LOOKCITY | On The Iconic Raglan Baseball Shirt (And Where You Can Find A Good One)

September 3, 2013 


by Robyn Yager | The sportswear trend continues this Fall, and the seemingly retro baseball-tee is no exception. Although it can be bought in several contemporary stores around the city (American Apparel, Gap, etc), the baseball tee’s charm lies in the fact that it has been a casual classic since the 1950′s. Baseball uniforms have undergone several alterations over the past 150 years, from the outlandish New York Knickerbockers’ woollen pantaloons, flannel shirts and straw hats to the more modern cotton/nylon pullover jerseys of today. For certain, the sport has always influenced our day-to-day fashion whether we’ve realized it or not.

Specific to the baseball t-shirt is its raglan sleeve, created and used frequently in sportswear for the extra mobility it affords the shoulder and arm (crucial in baseball and any sport where the objective is throwing something with accuracy). The raglan sleeve is attached by a diagonal line extending from the neckline to the armhole. We have Lord Raglan (the leader of British troops in the Crimean War) to thank for this style. After losing an arm, he ordered his coats to be made with this eponymous sleeve to ensure comfort and ease of dress and undress.

Not only has the baseball tee shown up in film, on musicians, and in the vintage photographs of our fathers in the 70′s, it has also been recycled into the high-fashion realm (Oscar De La Renta, Alexander Wang, and Isabel Marant have all come under its sway). You can find yours at one of Vancouver’s very own boutiques (listed below). Alternatively, as I always like to suggest, scour your local thrift or vintage shops for a well-worn classic that would make the legendary George Gibson proud. Now swing batter batter!


Haven Shop – Levi’s Vintage Baseball Sweat
Board of Trade Co. – Muttonhead Two-Toned Crew Neck
Board of Trade Co. – Soulland Home Raglan Sweater
Gravity Pope – Mt. Pleasant Athletic Club
Aritzia – Wilfred Free BAUME T-Shirt


  • ACMESalesRep

    It should be noted that baseball jerseys can be found with and without raglan sleeves; it’s the undershirt that has traditionally used raglan sleeves in part because it allowed manufacturers to use less expensive white fabric for the body, which is hidden by the jersey, and coloured fabric for the sleeves, which might not be. (There are also issues of hygiene and safety similar to those which led to the use of white sanitary socks under coloured stirrups.)