Plus fours

This article is about the item of clothing. For the U.S. ZIP Code add-on, see ZIP Code § ZIP + 4.
"Plus-four" redirects here. For the computer, see Commodore Plus/4.
Man in plus fours, Sweden, July 1936

Plus-fours are breeches or trousers that extend 4 inches (10 cm) below the knee (and thus four inches longer than traditional knickerbockers, hence the name). As they allow more freedom of movement than knickerbockers, they have been traditionally associated with sporting attire from the 1860s and onward, and are also particularly associated with golf.[1]

They are also associated with bicycle fashion in the 50s and 60s in Great Britain.

Less known are plus-twos, plus-sixes, and plus-eights, of similar definitions.[2]

An "extravagant, careless style that fit right in with the looser fashions and lifestyles of the 1920s," plus-fours were introduced to America by Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII),[1] during a diplomatic trip in 1924. They are often seen on golf courses, and frequently worn with argyle socks, silk neckties, and dress shirts/sweaters. Some plus fours even came as complete suits.

They were later brought back to prominence by the professional golfer Payne Stewart who wore them on the PGA Tour.[3]

Tintin, the fictional comic book character from The Adventures of Tintin, famously wears them.

Plus-fours are featured in André Benjamin's Benjamin Bixby clothing line, which is based on clothing worn by Ivy League athletes in the 1930s.[4]

They are mentioned in Episode Three of Private Schulz ( 1981 ) and Episode Two of Jeeves and Wooster ( 1990 ).

Also mentioned in The Magicians Land, Book Three of The Magicians series by Lev Grossman.

They are worn by the character Rufus Maleficarus in Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard.

A wizard in plus fours apparates into the campground office to obliviate Mr. Roberts, the suspicious campground manager in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J. K. Rowling.

See also


  1. 1 2 Fashion Encyclopedia, Plus fours.
  2. "Esquire's encyclopedia of 20th century men's fashions," by O. E. Schoeffler, William Gale, 1973, p.674
  3. Golf Today, Payne Stewart, a champion in plus two's.
  4. Wilson, Eric. André Benjamin’s Clothing Line Includes Plus Fours and Club Sweaters, The New York Times, October 2, 2008.

External links

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