I love coat hooks. For the past several years I’ve been collecting hooks of all types, especially the simple bent wire variety.
This is a selection taken from current eBay auctions – just search “antique wire coat hook.” I love looking at all the different ways the same problem was solved.
Prices on eBay are high; I recommend going to the local salvage yard and snooping around. I’ve even talked junk shop proprietors into letting me remove the hooks from old coat stands and wardrobes.
Be careful when mounting coat hooks. Most of them were intended to screw directly into wood, so the screw threads are small. Unfortunately, most of our houses are lined in drywall, which is little better than dense sand. If you can’t screw the hook into wood, make sure to use an appropriate drywall anchor.
For more on archival housekeeping, please see our previous post on Mendelson’s amazing tome.
I’m always on the hunt for the perfect chore coat. It’s a style that’s warm, but not heavy, and it looks great. Since I wear chore coats in lieu of a blazer, I prefer French “bleu de travails” over heavy, outdoorsy canvas duck work jackets. Here are my basic requirements for the style: it should be unlined, with 3-4 generously sized patch pockets, button closures, spread collar and a boxy fit. When done well, the chore coat showcases fabrics, best quality notions, historic design details, and good tailoring. Chore coat fans can find examples in any price range from the hickory striped Pointer coat ($75.00) to the Univeral Works Harris Tweed Bakers jacket ($625.00). Universal Works, in the best tradition of chore coat design, offers their signature, made in UK Bakers jacket in a range of fabrics. Lark in Vancouver sells a version in tweed while Hickorees offers the same style in “fishbone twill” and red waxed cotton. Contrast stitching, watch fob button holes, discrete insert pockets, a center vent and tailored fit elevate this jacket far beyond its humble origins.
In the 1970s, Banana Republic started out by buying old military surplus clothing and washing, restoring, and selling them. Pretty clever plan, if it’s sold right, and it was done very well indeed – the catalogs felt like a less flowery J. Peterman crossed with a dash of Paul Bowles fanboy. Lots of fun. Eventually, Banana Republic starting buying surplus fabrics and making their own clothes…. one thing led to another and they were bought by the Gap in 1983. The quality held on for a while – Italian-made cotton fleece, English and Italian luggage, and even US-made Ventile safari jackets.
I was paid for a delightful day helping Matt at the Flea with a gorgeous English-made shoulder bag from the spring 1987 collection, found for $5 at a thrift store. Lesli is pretty sure that it was made by Chapman, given the material and webbing clues. Stating the obvious, it’s sad to compare this gorgeous bag with Banana Republic’s current made in China offering:
Here’s the original catalog entry:
Here are more catalog pages for your shopping pleasure, courtesy of the fantastic Abandoned Republic (essential browsing for fans of the early BR). Send your orders to BR in Mill Valley, c.1980-87.
I don’t hunt but I love the purpose-built features of a well made shooting jacket. Juliette, owner of Hub & Bespoke, recommends the Barbour quilted nylon Keeperwear, a jacket that has been in the Barbour product line for over a decade. The Keeperwear resembles the classic Liddesdale but comes with features that make it handy for both hunting and bike commuting: a rear carrying pocket, snap closures, raglan sleeves for ease of movement, protective shoulder patches to prevent bag abrasion, large hand warmer pockets and rear snap gussets. Barbour wax jackets can be too warm for cycling. The Keeperwear quilt, on the other hand, provides rain repellency while remaining highly breathable. I buy my quilts a size up so I can layer them over multiple sweaters and vests.
Updated Barbour Keeperwear (2011)
Stud fastening rear game pouch
Discontinued Keeperwear jacket for women via Sierra Trading Post
We love wearinga classic rugby shirt as a casual, durable layer for rough work and play. Our new Archival Rugby Shirt, made just for us by Columbiaknit, can take the toughest treatment. The fabric is a traditional 10 ounce cotton jersey knitted in Portland, Oregon. It is incredibly soft but resilient. We’ve kept all the classic details — a continuously sewn placket, rubber buttons, and a drill cloth collar, but we trimmed up the fit to make for a perfect slim (but not tight) garment. Also, we have created a more refined hemmed sleeve so that it easily transitions to indoor events.
These Rugbys are perfect for wearing unlayered for a pick-up game of soccer or even (Tom’s favorite), rock climbing. The underarm gussets extend your arm’s range of motion.
We are offering our new Archival Rugby in our favorite navy-gray stripe colorway, but will be adding more colors throughout the season. Let us know if you have a historic favorite.