Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for November, 2009

STP Salvage (12/4/09)

November 29th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

Here are some recent Filson items on offer through Sierra Trading Post (my source for archival imagery of discontinued Barbour, Filson, John Partridge, Gloverall and Beretta). This month, several styles of waxed cotton shelter cloth jackets are on the chopping block.

If I were the right size, I’d buy the cotton poplin breeze jacket or waxed cotton bomber.

From this selection, I’m sorry to see Filson discontinue their original line of merino socks. The newer models are perfectly functional but incorporate a techno-knit grid pattern that’s visible above the shoe line (if you wear loafers or oxfords).

Since I’m providing these images for visual reference in ten years, I offer no guarantees on sizing or product availability.

Wool Hunting Cap

Weekender Sweater

Original Wool Shirt

Sierra Windbreaker

Shelter Cloth Bomber

Waterfowl Upland Hunting Jacket

Clockwise: Foul Weather Jacket; Bush Jacket; All-Season Raincoat; Mackinaw Cruiser

Shelter Cloth Hunting Vest & Timber Moleskin Jacket Liner

Original Merino Wool Socks

Addendum: Some snazzy Barbour Berwick wool breeks that would be perfect for your next tweed ride:

Barbour Berwick Tweed Breeks

Shopping From The Mazamas

November 28th, 2009

by Tom Bonamici

The Mazamas were founded in 1894. The first meeting took place on the summit of Mt. Hood – if you made it to the top, you were deemed worthy of membership. I’m particularly fond of the campsite with several wall tents, which an Archival Clothing contact lived in for over a year and confirms to be practical and convenient. The woolen climbing garb might seem obsolete, but just consider the report of Graham Hoyland, who reports that 1920s-era clothing performed just fine on Mt. Everest. So if you plan on any mountaineering next season, please consider re-assigning a use value to natural fibers! That said, wooden ice axe shafts have been known to break, and Archival Clothing does not condone their use.

Archival Update: Musettes Coming Soon

November 26th, 2009

By Lesli and Tom

If nothing else, we at Archival Clothing don’t make idle threats. Remember last May when we mentioned an interest in producing an Archival quality musette? Six months later, we’re happy to report that a small run of our musettes is in production. Details below; in the absence of finished products, we offer this selection of historic musettes for your consideration.

In two weeks, we’ll release two styles of waxed cotton musettes. The Musette is a simple envelope-style bag with a fixed shoulder strap. The Flap Musette, slightly bigger, has a flap closure, adjustable strap, and inside pockets. These bags are designed to combine the simplicity of the cycling musette with the durability and use value of a field bag.

The Archival Clothing musettes are made of stout, closely woven waxed cotton and military-grade cotton webbing. All edges are bound in waxed cotton tape, and all stress points are bar-tacked. Solid brass hardware is used throughout. Made only for Archival Clothing in Springfield, Oregon, these bags are practical and free of complications. Watch this space for ordering information. We’ll have the bags available within two weeks.

Tom talks with Terry, our sewing contractor.

Archival Field Trip: The Field House

November 26th, 2009

by Lesli Larson and Sara Tripodi

The opening of The Field House, Blackbird’s newest Ballard store, has already been well documented. Here are a few sample reports: We Are the Market; Blackbird’s own blog; SLAMXHYPE; Inventory; Secret Forts; Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.

We stopped by for our own visit last Saturday. We were curious to see owner Nicole Miller’s modern take on the general store. True to concept, The Field House had on offer squash, canned tuna, milk and chocolate, with eggs soon to come. The focus, however, was on clothing, and many familiar heritage brands were in evidence: Alden, Quoddy, Billykirk, Fjallraven, Filson, Pendleton and Woolrich. The shop also carries another prominent American clothing brand which we were asked not to photograph.

Unique among boutiques that carry these brands, The Field House offers clothing for women. I tried on a nice, vintage-style, blue wool jacket by John Rich Bros. for Woolrich. Sara liked a RVCA poplin shirt. The shop has a good selection of wool tops for women as well as a Filson garment or two. At the time of our visit, there were no Alden equivalent shoes for women. But they did have some sporty Tretorn lace-up boots.

After The Field House, we dropped in on Blackbird and Birgitta. The highlight of our visit was our conversation with owner Nicole who is a true evangelist for heritage brands for women. She gets that there is a need for classic pieces designed and sized for women. We are very excited about her future offerings.

