Several years ago, when I first heard that Filson was developing a product line for women, I offered my services as a test model. Though I’m a huge Filson fan, I must console myself through accessory purchases like belts, bags, hats and pet supplies since general issue Filson clothing requires catastrophic tailoring to fit my dwarfish form. Sadly, my request to be a Filson product tester was denied–customer service informed me that they had already convened a “Filson Women’s Council” to evaluate their garments.
Despite exclusion from the Filson women’s council, Archival Clothing will be generating its own future research report on the success/failure of the Filson product line for women. Archival test criteria: fit (how much additional tailoring will be required to make these garments work on non model grade bodies), general resistance to everyday urban grit and cycling/dog grime, overall build quality (seeking signs of loose buttons, stray threats, weakened seams), color selection (major penalties for shades of violet, pink or sky blue), basic functionality (can items double for non-shooting urban use), timelessness (will the garments retain a classic Filson “look” ten years post-purchase) and general assessment of “feminizing” embellishments: inappropriate pocket placement, non-functional design details and weird “hourglass” shapes (ala the Barbour ladies utility jacket).
Here’s the most recent scoop from Filson customer service on what they may be offering in the Spring (not yet published in their catalogue or website):
“As for release information, I know that the plan is for the Women’s Line is slated to be released on March 1st. That would be the earliest we could place an order for you for any of those items. Some of the tentative women’s apparel is slated to include a mackinaw wool vest, mackinaw wool jacket, tin cloth field jacket, shelter cloth logger jacket, a quilted weekender, canvas windbreaker, a cover cloth and a feather cloth shirt, canvas pants and shorts, safari cloth pants and shorts, the chaps and a leather belt.”
This is all tentative and subject to change, of course.
For the record (see W10 garment tag above), long ago, when the Filson catalogue was a ten page, 2×3″ pamphlet, the company offered a fine line of women’s clothing (essentially, scaled down versions of their core garment range: mackinaw cruisers, whipcord trousers, etc). Sometimes these items can be located on ebay but for the most part they’ve disappeared from the visual archive (post pix on flickr if you own one of these garments–bonus points for whipcord knickers).