap that many other casual menswear items are not equipped for.
Tyrone Power circa 1940s (Photo by Everett/REX/Shutterstock (1419498a)

A sophisticated alternative to the ubiquitous standard cut-and-sew iteration, the knitted T-shirt’s sudden rise is ironically symptomatic of dress codes becoming more polarised. With decades spent in the doldrums, you can’t help but feel that folk have missed a trick by not utilizing the yarned style. With several menswear brands now producing stylish artisanal knits, it is no wonder people are turning to the fully fashioned crewneck version as an exemplary source of smart-casual.

Becoming popular in post-war Italy, it caught on quickly in the United States, particularly being adopted by the greats of the silver screen. Tyrone Power — dubbed the King of the Movies — spent the summer of 1949 in Rome, not only to marry Mexican Hollywood starlet, Linda Christian, but to film Prince of Foxes. It is perhaps no surprise then, that he was regularly photographed in a knitted T-shirt around Hollywood, looking about as cool as they come. With a black horizontal retro stripe imbued on a white design, he wore it tucked into a pair of Hollywood Top trousers. If you can get your mitts on a pair of Hollywood Top trousers from Edward Sexton, and an expertly crafted knitted T-shirt from the to wear together, you’ll be pulling off a supremely rakish look.


    Freddie Anderson


    August 2021

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