Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘Work wear’

Shopping from the movies: On Any Sunday (1971)

February 29th, 2012

On Any Sunday (Brown 1971), the famous 1971 motorcycle documentary, has been shopped to death. Over the years, gent bloggers have obsessed over the film’s motorcycles, wax jackets, leather boots and Steve McQueen footage. Coming late to this movie, I gravitated to the section dealing with the six day international motorcycle trial in Spain. As a randonneur, I appreciate any sporting event that emphasizes endurance, durable clothing, modest rewards and an ethos of self reliance (riders must maintain their own machines during the race).

Here are a few of my favorite small details from On Any Sunday:

Red kerchief; rear snap closure pockets on jacket

Self-reliant motorcycle maintenance

Anorak and jockey goggles over eyeglasses

Cotton web strap holding the metal skid plate in place (nylon now for sure)

Stylish spectator in Spain

Pristine pit crew

Modest winner’s medallion

Mixed use trail

Archival Housekeeping

April 27th, 2010
Man hoovering

Add housekeeping to the list of archival chores I’d rather perform in the past. Not only do the tasks look simpler (limited activity, fixed locations), they seem to require a heightened, more thoughtful level of dress and grooming. Of course, I’d advocate for an individualized chore uniform. Aprons or multi-pocketed work jackets add a traditional, protective layer. But I’d extend my outfit to include sturdy lace-up shoes, a nice wool waistcoat and a more archival (washable, reusable) version of the 19th century printers’ oversleeve in cotton poplin.

Sew your own oversleeves

For a practical manual on housekeeping in the past and present, see: Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Housekeeping by Cheryl Mendelson.

Trouser press

Shaking out the rugs

Dusting the television with a feather brush

A footballer preparing a meal

Wringer and centrifuge

A pile of washing-up

A brush salesman and his bicycle

Photographs from the Nationaal Archief flickr photo set: Huishouden/Housekeeping.

From the Archives: Logging/Railroad Crews

February 20th, 2009

CKK0829, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division

CKK0702, University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division

CKK0481, University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division


KIN056, University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division

D. Kinsey 66, University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division


KIN048, University of Washington Libraries. Special Collections Division

Following up on my post from last week on the search for a modern logging smock, I’m posting a few more images from Clark and Darrius Kinsey photograph collection from the University of Washington. Given the current detachment of workwear fashion from functional use (which, in the end, seems fine), it’s nice to revisit the workwear look in its original context.

If you like these images, you can order prints or higher resolution digital files directly from the UW Special Collections department here.

Archival Field Trip: Roberts Supply Co.

December 20th, 2008












A few weeks ago, some friends and I ventured out to workwear supplierRobert Supply Co. to document the store’s more exotic product offerings and collect archival footage. Although Roberts is an official (and well stocked) Filson dealer, the store specializes in logging equipment, industrial clothing and related supplies (translated into the vernacular by timber framing friend, Tom).

If Archival Clothing were a brick and mortar store, I’d design it to have the floor layout and cheery but serious feel of Roberts (maybe minus the large scale Carhart and Filson murals on the facade of the building).

Unlike a boutique featuring workwear in a gallery type setting (with exaggerated spacing between displayobjects), Roberts packs all its merchandise into organized, tightly packed, ceiling height shelving units. Handwritten signs note price and size offerings. The overall look is that of a Carnegie library for work clothing.

Full Roberts Supply Co. photo set on flickr.

Not available for retail: Red Wing Lifestyle Heritage Series boots (in sizes smaller than 7)

November 30th, 2008



Spotted these classic looking Red Wing “Gentleman Traveler” boots at Baker’s Boots and Clothing in Eugene, Oregon. The boots are part of the Red Wing Heritage Lifestyle Range. As soon as we saw the boots, Tom and I devised a plan to bank loose quarters in a jar to fund a few pairs (figuring that the slo-motion accrual of small change would be fine since this boot style would most likely stay in the Red Wing product range for years to come). As it turns out, the boots do not come in my size ( smaller than size 7), so I’m preempting my savings plan and disavowing my connection to the heritage lifestyle movement.

Today, both Tom and Eric were wearing great old true-use work boots which pretty much negated their need for future work boot purchases.

Eric’s Red Wing work boots (work well for standing on concrete)

Tom’s Gokey Chukkas (garage sale purchase)