Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for November, 2008

Not available for retail: Red Wing Lifestyle Heritage Series boots (in sizes smaller than 7)

November 30th, 2008



Spotted these classic looking Red Wing “Gentleman Traveler” boots at Baker’s Boots and Clothing in Eugene, Oregon. The boots are part of the Red Wing Heritage Lifestyle Range. As soon as we saw the boots, Tom and I devised a plan to bank loose quarters in a jar to fund a few pairs (figuring that the slo-motion accrual of small change would be fine since this boot style would most likely stay in the Red Wing product range for years to come). As it turns out, the boots do not come in my size ( smaller than size 7), so I’m preempting my savings plan and disavowing my connection to the heritage lifestyle movement.

Today, both Tom and Eric were wearing great old true-use work boots which pretty much negated their need for future work boot purchases.

Eric’s Red Wing work boots (work well for standing on concrete)

Tom’s Gokey Chukkas (garage sale purchase)

Archival Gent: Bob Lee

November 29th, 2008



I could be wrong but I think Bob Lee, Safari outfitter and shoulder bag tycooon, may have passed away. Uncertainty about Mr. Lee’s age seems appropriate since he never aged in a thirty year span of appearances in his namesake catalog, Bob Lee’s Hunting World.

In every Hunting World catalog I own, Mr. Lee is shown dressed in beautifully tailored outdoor clothing (w/seasonal variations), riding a camel on a conservation expedition in the the Chinese Pamirs or shooting clay birds with the Duke of Valderano.

In some ways, HW seems to be a lost brand now that Bob is no longer around to curate and control the company’s product offerings.

From an early, HW catalog: “Mr Lee designs for function first, believing the aesthetics will follow. He tests his gear personally and also equips others who are going into the field, asking for their feedback. After all, if a bag can withstand rugged conditions in the field, it can easily cope with the rigors of Tokyo, New York or Paris.”

Last time I checked the Hunting World website, I was surprised by all the tacky shoulder bag offerings in styles and patterns with names like medallic tweed, mystical shade and encompass jacquard. Many of the core shoulder bags–the battue carry-all and Safari Today line–have disappeared from view.

Shopping from the past: Rucksacks

November 26th, 2008

Photo from a 1998 Filson catalog


Brady rucksack (Japan only)

Frost River rucksack photos courtesy Style Forum

Barbour catalog model with rucksack (make/model?)

If I lived in Japan I’d be president of a regional Filson “going outside” club. We’d take pictures of ourselves wearing full Filson outfits and go on Filson themed camping trips (ala Snow Peak).

My club would write yearly letters to CC Filson petitioning them to bring back clothing and accessories that had been discontinued from their original product line. This year, we would write a letter requesting that Filson reintroduce the nice box style rucksack w/a simple cinch top pictured (in postage stamp scale) in their 1998 catalog. We would request that Filson have the bag made out of the original tin cloth from the Martin company and launch the rucksacks as part of a larger “heritage” line of luggage and clothing based on historical patterns, materials and catalog images.

Distant Admiration: Filson Big Creek jacket

November 26th, 2008



Not sure what’s up with the repeated use of “creek” as part of the naming convention for the new Filson product line, but I really both of the garments which make use of this word: the women’s Tin Cloth Creek jacket and the men’s Shelter Cloth Big Creek jacket. From afar, the Big Creek jacket looks like a competent but bland canvas chore coat or Wal-Mart bomber. What you miss from a catalog or online view is how well all the individual details plus the waxed cotton finish pull the coat together. Forever, I’m a fan of knit cuffs, collars, wool faced waxed fabric and two way zippers. This jacket has all those elements PLUS a rear game pocket (or map case, in the parlance of the modern day Filson catalog). I’ll definitely be petitioning Filson to release a version for women in 2009. Given Filson’s over-generous sizing (see blog entry below), guys might want to sign my petition too.

Archival Footwear: Traditional Leather Touring Shoes

November 25th, 2008


Carnac Forclaz (discontinued)

Vintage leather cycling shoes (anon.)

ExIT cycling shoes by Jeff Mandel

Bata bikers (discontinued)

Sidi leather touring shoes (discontinued)

Bata “badminton” shoes (discontinued)

If I had to design my own line of footwear–I’d repurpose leather cycling shoes and advise folks to wear cushioning insoles. At the Oregon Manifest handbuilt bike show, I noted a number of people sporting Sidi Dominators with knickers or straight street clothing. In short, the Sidis were doubling as daily wingtips or casual sneakers.

For daily wear, my preference is for a more simplified leather (not Lorica) cycling shoe, preferably with perforations, silver metal eyelets and a nice rolling or wrap around rubber sole.

For cycling specific use, I like the look of Stelvio shoes or Reynolds shoes. Both brands are still available for sale (though hurry–no brand seems to have image permanence these days).

Bike Portland ran an article on Jeff Mandel, a custom shoe maker who is now making both leather cycling shoes and saddles. If my ship comes, I’ll be ordering a pair of Jeff’s cycling shoes with that amazing red sole (adding in a special request for silver eyelets).

Just saw these great custom cycling shoes by Riotgeer Design.