Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Cycling Musettes – An Appreciation

August 10, 2016

Did you catch Chris Froome sporting a logo free musette during the Olympic road race in Rio? I always love catching glimpses of this little retro style bag in a sea of state of the art garb and bike technology. While modern cycling musettes are made of cheap synthetics (designed to be discarded), my favorite vintage versions were made out of cotton (with a matching strap). Unusual examples include a snap fastener or flap closure but most of the ones you find on eBay are simply unstructured sacks with straps. I tend to shop by logo or color blocking. Here are a few examples that I gathered during a recent shopping expedition:

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Matchbook Cyclists

July 25, 2016

I tried to watch the 2016 Tour de France but lost interest after the first week. I miss the panache and personal style of cyclists from my childhood (now, I barely can distinguish one game piece competitor from the next).  I much prefer the era of leather hairnets, wool jerseys, lace up cycling shoes, campy parts, and steel frames with chrome accents. In lieu of a $29 streaming media packaging, I’m going to browse through these vintage European matchstick covers from my favorite print ephemera archivist, Pillpat. Head over to her vintage matchbox and matchboxes set on flickr to pick your own team.

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Archival Finds – July Edition

July 17, 2016

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Long ago, Hunting World used to sell canvas caps and hats manufactured by a traditional French hunting clothing company. I haven’t seen one on the market for many years so it was nice to find an Explora in very fine cotton gabardine show up on eBay last week.  I nabbed it for mid-summer  kayaking or hiking trips. The chin strap on this one is missing  so I’m going to have to wildcraft a replacement.

 

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More French stuff. Orcival, my go to brand for sturdy nautical tops, offered this interesting variation in linen. I found this example on one of the many Rakuten sites for overseas shoppers now listing vintage and used clothing.

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I was thrilled to see that Private White V.C. is now offering a version of their Goodwood Racing Worksuit for women. I’m not wild about the body shaping princess panels that always seem to  show up on heritage items offered for women (see Filson, Barbour and Belstaff). However, I love the idea of wearing this ensemble as a less dressy alternative to the summer linen suit.

 

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Brady is now making of use of cork for their main line of fishing and game bags. Not sure how well cork would hold up to wintery bike commutes in Oregon but I’d love to give it a try. I wish we had made up a special Archival Musette model in this material.

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I’m happy to see so many vintage Gokey handsewns popping up on eBay. My fave model at the moment.  I love Quoddy and Rancourt but I have a soft spot for original Saint Paul made Gokey camp mocs, lace ups and ankle boots. If you are a sizing outlier like myself (men’s 6d), you can pick up some pretty unique models on the used market, preferably a pair with  gro-cord soles:

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Shopping from the Past – French Work Jackets

July 3, 2016

Inspired by Bill Cunningham, I have been collecting images french work jackets (aka “bleu de travail”). Cunningham made this style of garment his personal uniform and I was inspired to wear one for the next month in memory of his amazing life and creative work. Most of the current, commercial offerings (Le Laborer, Old Town, Vetra, and Arpenteur are too large for me) so I was hoping to shop from the past for something with a better fit. On eBay, I found a terrific vintage version by Le Remouleur w/really exemplary patchwork repairs and artful spotting. The listing indicates that the jacket is from the 1930s which seems to be the golden era of french workwear (lots of corduroy and moleskin). I don’t know too much about the label (anyone?) but would love to find out more. Here is a similar example sported by one of my  favorite Archival customers at Inspiration LA.

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Archival Outdoor Life

July 1, 2016

Summer is passing but it is not too late to bring your campsite and camp wear up to the standards of the Outdoor Life Cyclopedia (1943). Friend Dave Baker brought this amazing sporstman’s guide to our attention. It offers practical advice on everything from training gun dogs to field dressing elk. My favorite sections address how to prepare a campsite (ample use of moss, sticks, wool and canvas) and how to dress for the woods (avoid wearing threadbare business suits). Skim through the wordy instructional prose and go straight to the illustrations:

Shopping from the UK – Vintage Brady Bags

June 25, 2016

If you follow Archival, you know that we love UK-made, Brady game and fishing bags. While the brand and product line has expanded in the last few years (adding business, biking and equestrian lines, not to mention, Japan only models), the core patterns have remained relatively unchanged since this 1976 catalog. It’s a relief to know that Brady bags are still handmade in England in the same materials (Archival faves: canvas, brass and bridle leather) as the original models from the 30s and 40s. If you are shopping for a new bag, I recommend The Sporting Lodge which offers stock and special edition Brady models like the Gelderburn in an exclusive colorway or this unique jubilee cartridge bag from 1952 (originally carried by the Queen).

