Not for the first time, a hot ski fashion has journeyed a long way from winter and a long way from the slopes and wound up on the world's seashores. This time the fashion is the nylon wind shirt. This summer wind shirts, such as the ones photographed here on Peru's Pacific coast, follow stretch pants and hooded parkas as a practical and stylish idea for the beach.
The wind shirt for skiers originated in 1961 with a U.S. firm named Beconta, one of the largest importers of ski gear in the country. "There just wasn't anything around that looked trim and would be warm enough on days when an insulated parka was too warm and a sweater over a turtleneck was not warm enough," says Beconta's Jim Woolner. "We came up with the idea for a light nylon shell styled like a shirt that could be worn under a sweater."
The shirts were quickly adopted by racing skiers, who wear them under their sweaters in competition when a parka is too confining. Young skiers the country over began to imitate the racers, and the next thing you knew wind shirts were as popular as Moriarty caps and became the new status symbols of ski.
They are inexpensive (from $4 to $13), and now are made in many colors and in diverse styles by many leading skiwear firms. The shirts are ideal for those waterside moments when the breeze blows chill or when one wants to warm up after a swim. They also are popular for sailing, bicycling and riding in open cars. This summer, for the first time, they are in sports shops in abundance.
The season's newest wind shirts are photographed not only on the famous surfing beaches of Peru but—to dramatize their ski origins—on Peru's extraordinary coastal dunes (following page), where skiers slide down 420-foot slopes of sand on ash skis that are coated with paste wax.
WHERE TO BUY
On page 44: Miguel Forga's wind shirt, imported by Iselin, comes in 16 colors. It is $5 at Robin Hood's Barn, Edgar-town, Mass.; Troll Corner, Warren, Vt. Mary Frances Garro's shirt is custom-made by Jules Andre, New York City; it is $13. On the facing page: Elisa Fritz Siewczyknski's shirt, by Beconta, is $8 at Hoigaard's, Minneapolis; Mammoth Mountain Sport Shop, Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Naty Abascal's shirt is also made by Jules Andre; it is $13. The matching silk scarf is by Echo. On the following page: Nando Oneto Jr. wears a wind shirt with zippered turtleneck. It is $4 by Beconta, at Hickory & Tweed, Armonk, N.Y. Fernando Oneto's shirt has a button-down collar. By Beconta, it is $5 at Aspen Leaf, Denver; Marina Sea and Ski, San Francisco. Naty Abascal's orange shirt and cap are by White Stag. The shirt is $7, the cap $5. Doris Pardo Paredes is wearing a shirt by Iselin. It is $5 at Wilmington Country Store, Greenville, Del. The metal-framed ski glasses are by Lugene. On this page: Sarita Vizcarra wears a shirt by Beconta. It is $5 at King Keyser, Hinsdale, Ill. Mary Frances Garro's striped shirt and stretch pants are by White Stag. The shirt is $9 at Lord & Taylor, New York City. The wheat-colored jeans are by Levi Strauss.