06 August 2012

Trad GB

Fred Perry Classic White Shirt, BC (Before China)

It's great to see GB running third in medals. God love 'em. I always have. In college, I had this obsession for Fred Perry(BC). Mostly 'cause it was so hard to get. I considered myself lucky to have a couple Fred Perry wood racquets and a pair of wreath embossed tennis shoes. But shirts were expensive and hard to find in the states while the Fred Perry (BC) Holy Grail, a V neck sweater, was non-existent. A college friend lived in a suburb of London close to a Perry outlet. She'd take orders during Christmas and Summer breaks but I guess my Fiat was in the shop.

The wreath logo comes from the All England Club. Fred wanted a tobacco pipe but a wreath was suggested by his partner since he didn't think a pipe would be too popular with the ladies. Good call, that. You can read more at the Heritage section of the Perry site here.

My personal heritage with Perry goes back to 1980 when I first heard The Specials. "More Specials" was an album that seemed to come from outer space as much as the UK. Everything U.S. grown that year seemed so, Daryl Hall, John Oats, Billy Joel, Eddie Money...Not just white but Ohio white.

Not white, say like a Fred Perry shirt. Or better, that V neck sweater. As I sit here in my wheel chair, with a Hudson Bay blanket on my lap, dictating this to my Summer intern, I remember a college dorm room with Fred, The Specials and Rhoda Dakar. I'll cue the Thoren's turntable, crank up, 'I Can't Stand It' and blow off my Survey of English Lit class as I crawl back into bed. And this time, I won't have any guilt.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully, you can still buy 'Made in England' Fred Perry shirts. They aren't the easiest to find, but I go through the trouble. They certainly didn't pass on the savings when they started manufacturing in China, so it just feels better to have the England made items.

Allan said...

You can still buy a Made In England Fred Perry 'tennis' shirt (thanks for not calling it a polo!) and every now and then they throw a Made In Scotland lambswool v-neck jumper into the mix. Unless, by including the (BC), you are referring to the increased visibility and availability of cheaply-made FP product diluting the brand. In which case, I'm pretty much there with you except I will probably continue to wear this shirt forever thanks to my childhood associations.

Anonymous said...

"Not just white but Ohio white."

Hey Tintin, there was some darn good Ohio white music in 1980. Joy Division, The Feelies, The Cramps, X, and Bowie's Scary Monsters.No soul to speak of in any of em, just great records.

Anonymous said...

I guess Tin Tin isn't a big fan of The Dead Boys, Pere Ubu, or The Pagans, oh well. I love Fred Perry. This also made me think of all the FP gear in Stay Hungry

Anonymous said...

OMG, The Specials. Where's my Doc Martins and porkpie?


tintin said...

Anon & Allan-
I have found a few England made shirts in the Williamsburg (Brooklyn, not Virginia) FP outlet but never a sweater!

Anon & Anon- This is just me but most of the bands mentioned, sans the Feelies, not only lack the soul but more importantly, the sophistication of The Specials. I like the Feelies a lot. I don't why but I always thought they were from Michigan.

Isn't there a punk band from Cleveland called, Umberto Fedeli and the Turnpike?

Anonymous said...


Feelies, Speed the Plough, Young Wu, Trypes, etc are from NJ - Haledon if I recall. Still around. Still terrific. Check them in Married to the Mob. The Cramps reveled in their lack of sophistication. Bowie (white bread but clearly I was using "Ohio white bread to indicate something other than citizenship) not sophisticated? Well, he's no Bryan Ferry, but was still pretty cool .

Anonymous said...

I have a Fred Perry tennis shirt made in Portugal. What does that mean? Also, little known fact, but Fred Perry served as tennis coach at Washington & Lee University for a time.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering if anyone has or knows where I could find a Fred Perry + Peter Jensen polo from years ago? I really want the polo shirt from their '06 men's collection of polos with matching neck-ties/bow-ties. It won a best collaboration award...please help?