Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Party Suits: Vietnam Pilots Get Their Groove On

One of the joys of this blog is coming across fashion items of the most arcane imaginable sort--the kind that don't even have an entry on Wikipedia. Today, something for the guys . . . party suits.

An innocuous name for a fairly bodacious garment: cotton flight suits first worn by American Air Force personnel stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Worn to parties and other social get-togethers after missions, the suits would be dyed, ornately embroidered by local tailors, and covered with patches that were not always strictly regulation issue.

I think they're fascinating as exemplars of personal and military history . . . and while I'm not convinced they're wearable in any sort of contemporary circumstance, it's nice to know that they're being preserved, and resold, by specialist museums and collectors.


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