From AMERICANA’s book A-Z of Classic American Clothing…
Bowling shirts are short-sleeve shirts that are loosely fitted with a straight hem so that they can be worn un-tucked. The collar of a bowling shirt often has a loop fastener that secures the top button, although this button is never fastened. The shirt was designed with these specifications so that it would not interfere with the bowler’s movements.
Bowling Shirts are usually solid in color and can be decorated with a contrasting color, which made bowling teams easily identifiable in the lanes during competitions. They can also have an embroidered bowling club insignia on the back and name of the wearer on the upper front.
Bowling shirts have been popular since the 1950s in the United States, when youth began wearing them as a cool look outside the confines of bowling alleys. In the last several years, bowling shirts have become a status symbol amongst urban street gangs in the US, although seeing a person wearing a retro bowling shirt usually makes others smile.
Classic brands of bowling shirts to look out for include Hilton, King Louie, Pin Splitter, Service Bowling Shirt, Imperial and Da Vinci.