Heritage clothing for women

Wool for gents




Bits and sundries

Local foodstuffs

Window display

Around the corner at Blackbird

Archival Field Trip: Filson Seattle

November 24th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

I’ve been visiting the Seattle Filson store since its factory and showroom were located on 1st Avenue, current site of Safeco Field. Though I’m intimate with the product line (past and present), I still like to stop by and inspect items first hand. Things that you ignored in the catalog might surprise you in person. For example, we were impressed by this lightweight merino wool t-shirt:

I’m told that Filson will be expanding its line of merino tops to include different weights of wool. Before adding new styles, I’d like to see Filson offer this simple, short sleeved tee in sizes for women. Sara would prefer it to be long enough to tuck in with slim fitting short sleeves (not cap).

I always worry when an outdoor clothing company introduces a product line for pets. I’ve already ordered and returned the tin cloth dog bed because I didn’t think it was up to Filson standards (plastic zipper, dry finish fabric, unlined insert). But the Filson dog coat, made from shelter cloth fabric backed with thick red plaid wool, is a well designed, well made, Filson-worthy product.

Earlier this summer, I posted about the new Filson Upland Jacket for women. For the first time, Filson has duplicated/scaled down an item from their men’s product line for the women’s collection (same pocketing, same cut, same fabric as the men’s waterfowl jacket). Having tried on the jacket, it’s now on my wish list.

I love this display table. I know Filson tailored these pants to showcase different fabric selections and trouser styles, but I’d like to think that Filson is encouraging customers to experiment with more daring, Japanese magazine inspired inseam lengths.

Sara really likes this Upland Vest for women. Pocketing and fit on the garment are superb. I’ve already inquired about a custom version made w/out the safety orange fabric (prognosis doubtful). I can see the vest getting daily use as work, town or dog park wear.

We chatted with this gent who wondered why I was shooting so many photos. I’d like to take some credit for his Tin Cloth Packer Coat purchase. I encouraged him to size down to a medium for a tighter monkey fit. He opted instead for a size large with extra long sleeves.

Here’s Sara’s revision of the new Filson Cascade Vest. The bland design is perked up by reversing the garment, making the quilted baffling visible. Adding a two-way zipper would further improve fit.

I love all the vintage garments on display. Some of these look like items I sold on ebay a few years ago.

A well used pair of Double Tin Bibs in for restoration.

I remain unconvinced by the western-wear style wool vest and Passage luggage line.

In Free & Easy, Filson coats and bags often appear in blue plaid. Sadly, this trend was not in evidence in the Seattle store.

Shopping from The Crater Lake Institute

November 22nd, 2009

By Tom Bonamici

A selection of images from the Crater Lake Institute’s excellent photostream. In Lesli’s absence, I propose that all Archival Clothing readers meet up for a Springtime Jamboree at Oregon’s own Crater Lake Lodge, c. 1935. Fishing rods and waders will be provided, but you’ll have to bring your own breeks, pipes, and middy blouses. If you’re missing anything for your outfit, I’d suggest ordering from Montgomery Ward. The specific date and an activity list will be forthcoming. In the meantime, get packed and ready.

Packing from Archival Clothing

November 18th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

I’m preparing for a brief field trip up to Seattle. I’ll be visiting friends and checking out Blackbird’s pop-up Ballard store, The Field House.

Rather than packing the usual uniform (Levi’s, loafers and St. James sweaters), I’m sourcing my wardrobe from garments and accessories previously featured on Archival Clothing. Although I’d love to say that I’m bringing all USA-made goods, my selections for this trip are mainly UK brands . My hypothetical wardrobe features shoes by Crockett and Jones, perfectly tailored blazers and knickers from Holland & Holland and jackets by Beretta, Barbour and Hoggs of Fife (a jacket for every Northwest weather condition). At the moment, my shopping options for top quality, nicely fitting shirts for women is limited to my paper doll Holland & Hollands and a thrifted JCrew haberdashery shirt (not pictured). Please send along future packing suggestions for Gitman Bros. or Our Legacy type shirts sized for women.

Inspired by this 1919 demonstration of transformative wardrobes, I’m trying to identify a single clothing item that would generate multiple travel outfits (from Thursday through Sunday).

From formal clothing to sports wear in no time (Nationaal Archief)

Here’s what I’ve packed so far. I still need to edit my selections down to a single jacket and carry-all:

Barbour Urban Transport jacket

Hoggs of Fife & Beretta Maremmana jackets

Holland & Holland knickers, blazers and shirting

Crockett and Jones lace-up ankle boots and brogues

Brady & Hunting World travel bags

For some reason, one of my favorite travel bag brands, Bertram Mann, lacks a web presence and produces zero results in a Google image search. I’ll leave this space blank to illustrate the Bertram Mann weekender bag I’ll be using to pack up these outfits.

