In the late ’80s and ’90s, field coats ruled the casual heritage market (before heritage had a name). Affordable, stylish, canvas duck options (heavily pocketed and trimmed in fine wale corduroy) could be found through LL Bean, JCrew, and a slew of lesser known, hunting supply catalogs (including Cabela’s, which was much less the sprayfoam mall behoumeth it is today). I was always partial to the wool lined Bean model (which merited the “vintage” tag if you inherited one of the earlier, short cut, solid melton wool lined models from you pop). I ended up with a socialized ’90s edition if the Bean Field Coat which had clearly given up the ghost of pocketing any rusty barn nails or a bloody ducks. Friends in grad school came to the style through the rebadged and semi ubiquitous “barn coats” sold through Jcrew (in mustards and tomato reds). We’re so deep into a denim decade right now that it’s hard to imagine an era when canvas duck ruled as the casual jacket fabric du jour. Could we see its corduroy trimmed return in 2020?
Special Hunting World model. Wondering who made it?
The Library of Congress flickr stream yields some of the best historic examples of shawl collar cardigans. During a periodic review, I surfaced these 1918 scans of baseball player Mike Donlin sporting a very heavy gauge cardigan with an unusual throat latch detail. I’m not a baseball fan, but I can’t get enough of these Bain News Service photos of players and coaches from this very stylish era. The players dress like spectactors (in sweaters, blazers, leather shoes, and collared shirts) and the spectators are dressed for the symphony. I’d love to know more about about the knitwear makers who produced these athletic sweaters and the story behind that throat latch feature (something that I never see on modern examples).
I tried watching the 2016 Tour de France but lost interest after the first week. I miss the panache and personal style of cyclists from the past. Now, I can barely distinguish one game piece from the next (logos, lego shaped helmets and mirrored shades drown out the personalities of the individual riders. I much prefer the era of leather hairnets, wool jerseys, lace up cycling shoes, Campagnolo parts, and steel bike frames with pinstripe detailing around the lugs or chrome forks and seat stays. In lieu of a $29 streaming media packaging, I’m now browsing through vintage European matchstick covers from my favorite print ephemera archivist, Pillpat. Head over to her vintage matchbox and matchboxes set on flickr to pick the riders for your own personal peloton.