Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Obsession – Brown’s Beach Vests and Jackets

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by Lesli Larson

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Brown’s beach fabric, a unique wool-cotton blend, was developed in 1901 for general outdoor use.  This hard wearing, water repellent, slightly elasticized fabric was sewn up into simple vests and jacket styles which are still being made today by Japanese repro brands like Sugar Cane Co.  One can also source original, historical versions on ebay or through second hand, vintage hand dealers. Here’s a maroon Brown’s vest from the 1940s that sold for three thousand dollars on ebay.   According to this terrific post by Vintage Workwear, Brown’s Beach is the fabric that kept Admiral Byrd warm at the South Pole (“the best buy in warmth and comfort ever known”). 
Sugar Cane vest at Reveille
I first encountered the amazing Brown’s Beach fabric during a recent trip to Reveille in Portland.  The shop, which sells Japanese brands like Momotaro, Post O’Alls, Rising Sun and Self Edge, had a few vests and jackets on display.  I immediately fell in love with the brown’s beach vest, made by Sugar Cane Co.   In addition to the snug, body hugging “monkey” fit, the vest resembled my beloved  Woolrich, four pocket Railroad vest
Hefty, two ply weave with fuzzy, fleece facing

Brown’s Beach Lapel Jacket
Sugar Cane Lapel Jacket


  1. kyjunker on

    wow…nice post…I’ve never seen a real Browns Beach Jacket or Vest in person…

  2. drew on

    Love this. Do you know of any other resources stateside for the sugar cane beach jacket? Reveille doesn’t have them in their webshop. Would love to get a sugar cane version of the shirt-collar style.

  3. C. BEDFORD on

    I have seen a vest with a Brown’s Beach jacket tag, but at the bottom it has the location of Woonsocket RI,,,,,,,,,,, can u give me any information ?

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