Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘print ephemera’

Matchbook Peleton

July 2nd, 2017

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.












From the archives: Finick’s overalls and coveralls

April 30th, 2017

I don’t mindlessly say that the past is better when thinking about garb, print catalogs, and catalog copy. I keep a folder of evidence on my desktop and periodically pick out my fave examples. I used to save catalogs and scan them myself. Now, I just grab snaps from the pinterest/flickr/tumblr stew. Here are a few adds for Finck’s “Detroit-Special” overalls. You can read about the company on the Detroit Historical Society site. I haven’t found visual evidence, but according to the DHS, ‘[c]hanges to the factory work force during World War II necessitated marketing to women, and the company introduced the word “modest” in their advertisements – along with an endorsement from an unnamed Miss America.” If you have ever seen a Finck’s ad for women, let me know.

The visuals below speak for themselves but I will add that  I love the confident use of white space space, the clinical anatomization of the product (showing its features and selling them at the same time), and the absolutely charming tag line: “wear’s like a pig’s nose.”






Shopping from the past – Rufstuff garb for women from Abercrombie and Fitch

September 9th, 2016



Even as folks declare the death of heritage as a codified style gents (think: workwear, historic brand revivals, heavy denim, plaid  shirting, work boots, tin cloth cruisers, etc.), I still remember its beginnings. I remain fascinated by this mode of dress especially as it exists (or does not) for women. In a recent Reddit thread on the closure of Archival, the highest vote betting comment was from a gent who wrote: “Bong bong bong, death tolls for the heritage trend.” I find the heritage dirge ironic given that I started my own blog in 2006 because no heritage garb existed for women (hence, my mantra of shopping from the past to find what I could not find in the present day).

In a future post, I’d love to document what amounts to brief but tepid history of heritage offerings for women from some of our favorite heritage labels from 2008-2016: Barbour, Filson, Wolverine, Private White V.C., Woolwich, Nigel Cabourn, Pendleton, etc. Nothing lasted and nothing seemed to stick. Princess panels, compromised fabrics, shifting fit profiles, overpriced offerings and competing messages (style over function) seemed to be the order of the day.  It’s 2016 and I’m not sure we’re much further along in terms of core, capsule offerings in the areas of footwear, jackets, knitwear and base layers. Bright spots include shirting (thanks to Tradlands and Taylor Stitch), denim (always available), moccasin style footwear (Rancourt and Quoddy) and some fashion facing outerwear (think FWK Engineered Garments, Japan only Nigel Cabourn, and infrequent and inconsistent offerings by Filson).

Suddenly, heritage is dead but – for many of us – it barely launched.  Taking a cue from the past, I’m hoping for a future time when  “Rufstuff”  re/emerges as a defining trend for women (and gents) characterized by clothing that is “as smart in line as it is practical . . . . [d]esigned to meet the demand for camp and country and stand the roughest usage at an extraordinarily reasonable price.” Possible? Evidence from the past:








Archival Outdoor Life

July 1st, 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 1987 – Barbour catalog

November 20th, 2013

Thanks to Thornproof for providing me with access to this hard to find, 1987 Barbour catalog. Sharp eyed folks will note all the ways Barbour has tweaked and edited their line over the years. My two favorite models from this era are the Spey Wading Jacket and the Solway Zip – both discontinued. If you’re a Barbour Bedale fan, check out the earlier iteration with two flap pockets and no handwarmer pockets. If you were shopping from this catalog what would you buy?





















Shopping from the Yukon

October 9th, 2013’ve always loved Filson’s clothing and its origin story. But what was the Yukon really like when old CC set up shop to equip the prospectors headed north? From the fantastic Design Observer blog comes a collection of  photographs from an album recently sold at auction. I’m shopping from the sturdy pullover shirts, the stout jackets, and the wide-brimmed hats, although unless I’m actually prospecting I doubt such a lid would see much wear.

Shopping from ebay: Beaulieu Movie Cameras

August 5th, 2013

One of my most prized, obsolete possessions is a Beaulieu S2008 Super 8 motion picture camera.  I’ve owned this camera for over twenty years without using it to shoot a single frame of film.  I purchased it in the 90s from the original owner who advised me to replace the decaying battery.  After costing out my options, I discovered that a replacement battery would cost more than the camera was worth.  As it were, I’ve held onto the non functional camera as evidence of an era when film and motion picture cameras were designed to be both functional, durable and beautiful.  In researching my own camera, I discovered all sorts of terrific print ephemera on ebay including operating manuals, lens boxes and magazine ads.  I’m posting a few of my favorite examples plus hero shots of several stunning Beaulieu motion picture camera models.