Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘Filson for women’

Archival Reprint: Filson Japan Lookbook

October 13th, 2011

Per yesterday’s entry, I’m reprinting a few of my favorite views from the strangely compelling, Filson Japan lookbook, “The Ballad of Portraits”. I love the stylized presentation of the figures who look like colorized, plasticized transplants from a 19th century daguerreotype (if Dodge Sportsmans appeared in daguerreotypes). Since most web image content disappears from view or gets redistributed away from its original source, I wanted to archive a copy for myself for future reference. It’s a shame we cannot mail away for a print copy.





Archival Envy: Filson Italy (Japan)

October 11th, 2011

Moleskin Minor’s Jacket

Hickory Work Jacket

Heritage Anorack

Denim Work Jacket

Filson Hunting Jacket

Filson Cruiser


Golddiggers Jacket for Women

Since it’s nearly impossible to source Filson Italy in the US, I’m prepping this catalog of images for wishful shopping. My images come from the official Filson Italy site, Japanese webshops and flickr. While I’ve known about Filson Italy (and the Black Label) for awhile, I recently discovered that they now have a “Donna” collection for women. I’m not wild about most of the line, but I do love the unfortunately named “Golddiggers” coat (essentially an upland game jacket in red plaid wool). When I emailed Filson Italy to inquire about the jacket, I was told that it would only be sold in Italy–and not via web shops. Hoping to have a custom version made in the US, Filson informed me that their wool is too thick to support the design of the coat (and further, that their custom order program is closed through April 2012). So–despite our internet age, not all the glitters can be owned.

Addendum: check out the new Filson Japan lookbook, Ballad of Portraits 2011.

Archival Vests: Rising Sun & Co Outdoor Vest

December 26th, 2010



I first spotted the Rising Sun & Co Outdoor Vest at Man Up last January. John, Howard and Jeremy were all wearing versions of the vest: one in canvas duck and the other in indigo dyed canvas.

John in his Rising Sun & Co vest at Man Up

1952 LL Bean catalog

The Rising Sun vest’s design is inspired by vintage hunting and shooting vests. Traditional fishing vests are cut short so they can be worn into a stream with waders. The addition of an internal game or poacher’s pocket makes them useful for upland game hunting too.

Filson makes its own Original Hunting Vest out of a heavier weight waxed canvas. I’m still waiting for Filson to introduce this garment in their collection for women. As it stands, the vest is cut long and wears more like a shelter tent than a vest. I do love all the strategic internal pocketing (and reinforced wool shoulder panels).

Rising Sun & Co vest available in indigo dyed canvas.



A recent production model in black duck canvas and white herringbone twill.



Since Man Up, I’ve been asking Rising Sun to produce a version of the vest in XS for women. This December, for a larger production run, Mike cut a few higher for a women’s fit. I finally own my own Outdoor Vest. Next to the super short, snug monkey fit, I love the vest’s deep front utility pockets. Most clothing for women skimps on functional pocketing (see recent Barbour Utility jacket for a glaring example). For daily wear, the Rising Sun vest easily carries a large smart phone, pocket camera, notebooks and writing utensils. For revision, I wish Rising Sun would add two rear carrying pockets (per LL Bean vest) and ditch the back cinch. Since the fit on the vest is so snug, the cinch has no real use value. And for me, the cinch shifts the look of the vest from field clothing to western wear.

I’ll be testing the vest for bike commuting later in Spring when the weather permits a formal transfer from wax & wool to canvas duck outerwear.

Archival Spectators

July 29th, 2009








Notes: Fall Filson trickling into the “New Arrivals” section of the website (more to come, I assume, once semi-annual sale flushes out discontinued items, etc).

Items include additions to the wool luggage line like a timber camo duffle and grey multi tote.

Surprised by this wool bomber for Women. More Filson or Old Navy?

Jealous of this jacket and this jacket in different weight wools for gents. Filson, please consider offering this style for women in 2011.

I’m most excited about this Upland Jacket in a shorter, trimmer cut for women. It’s what I was expecting from Filson when they first introduced this collection (modern fit without pandering details like pleats or side panels). Wishing it were 2010 and the Upland Jacket had migrated over to the marked down, web specials section (optic corrupted by a few minutes in Zara today).

I’ve seen down vests and jackets (for men and women) from this seller on ebay. But nothing is up on the site yet.

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Archival Review: Filson Knitwear

March 19th, 2009


Discontinued Filson Cardigan
If I ever earn a spot on Filson’s Council for Women (an advisory and field testing group), I’d recommend that Filson introduce a line of made-in-USA knitwear for women (and slim-framed gents).

Filson currently offers only one sweater for women–the snowflake and deer patterned Cowichan.

The first installment in my knitwear collection for women would be a scaled down version of the Outfitter sweater. Although a few other US outdoor clothing companies offer a heavy duty, all wool waterfowling pullover, none match the overbuilt quality of the Filson Outfitter.

Side note: the nearest commercial match to the Outfitter sweater would be the McAlister Duration Waterfowl sweater (if you like your waxed cotton in an Advantage Camo pattern) or the McAlister Duration 3-button version (at $149.00, an attractive option for an austerity shopper in the standard S-XXXL size range).