Archival Field Trip: PDX November 2009

November 15th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

My plan for Saturday was to double-check Danner Japan inventory and attend the first anniversary party for the Filson flagship store in Portland. But an unexpected, out-of-town guest rerouted our shopping itinerary more towards women’s footwear and work wardrobes (not to be confused with workwear).

Fortunately, I was able to negotiate a quick stop at Winn Perry to say hello to Jordan and see his new Alden for Winn Perry boots (the oiled leather “little tanks”). Here’s a spot inventory of some of the (not necessarily archival) items I saw on Saturday.


S.N.S-Herning knit cap
Alden plain toe boot in reverse chamois leather

plantation crepe soles with leather tips
Laura Irwin knit hats for Winn Perry

Sterlingwear pea coats

Alden longwings for Winn Perry

Oiled, double leather soles

SNS-Herning sweater (still awaiting sizing for women)

Vintage “Office Valet”

the Hill-Side selvedge chambray scarves

Pendleton reversible jacket for Opening Ceremony


Sendra from Spain (last pair in the shop)

Fiorentini + Baker (what the guest bought)

Costume National shoes (50% off)


Shawl collar proliferation

Downtown Field jacket (Barbour simulacra)

Waxed carry-all (interesting dimensions and external pocketing)


Archival eBay: Holland & Holland game bag

November 13th, 2009

I’ve always enjoyed Holland and Holland’s larky treatment of outdoor clothing and shooting accessories via aspirational scenes of country living.

My H & H catalogue collection is pretty scattered so I monitor ebay for use-case photographs of H & H bags and clothing. My favorite photos feature products removed from country estates and plopped down under the brights bulbs and white sheets of an ebay auction photo shoot.

Holland and Holland tweeds on ebay

Unless Holland & Holland is underwriting all of the historical manufacturing industries in the UK, it’s hard for me to endorse the 827.00 Buy It Now price for this recent vintage hunting bag . But I love how the auction lets me inspect, close-up, all impeccably executed design features.

Ebay auction item 220502582016 (sale price: 827.25)

Shopping from MacRostie Leathers

November 11th, 2009

By Tom Bonamici

Macrostie product literature

LL’s MacRostie Oxford

Honestly, the story of shoemaking in the upper Midwest would probably be best dealt with in a Steven Sondheim musical (à la Assassins), given the number of companies that have come and gone, the takeovers, the outrage.

Mr. Sondheim being do doubt occupied, I’ll just describe one of the minor players of the arena. Macrostie Leathers of Spring Lake, MN is the descendant of the famous Gokey Company, the first shoe company to put a hard sole on a moccasin. Elaine and Lyle Macrosite comprise the whole of the firm, and thanks to Lyle’s apprenticeship at Gokey, they can make some of the finest shoes in the States.



MacRostie Hard-Soled Moccasin

Highland Handmade Boots

While I don’t own a pair of Macrostie shoes, I do have a pair of original Gokey Sauvage Hikers. I bought them at a yard sale for $5, and they fit perfectly from day one.

Tom’s original Gokey Sauvage Hikers

Orvis makes a version of this shoe, but if you have the time and money to spare, why not order a pair from Elaine and Lyle?

MacRostie Town and Country Shoe

Since I’ve got a pair already, I’d be tempted to order the Mountain Climber, which resembles my favorite boot from WC Russell, identically named.

MacRostie Mountain Climber

If you’re as swoony over Macrostie Leather’s products as we are, order soon.

LL’s notes: I own a pair of the Lace-up Oxfords and Hard-Soled Moccasins. After years of wear, both pairs are ready for the resoling and refurbishing services offered by MacRostie.

Although I found MacRostie on the internet (searching for old Gokeys), my relationship with the company feels very old timey. I look forward to sending my shoes off to MacRostie just to revive my correspondence with Elaine who updates me on the state of handmade bootmaking in the US.

I’ve emailed Elaine about a possible future order for a pair of custom boots 8″ lace-up boots similar to the Highland Lace-up.

Elaine has cautioned that I place my order sooner rather than later since the MacRostie duo is contemplating retirement (handmade shoe and bootmaking is hard on the hands and body).

If you like Russell moccasins but want to support a smaller, top quality, two person shop, give Elaine a call and start working on your foot tracings.

Some examples of some additional MacRostie special order boots:

Highland Handmade Special Order

Bunny Stomper Boots

London Puddle Stompers

MacRostie shoe and boot photos courtesy MacRostie Leathers website.

Please send me links to photographs of your own MacRostie custom shoes or boots.