Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for September, 2011

Shopping from the 1930s: Montgomery Ward

September 30th, 2011

Exemplary outerwear

I’ve been on an ebay shopping spree for Montgomery Ward catalogs (the Archival bible). I’ve secured a few new Fall editions from the 1940s which I’ll be reprinting here–in bits–in the next few months. Copies of the 1930s catalogs are more tricky to source. Inspired by Spokesniffer and Reference Library, I’m capturing auction images as placeholders for items I did not buy. Here are a few frame grabs from vintage catalogs from the 1930s that were beyond my “buy it now” pricepoint. If I could make it so, these would all Archival offerings for Fall 2011. Smitty “Whata Sweater” would be announced as our new Archival mascot.

Smitty Sweater

Heavy weight shawl collar sweaters and cardigans

All wool blazers


Denim jackets, overalls and trousers

Canvas duck field jackets

All wool shaker sweaters

Heritage workwear for women

Pendleton blankets

From the Archives: Rugby Ephemera

September 28th, 2011

In honor of the World Cup, I’m reposting selections from Frederick Humbert’s awesome collection of historical rugby print ephemera. Humbert’s flickr catalog and blog, Rugby-Pioneers, include photographs, programs, cigarette cards, advertisements and even hand painted lantern slides of vintage rugby action. Even if you don’t follow rugby as a sport, study the photographs as a guide to looking stylish in a sports uniform (blazers and wool knits in lieu of track jackets and sweats).












Archival Exercise: Rope Jumping

September 25th, 2011




Count the Olympic brand jump rope as another best quality product still being manufactured in Oregon. The plastic beaded Olympic rope was designed over 45 years ago by a coach who was looking for a durable sports product that could be used both indoors and outdoors. The Archival Web Shop is now offering this rope in five different sizes including a double dutch model.

Rope jumping is a nearly perfect exercise. It’s low impact, provides cardio training and enhances general strength and coordination. As one early health publication remarks, “[t]he jumping-rope has long been famous as a flesh reducer. It is this because you can jump rapidly enough to burn away superfluous tissues.” No expensive equipment or gym membership is required. All you need is a sturdy pair of shoes and a good rope.

Here, Sara, wearing apron and clogs, gets in a little exercise while waiting for the grill to heat.

Some basic jump rope exercises from the Navy Seal Physical Fitness guide:

Instructions for producing your own rope from scratch:

Archival Jackets: Brooks Criterion

September 21st, 2011

John Boultbee Criterion jacket (via Brooks of England blog)

I’m excited to hear about Brooks of England’s project to create tailored cycling clothing under the John Boultbee label. As a daily commuter, I’m always looking for ways to merge my cycling and work clothing. Here’s a short video introduction to the new Boultbee Criterion jacket.

Many of the Criterion’s technical features are borrowed from traditional hunting garb. For example, the Criterion comes with integrated carrying straps for t.

The Beretta Maremmana jacket (a traditional Italian hunting jacket) makes use of the same hands free shoulder strap design. The Maremmana, in moleskin or corduroy, would also make for a terrific cycling jacket in cooler weather.


The Criterion features an “action back” to facilitate free upper body movement. This feature can also be found on traditional field and waterfowling jackets like the Red Head or this Filson Upland jacket.

Unlike most heritage brands, Brooks has designed a version of the Criterion jacket for women. As far as a I can tell, the jacket mirrors the version for gents but is sized for women.

The UK has a strong history of producing stylish, beautifully tailored cycling wear like the Criterion. I’m mail ordered the hip lenght, M-45 Zipp jacket. Impatiently awaiting delivery.

Another modern UK alternative for cyclists 0r cyclo-commuters is the unlined Hilltrek double ventile jacket. The jacket can be custom ordered in a single ventile layer for greater breathability. In general, I prefer light, unlined jackets for use on the bicycle.

If you cannot afford the Criterion (1000.00 €), we recommend the Carradice Duxbak waxed rain cape. For slow speed, upright cycling a rain cape provides terrific rain protection while permitting you to wear pretty much any outfit you like underneath.

I’m partial to wearing non integrated cycling clothing on the bike. Most suit jackets or blazers work perfectly well for short distance commutes. Here is a terrific modern example:

September 21st, 2011







Archival Publicity

September 20th, 2011

I got the surreal chance to be in a New York Times photo shoot last spring in preparation for a feature in this fall’s Men’s Fashion T Magazine. We all felt pretty silly, but it was a blast to hang out with Peter from Best Made and Jeff from Cold Splinters. Also a treat to meet the other fellows, Hunter and Adrian. Cheers, all!

Shopping from Japan: Dry Bones Pharaoh Coat

September 17th, 2011






Dry Bones is a terrific clothing company out of Tokyo, Japan. While their primary focus is on denim, Dry Bones also makes beautiful, 50’s inspired outerwear. My favorite is this insulated, wool tweed car coat (google unreliably translates the model name as “Pharaoh“). I love the two-tone flecked wool, exposed 2-way zip and knit ribbed collar and cuffs. The inside of the coat looks as stylish as the outside. This is one of those pieces that absolutely looks like it has been shopped from past.

Good news for women. Dry Bones also sells a line for women. Last year, I picked up this pin striped coverall jacket via rakuten (first spotted at Self Edge in SF). But, o my, the offerings for this year look a little less heritage themed.

Archival for Wilderness Workshop Rucksack

September 14th, 2011

We’re thrilled to announce one of our most striking rucksack collaborations-with Archival stockist, Jason McKenzie of the Wilderness Workshop. Jason’s rucksacks are made from a special 7.68 oz deadstock “tent drill” fabric that he salvaged from a venerable outdoor store in Boston. Jason speculates that the fabric is from 1950s or 60s. According to Jason, it “does not indicate anything about its origin of manufacture which means that it probably predates FTC rules about such things.” Like all our rucksacks, these are made in Springfield, Oregon to our original design specifications. The bags are available exclusively through the Wilderness Workshop.

For other shopping opportunities from the past and present, check out Jason’s tumblr page, Eggs & Wool