Jet travel has brought Bermuda almost as close (two hours from New York) as a train ride from the suburbs to a big-city department store. And an astute shopper can just about make up the plane fare (and have a sunny holiday weekend as well) on the bargain prices that prevail in the little British resort. One of Bermuda's best buys is sportswear, for its stores reflect both an English taste for well-cut sport clothes and a local flair for color. The main shops are in Hamilton, on Front Street near the harbor's edge, where the Queen of Bermuda docks and the tourists swarm ashore.
India madras (Bermudians call it "madrahs") is the odds-on favorite of American buyers. When purchasing madras, a good rule of thumb is: the brighter, the better. And the English Sports Shop, a step away from the dock, has the boldest madras plaids on Front Street. The rainbow-hued sport jacket below is made especially for the shop by Steegan's of England. It comes completely lined and costs $27.50 (a comparable jacket would cost about $10 more in the U.S.).
According to the English Sports Shop, almost everyone who wanders in buys at least one cotton-knit sport shirt ($4.95) by Fred Perry, either in white or a solid color. The Perry shirt has a two-button collar and looks good with a tie—which makes it a handy item in Bermuda, where most restaurants insist upon coat and tie for dinner.
Trimingham's, down the block on Front Street, is sometimes called the Brooks Bros, of Bermuda because of its handsome collection of men's clothes. The store has a wide assortment of Bermuda shorts, and its selection includes Terylene-and-viscose ($11.98), tropical worsted ($18.96) and wash-and-wear versions of Terylene-and-cotton ($13.96). The old British army khaki shorts, with their wide waistbands, deep front pleats and buckle fasteners, also are popular. Regulation dress for the British garrisons in Bermuda years ago, they are still the order of the day for colonial policemen. Trimingham's has them in solid colors for $5.99.
Next door to Trimingham's is H. A. & E. Smith, Ltd., another excellent store for resort clothes. One of the best buys in Bermuda is their Irish fisherman's sweater (called the gansey). The Aran Islanders, in the west of Ireland, knit these warm, seagoing sweaters from natural, unbleached wool in typical runic designs. Each village has its own design, and the patterns have long served to identify sailors who were washed ashore after accidents at sea. Their water-shedding properties have made them popular with crews in the Newport- Bermuda race. They cost $26.79 (up to $40 in the U.S.). Knee socks, or golf hose as Smith's calls them, are a must with Bermuda shorts. The pair above is English-made in hand-framed cable-knit and costs $3.88 ($9 in the U.S.).
Long known for its Wedgwood china, A. S. Cooper & Sons, Ltd. has just added a new men's sportswear department in the rear of the store. Cooper's is the Bermuda agent for Jaeger knits, and the utilitarian Shetland crew-neck pullover ($11.28) by Jaeger is a bestseller with Bermudians and tourists alike.