IDENTIFYING VINTAGE WHITE SHORT-SLEEVE SHIRTS
Ken’s white short-sleeve shirt first appeared in 1964. There are two versions of the shirt, and both of them came with and without label.
1. KEN IN SWITZERLAND. This shirt is extremely well-made, much like a real shirt, with panelling and finished cuffs.
The version of this shirt shown below right is a nice little oddity, as the stitching on the Ken label is white. If it was from bleaching, then it certainly wasn’t done recently, as the shirt has seriously yellowed with age.
2. COLLEGE STUDENT / ROVIN’ REPORTER. This shirt is made like the one above, but came without the label. Later versions of Ken In Switzerland came with this shirt too.
3. KEN IN MEXICO / VICTORY DANCE. This shirt is more basic (no panelling, no cuffs), but still labelled.
4. KEN IN MEXICO (Later version). As above except without label.
5. SEEIN’ THE SIGHTS. Basic shirt with no label and only two buttons. Fastens with only one popper, rather than the usual two.
IDENTIFYING VINTAGE TROUSERS
Online sellers will often claim to have trousers which fit several outfits. Many get ‘confused’ when selling the more expensive outfits like Jazz Concert or College Student – even professional sellers regularly list the cheaper Fashion Pak or Casuals slacks, as belonging to these rarer outfits. However, the slacks, although similar, varied for each outfit. Some came with zip only, while others fasten with zip and popper. Some are labelled, others not. The fabric and cut even varies from year to year. For example, in 1966, the same type of fabric was used to make the Jazz Concert, Seein’ The Sights & Best Man slacks, and they all have a similar, loose cut. The slacks from 1965 also share a similar cut and type of fabric. For more information and many photographs showing close-ups of the vintage slacks see THE VINTAGE KEN® BOOK.
VINTAGE KEN FACE PAINT AND HAIR
1) Teal iris with white dots to the left of pupil. This style is found on 1961-63 flocked hair blonde and brunette Kens. The Kens from 1961-62 have quite thick eyebrows, the thickness and colour varying, especially in blondes. By 1962-63 their eyebrows have a more ‘plucked’ look. The hair colour and shape varies too. Some have an almost perfectly straight hairline, and on others the hairline curves at the temples.
2) Teal or turquoise iris with white crescents/dashes in the pupil. Pale, light brown eyebrows, thicker ‘eyelashes’, and painted eyelids. This style was used for the 1961 ‘brownette’ Kens. There were several shades of brown used for the hair, and some have a painted scalp under the flocking.
3) Teal or turquoise iris with no line around edge. Dark eyebrows and thicker ‘eyelashes’. Found on 1963 first version Japan-made Kens.
4) Blue iris with no line around edge. Found on painted hair ‘shorty’ Kens from 1963-64. These can vary a lot, especially the hair colour and quality of paintwork. On some the plastic has turned a ghastly white.
5) Turquoise iris with black line painted around edge. Found on second version Japan-made Kens from 1963 and third version Japan-made Kens from 1963-64.
6) Blue iris with black line painted around edge. Brightness of blue varies. Found on Japan-made Kens from 1964-65. Some Kens, Allans and Rickys from 1965 have ‘tanned’ faces, which is presumably an effect of ageing.
7) Aqua or blue iris with black line painted around edge. Blushing cheeks and/or much lighter lips. Found on Kens from 1966-67.