Since the early 1900’s, the shawl collar sweater was a collegiate staple, commonly sported by athletes and preppy undergrads. It was also quite popular among race car drivers and motorcyclists. In the mid 1900’s, Steve McQueen championed the shawl collar cardigan with his effortless style and swagger. Dressed up or down, grandpa’s sweater provides good warmth and classic styling. With a timeless look that is both refined and casual, it won’t lose any of its popularity this fall/winter.
Here are a few vintage photos from various sources to demonstrate the timeless appeal of this classic american staple:
The Woodroot brothers and their shawl collars. Auburn University, 1925.
Bikers in front of H. Addison Bowie, a Harley Davidson dealer. Washington, D.C.,1925. View entire photo.
Steve McQueen, Ann Margret and Tuesday Weld in ‘The Cincinnati Kid’, 1965.
McQueen snacking along the California coast, 1964. Photo from the book ‘Steve McQueen: Photographs’ by William Claxton.