Archival Field Trip: Oak Street Vintage

Friends E. and D. have been insisting that I visit Oak Street Vintage, a nicely curated second hand clothing and curios shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was advised to check out the Heath tea service and some of the shop’s West German ceramics (ignoring its secondary collection of 1970s era plastics).

I brought my camera along to document the nicely edited selection of vintage menswear but was immediately distracted by a 1957 Montgomery Ward catalog featuring some of the dreamiest denim and leather footwear I’ve ever seen (or wanted to purchase from Japan). Flipping through the boys section of the catalog, I saw a number of items I would most certainly mail order from 1957. Highlights include the matching wool coat sets and the high waisted (armpit height!), denim trousers w/double fabric knees and decorative trim. Though I released the catalog (for now), I did purchase a few consolation LPs (Jean Shepard, Stan Kenton) while S. scoped out the lamp and telephone offerings (mainly to gloat over her recent, choice, thrift store finds).

Next day addendum: I went back to Oak Street and bought the 1949 Wards catalog (closer to the war, less Orlon and Velcro materials, advised Tom). Heartbreaking product shots (work boots, denim, brogues, woolens for women, whipcord coveralls) coming shortly. If Archival Clothing were a clothing brand, all my garment offerings would be poached from this publication.

6 thoughts on “Archival Field Trip: Oak Street Vintage”

  1. I would be tempted to place an order through the catalog- say a prayer- light a candle- see what happens. At those prices, what do you have to lose?


  2. Friend Tom are I are finalizing plans to travel back to 1949 to go shopping at Wards (with a stopover at the brokerage, first, to convert modern gold into period appropriate dollars–and a few choice stock options). Tom expressed some concern, however, that time travel back might rob us of our prized purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *