Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for February, 2014

Brand Admiration – Drift Eyewear

February 27th, 2014

If given a choice, I’d rather have a pair of frames on my face than possess 20/20 vision.  As a teen, I would track down the most obscure vintage style I could source via my optometrist’s back catalog of frames.  In the last decade, I’ve brand hopped from Oliver Peoples to Paul Smith to ic! berlin to Mykita to Masunaga.  My current obsession is Drift Eyewear – a relatively new, US made eyewear brand based out of Chicago.  I first spotted Drift frames at the northernGRADE  show in the Fall of 2013.  Winter Session, another exhibitor, was producing stylish, lined wool cases for Drift.  The templates for Drift frames are made from reclaimed wood and hand burnished, plastic acetate.  What I love about Drift is that they have a few core styles that the reproduce from season to season.  I opted for the Caulfield in a tortoise matte w/maple temples . Company verbiage describes these as having “nostalgic styling with modern appeal. Contemporary as a sunglass and ambitious as an Rx.”  Drift frames can be ordered in different colors of acetate (clear is cool) and wood temples (including a few limited edition options).  Here are some photos of Drift frames and a short video showing how they are handmade in Chicago.
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Archival Alpinists

February 25th, 2014

Despite criticism of flickr’s semi recent redesign, I remain loyal to this content management system for the access it provides to historic image archives.  Flickr Commons provides one search access to some terrific image collections including the the Library of Congress and the Stockholm Transport Museum.  While I prefer to browse the pages of vintage print catalogs, flickr commons is the next best access portal to arresting images from the past.  If you are willing to wade through ten thousand anonymous headshots, maritime snaps  and random scenic views, you’ll find some great material .  One note – since the individual images are rarely tagged or cataloged you must actively browse through each institution’s set to sift out the really good stuff.  My focus, of course, is vintage workwear, athletic novelties, expedition garb and examples of women wearing rugged, non feminized outdoor clothing.  Here are some favorite photos from the Nova Scotia archives by Arthur Bloomfield Dawson.
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Brand appreciation – Arpenteur

February 20th, 2014

While I prefer to shop from the past, one of my favorite modern brands is Arpenteur. Based out of Lyon, France, Arpenteur makes simply styled, sturdy, heritage inspired clothing in wools and cottons. While the Arpenteur line is rooted in traditional French workwear, the cuts are slim and the overall look is very clean and contemporary. The basic line includes work jackets, knits and trousers. I was lucky enough to meet with the founders of Arpenteur at the recent (capsule) show in New York. I was impressed by the brand’s attention to  detail from their selection of regional fabrics to their unique, Herge inspired logo work.  Here are some snaps from the show.
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Archival Round Up – Rugged Ladies

February 14th, 2014

Here’s a quick round up of some of my favorite photographs featuring women in classic, heritage garb.  I always turn to these images as consolation when I’m on the hunt for a new outfit.  While the vintage snaps are filled with ladies sporting khaki trousers, neck ties, plaid shirts and sporty blazers, the same items are nearly impossible to source in the present day.  Here’s some shopping advice for the the 1913 lady in search of a new forestry suit.  Note emphasis on khaki and corduroy as the default, go to fabric for outdoor rambles.

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Archival Odds n’ Ends

February 7th, 2014

We’ve add a few discontinued and seasonal items to our Odds & Ends page.  If you are a fan of canvas duck, now is your time to pick up a lightweight Plain Musette, Archival Rolltop or Archival Tote.  We also have a small inventory of Archival sweatshirts and Shawl Collar Cardigans in limited sizes.
Odds and Ends

From left to right, top to bottom: Archival Sweatshirt in navy/natural stripes, Rolltop in cobalt duck, Plain Musette in natural duck, Shawl Collar in multiweave.  More items can be found here.

Archival Review – Anoraks

February 3rd, 2014

I’m sifting through my reference collection of anoraks in search of exemplary specimens. Anoraks are one of those garment styles that I admire most in photo form. While I own a few anoraks my own (by Roffe and Barbour), none fit as well those sported in vintage photographs of mountaineers or cyclists. My favorite versions are made from waxed cotton or ventile with a large, central kangaroo pocket and a waist cinch.  I love how the anorak form works in so many kinds of fabric.  Lightweight is best but who wouldn’t love an all wool pullover for the dead of winter.

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