In addition to bringing out a new women’s Outfitter sweater, I’d reintroduce a modernized version of Filson’s (discontinued) worsted wool cardigan. My updated version would have an overall slimmer fit with narrower sleeves (no balloon arms), shorter body length (avoiding the bathrobe effect) and a much higher buttoning neck (no deep V-neck cardigans for me) . I’d also remove the suede shooting patches or swap them out for waxed cotton. The final sweater might look something like this:

Although many commercial knitting mills have gone out of business in the Northwest, I’m optimistic that Filson is still having their US-made sweaters manufactured in the region. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who does the contract knitting for Filson?

Visual addendum for Filson:

Archival News: Filson Portland store opening

November 16th, 2008






Friend Erin and I drove up to Portland yesterday to attend the new Filson Portland store opening. I felt bad about stepping out on the Portland Outdoor Store but it was nice to actually see all the women’s items displayed in a single, nicely lit showroom space (the outdoor store only carries a few pieces from the women’s Barbour line–but no Filson for women). Erin agreed to the trip as long as she/we could take a side trip to Woodland Woolenworks in Carlton, Oregon (a scenic yet depressed town with a wine tasting room on main street). Since Woodland only sells proto-woolen products (yarn, spinning machines, slipper bottoms, loom parts, sweater buttons), I amused myself by flipping through knitting publications (some nice patterns for socks and sweaters in this book) and contemplating the success of the knit boys.

The new Filson store is located in the Pearl district. I was expecting it to be more of a high ceilinged REI type establishment with fake rock walls and baskets full of cutesy accessories. As it turns out, the space is pretty diminutive and the few Filson accessories–flasks, wallets, playing card holders–perhaps reflecting their high price point, were displayed on simple rock beds under plexiglas).

I noted the presence of two main types of shoppers: husband and wife types (one more pro-Filson than the other) or younger hipsters(who sorted of drifted in and out of the shop w/out making purchases). Erin ended up waiting for me in the upstairs leather club chairs since I pretty much wanted to try on all the size & color combination of jackets I had been browsing for the past six months in catalog form.

As it were, we did not win the hourly door prize for an (ugly!) Alaskan guide shirt. I kept expenditures low and only purchased a pair of socks (for now).

After a long search and review, I’ve settled on the following two jackets as the best of the women’s collection: the women’s Wool Timber jacket and Women’s Tin Cloth Creek jacket.

Outside the store, we spied a fellow riding a nice Paramount fixed gear bicycle who seemed to have been inspired by the Filson westernwear look: wool watch cap, nice denim top and cowboy boots.


Archival News: Frost River

October 15th, 2008

7/26/2010 Editor’s note: this post was originally written in 2008. Since that time, a new ownership group has purchased Frost River and brought back its line of waxed cotton canoe packs and shoulder bags.

The new site can be found here:

http://www.frostriver.com/

I’m leaving the original post up as a historical marker of outdoor bag manufacturing in the U.S. I am editing title so folks do not confuse current customers searching on Google for Frost River goods.





After a post about Frost River a month or so ago, I received email inquiries about whether FR was still in business. A quick check on their site directed me to this link. Since FR is such a small shop, I figured that they might have gone on an August long canoe trip and forgotten to renew their site license. However, recent emails to the company have bounced back to me and I just saw a notice on the Northwest Woodsman site announcing the closure of FR. I’m trying to collect additional info on the matter (why, closeout sales, future product developments, recommended vendors) so please post any news to the blog (or contact me directly if you work for Frost River and can place a “Vintage” model pack on reserve for me).

Of course, the FR closure furthers my buy-now-because-the-product-may-not-be available-next-Fall-or-next-Month approach to purchasing decisions. I know that Duluth pack offers a comparable style/type of canoe pack (w/a dry canvas finish) but I’m not aware of any company other than CC Filson manufacturing the style of super sturdy waxed canvas and leather rucksack sold by FR (as if I needed four more super sturdy rucksacks before the apocalypse approaches).

More Filson for women

October 2nd, 2008



Since I was left off the CC Filson clothing council, I’ve been convening my own private focus groups to test and report on fit, finish, style and sizing of the new women’s product line. Last Spring, I issued a general report of the new women’s product line. In my initial report, I commented on the poor fit/sizing of the Filson garments and noted some disappointing design decisions such as some non-functional pocketing (or coin purse pocketing), balloon arm-styling and one way rather than two way zippers. I was optimistic about the debut of the XS size range–hoping that by slightly shrinking the proportions of the garments, Filson would finally produce outdoor clothing for women with a trimmed but not sackcloth (or overly hour-glassed) proportions. Now, I realize the whole point of the product line was to produce hipster jackets for young urban gents. As it turns out, friend Tom, 6’3 and 180 lbs, fits the women’s xs shelter cloth jacket like it was a fashionably shrunken jacket by Wes Anderson’s tailor, Mr. Ned.

Catch and release: Filson jackets for women

March 6th, 2008





For interested parties, here are a few snap views of some new Filson garments for women (all returned back to the factory). As anticipated, none of the garments quite fit my circus monkey form (stumpy arms, stocky center, shortened torso, etc). For the most part, the garments were quite well made but exhibited strange design details/decisions: namely, one-way rather than two-way zippers, weird feminine shaping panels (not pictured) and overall, oddly boxy fit (even in a size small).