We teamed up with Crescent Down Works in Seattle to create a supremely durable and handsome vest that’s great for a crisp urban commute or a chilly duck blind. Starting with CDW’s classic Italian Vest pattern, we added some uniquely Archival features including a waxed cotton/nylon shell, brass snaps, reinforced leather washers, an inside chest pocket and a worsted wool knit collar made for us by Centralia Knitting Mill.
Posts Tagged ‘archival vests’
We’ve received some terrific press on our Archival Waxed Down Vest . Thanks to GQ, Mens Journal, Esquire, Well Spent and others for their kind reviews. If you are intersted in purchasing a vest, place your order via our Archival Web Shop. A note on sizing: we are stocking this vest in unisex sizes from XS to XL.. The two way, brass zip and snap closure front make it possible to tweak vest fit for different body types. I/Lesli am a petite woman and consider the XS a perfect fit..
Uncle Sam is one of my favorite Japanese web shops. Though I cannot read Japanese, I frequently visit the site to check out the shop’s style blog. While I don’t recognize most of the brands on offer, I take inspiration from the shop’s artful presentation of snout to tail, total clothing ensembles. Someday, I hope to assemble a cleverly layered outfit worthy of Uncle Sam. My three zones of aspiration include upper body layering, accessories and the key interface of sock, shoe and trouser. Here are some recent looks that I’m admiring.
Per Archival Resolution #9, here is the November edition of my Archival uniform. While our resolutions recommend that you come up with a signature uniform that you wear once a week, mine has seen active use on multiple days.
Archival striped tee women and Centralia multiweave cardigan. Here, per usual, I follow my own rule of wearing at least two layers on top. In another month, I might add a kerchief or a fine gauge wool scarf as a neck garnish.
Engineered Garments Upland Vest. Inspired by the Japanese, I love to finish my uniform with a vintage Upland style hunting vest (the pocketing doubles as a purse). Since I’m so small, it’s hard to source an authentic hunting vest that fits properly so I opt for updated versions – sized for women and petite gents – by Rising Sun, Post O’Alls or Engineered Garments.
Red Cloud & Co. Denim. Howard Gee, the denim guru at Ab Fits, introduced me to Red Cloud premium denim made in mainland China. The Red Cloud cut is close to a pair LVC Levis 1947, my go to denim on alternative outfit days.
If you have a signature uniform, please post your notes to our Archival Facebook page or send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to repost more visual examples (other than mine) on the AC blog.
I really love down vests, so it was a treat to work with one of the finest down garment makers in the country on a really special project. Here’s our take on a classic work/hunting vest, done with a lightweight waxed cotton shell, a nylon lining for easy layering, and a worsted wool rib collar, knitted by Washington’s Centralia Knitting Mills. Made in Seattle, WA by Crescent Down Works.
The waxed cotton shell is weather-resistant and durable, much more so than the thin nylon typically used in backpacker’s down vests. The collar is cozy but not so big you can’t throw a jacket on over. The handwarmer pockets are stuffed with down so that your hands really stay warm. There’s an inside pocket for the phone, or matches, or playing cards.
I’m very proud of this vest – it’s handsome, durable, and functional clothing made in the Northwest – and that’s what Archival’s all about! Exclusive to Wilderness Workshop and our own web store. Very limited quantities.
We visited Crescent Down Works a few months ago, be sure to check out the report from that trip.
Here are a few snap views of Post O’Alls vests from my personal collection. Inspired by vintage hunting and shooting vests, the Post O’Alls vest features an internal poacher’s pocket and four outside flap pockets. The cargo capacity rivals that of an AC Rucksack. A fan of the hyper layered look – I wear mine interchangeably over wool and cord blazers.
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.
We’re excited to offer a limited run of one of our favorite Archival finds, the Rising Sun & Co. Outdoor Vest. Made from stout, indigo dyed canvas duck (loomed by Cone Denim), the Outdoor Vest takes its inspiration from traditional hunting and fishing vests.
This best quality, handcrafted garment comes with front patch pockets, a small chest pocket, an inside chest pocket, and an internal “poachers” pocket. Rising Sun & Co., located in Pasadena, California, sews their garments on site — using their prized, single needle, black head Singer sewing machine. Rising Sun has posted some short videos showing the vests being sewn.
For my sport of randonneuring, or long distance cycling, I’ve had to compromise on some of my purchasing decisions. Most performance oriented cycling gear is produced offshore out of synthetics fabrics. For short distance commutes, I’m fine wearing everyday, non-sport specific clothing on my bike. Here, one can easily default to wearing vests and jackets made from wool, moleskin or cotton duck. But for ultra distance rides, I always wear a synthetic vest over my wool kit to block wind, regulate temperature and prevent chill. While many cyclists prefer full sleeved jackets, the synthetic wind vest provides a protective barrier without causing overheating. Alas, I’ve never found a wool or natural fabric version of a vest that performs better than its synthetic counterpart.
That being said, here’s what I caught and released from a recent shopping project.
Boure Pro Wind Vest. Best in class. Still made in Colorado. Customization possible. Unisex sizing. Supplex nylon front, mesh back. Ideally, Boure would add a two-way zip for maximum ventilation.
Sugoi Zap Vest. Shaped body panels on this one make the fit a little strange. Although I hate brightly colored fabrics, I almost always default to bright yellow for my wind vests for maximum visibility. If you’re going with a bright yellow material, why not add more bold reflective striping?
Louis Garneau Vent 2 Vest. Garneau is one of my favorite cycling brands. They produce well thought out, well structured cycling garments at a reasonable, non premium pricepoint. I love that this vest includes a two-way zipper, an essential feature on any vest or jacket. Reflective striping could be maximized.
Pearl Izumi vest (discontinued model). My old standby. As with most synthetic garments, the material on this vest does not age well with use. Dirt and grime cannot be removed.
Alp-X Zip Off jacket. Interesting option from Gore Bike Wear, another favorite brand. If I didn’t have to pay an extra $99 for the sleeves, I’d keep this jacket and use it exclusively as a vest. The vest/jacket has two front pockets, a two way zip and fits perfectly. Gore makes a wind vest for women but color availability is currently limited to white and black–unacceptable colors for a cycling vest.
Not pictured is my dream vest, not available, which would be manufactured by Showers Pass, a Portland Oregon company. I wear the Elite 2.0 jacket throughout the winter and wish there were a vest equivalent. It would be made of the same breathable, durable eVENT fabric and have a two way zipper and a mesh back.
Tom and I often chatter about creating an Archival wind vest that would incorporate waxed fabrics, archival design details, but also make use of some modern synthetics. Stay tuned for future developments.