Since my bag library is full, I frequently collect images of vintage Brady models from eBay, Rakuten and Etsy. I’m searching for  vintage Brady models that I haven’t seen in print catalogs or incorporate features like hand knotted game nets that have disappeared from the modern line. Here are two recent finds that I’m adding to the Archival image archives:

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Brady Sandringham with hand knotted, hemp game net. Brady still sells a Sandringham with a nylon game net (an undervalued feature on modern bags) but I love the level of hand work represented by this vintage model. I don’t own a Sandringham, but if I ever buy another Brady, it will be this bag.

 

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I love the diminutive yet overbuilt look of this tiny, early era Brady shell bag. The treated canvas has aged beautifully and the tiny scale of the bag really throws into relief the bag’s beautiful material components (essentially becoming a framing device for the lovely, bridle leather and brass closure).

Archival Kit for Father’s Day

June 14, 2016
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Archival Trail Caps in Japanese denim and waxed canvas
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Archival Zip Pouch in striped indigo denim ticking
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Iron on embroidery patches
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Archival Roll Top in navy waxed twill
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Archival Office Brief
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I always say that Father’s Day gifts should prove useful year round – not just in late June. Local stockist, Heritage Dry Goods, has ample inventory of Archival gift items including our classic Roll Top in waxed twill, Archival Trail Caps in denim and waxed canvas, accessory zip pouches, leather coasters and our new Office Brief. Drop by, browse the collection and pick up some of the new northwest made, camp themed embroidery patches currently on offer.

 

Shopping from Japan: Danton Round Collar Shirt

June 6, 2016

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While I like to think that  I am relatively current with heritage clothing brands in the states and abroad, I was pleased to discover Danton during my PDC trip to Tokyo last Spring.  Danton is a french workwear brand sold in Japan. I’m not quite sure whether there really is any more Danton sold in France (readers?!) although web retail reports indicate that the company was indeed founded in France in 1931.  I came back from Japan with a few different Danton garments including round collar shirts in short and long sleeves. I love that this style combines my favorite shirting elements: round collar, popover design, short cut, and on seam pockets.  The garment is unisex; I’ve seen it on offer on several Japanese web shop for women and gents including B-Shop and Woody Company. Depending on the season, you can order this shirt in light chambray or a heavier weight oxford cloth. Now that Rakuten is opening up space to more second hand clothing shops, you can most likely purchase Danton plus shipping to the states for less than $100 (pretty good for an item that you will most likely wear for years to come).

I know that we live in a state of denim elysium but if you are looking for new fabrics and fits,, give this Danton a try.

Shopping from the US Patent Office – Pruner’s Coat

May 29, 2016

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Ever since UO Digital Arts professor, Craig Hickman, published Apparatus, his clever homage to US Patent Gazette drawings, I’ve been obsessed with browsing the patent archives for long lost product ideas. I’ve amassed a large collection of patent illustrations, primarily focusing on bags, garments and bicycling gear. Here’s a recent, favorite find: a special jacket designed for pruners featuring a “pocket construction for the reception of a pruner’s foldable saw, whereby the saw may be readily placed therin or removed therefrom, the pocket being suitably reinforced to resist wear, and to protect the wearer from contact with the teeth of the saw.”

Given the current chic for axes, knives and hatchets, I’m surprised that a company has not reissued this garment, breaking up the chore coat monotony of hand and chest pockets.  Make mine in gabardine or canvas duck, please!

Shopping from the past: patchwork denim jacket

May 22, 2016

Digital image of original artifact.

Browsing the Minnesota Historical Society flickr stream, I found this fantastic denim chore coat from the 1960s. Metadata from the site identifies the jacket as belonging to Selmer Sauglow, a Norwegian farmer. While I’m a little denim jaded these days, I love the patchwork of this chore jacket which was created by Anna Sauglow, Selmer’s sister.

Featured on the Minnesota Historical Society’s Collections Up Close blog on September 17, 2015