Uniform adverts from the 1930s

An advertisement for netball kit including flannel shorts, cotton shirts and oversocks
An advertisement for netball kit by Spaldings
An advertisement for kit, including shorts, divided skirts and tunics. May 1936
An advertisement for kit by Spaldings from Netball magazine 1936.
An advertisement for the Spalding Tunic press
An advertisement for the Spalding Tunic press

Over the years, the style of kit worn for playing netball has changed considerably. When the game was first played, all women wore long skirts as a matter of course, and so the game was played in long skirts and long sleeved blouses as a matter of course. Sometimes they even wore straw hats!

However, by the 1930s fashions had changed and it was no longer necessary to preserve one’s modesty beneath heavy ankle length skirts. The normal wear in the early 1930s was a gym slip tunic with a short sleeved games shirt. However, not everybody wanted to wear these, and as these adverts from Spaldings show, other options were available. Shorts and divided skirts were available as well as short sleeved cotton shirts. Interestingly, it seems that oversocks in assorted colours could also be purchased.

Finally, there was a perennial problem of keeping the thick tunics looking good. Spaldings seem to have come up with the answer – a specialist tunic press.

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