Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘abercrombie and fitch’

Shopping from the past – Rufstuff garb for women from Abercrombie and Fitch

September 9th, 2016



Even as folks declare the death of heritage as a codified style gents (think: workwear, historic brand revivals, heavy denim, plaid  shirting, work boots, tin cloth cruisers, etc.), I still remember its beginnings. I remain fascinated by this mode of dress especially as it exists (or does not) for women. In a recent Reddit thread on the closure of Archival, the highest vote betting comment was from a gent who wrote: “Bong bong bong, death tolls for the heritage trend.” I find the heritage dirge ironic given that I started my own blog in 2006 because no heritage garb existed for women (hence, my mantra of shopping from the past to find what I could not find in the present day).

In a future post, I’d love to document what amounts to brief but tepid history of heritage offerings for women from some of our favorite heritage labels from 2008-2016: Barbour, Filson, Wolverine, Private White V.C., Woolwich, Nigel Cabourn, Pendleton, etc. Nothing lasted and nothing seemed to stick. Princess panels, compromised fabrics, shifting fit profiles, overpriced offerings and competing messages (style over function) seemed to be the order of the day.  It’s 2016 and I’m not sure we’re much further along in terms of core, capsule offerings in the areas of footwear, jackets, knitwear and base layers. Bright spots include shirting (thanks to Tradlands and Taylor Stitch), denim (always available), moccasin style footwear (Rancourt and Quoddy) and some fashion facing outerwear (think FWK Engineered Garments, Japan only Nigel Cabourn, and infrequent and inconsistent offerings by Filson).

Suddenly, heritage is dead but – for many of us – it barely launched.  Taking a cue from the past, I’m hoping for a future time when  “Rufstuff”  re/emerges as a defining trend for women (and gents) characterized by clothing that is “as smart in line as it is practical . . . . [d]esigned to meet the demand for camp and country and stand the roughest usage at an extraordinarily reasonable price.” Possible? Evidence from the past:








Shopping from the 1930s – Abercrombie A.C.A Pack

February 12th, 2015

Thanks to Andrew Short for sending us photos of his recent find, an Abercrombie & Fitch A.C.A. pack from the 1930s.  Ancestor to the Archival Rucksack and Archival Rolltop, the A.C.A. pack exhibits a simple yet sturdy design and  is made from some of our favorite  materials – waterproof duck and tanned leather.   Despite its age, the bag looks ready for another lifetime of active use.

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Shopping from TV – Actor Worn Clothing

April 22nd, 2013

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Here are some unusual. “actor worn” offerings via ebay.  I’d watch any show featuring characters  sporting vintage Abercrombie hunting garb or Alden cordovan loafers.  Can we put a plotline to these auction items? 


Shopping from Etsy – Abercrombie & Fitch

April 1st, 2013

Thanks to Jesse Thorn for forwarding along these listings for an Abercrombie & Fitch Game Bag and Travel Kit on Etsy. Although the vintage of these two bags is unknown they were most certainly manufactured by the original, New York based A & F Company.   If you feel the urge to order your own best quality travel bag, here’s a link to our reprint of the 1939 A & F catalog.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Travel Bag

Shopping from eBay – Abercrombie & Fitch

July 20th, 2012

Whenever we get an email from Jesse over at Put This On we know something good is on the way. Last time, it was a link to an eBay auction for an old Abercrombie & Fitch duffel, which we promptly bid on and won.

We’re not totally convinced of the value of the super-sausage form, but it sure is easy to load.

The vintage Talon zipper is really amazing – looks like some of the wildly premium (and expensive) Riri military issue zippers that we’ve seen while working on our own line of bags.

Note the selvage lines on either side – like LL Bean does today with their totes, Abercrombie was using the full width of the fabric. Also check out the original 1948 catalog entry – it’s a #318 Talon Fastener Duffle bag.

Shopping from 1939: Abercrombie and Fitch

November 10th, 2011

Here are excerpts from my favorite vintage Abercrombie and Fitch catalog from 1939. During this era, Abercromie & Fitch field jackets and outdoor clothing showed a tailored, British influence. Many of the garments came in dress fabrics like high count cotton poplin or wool gabardine. The catalog contains sections for both men and women. While identified as a high end outdoor clothier, A & F offered practical, stylish clothing that could be worn at camp or for home chores. Many of the garments, especially the denim outfits, could easily be adapted for modern wear.

Should you wish to make a purchase, I’ve reprinted the original order form which should be mailed to the Madison Avenue address post dated 1939.

Archival Campout

August 12th, 2009

Friend Rick G. sent me this link to Butler Bags, a US company manufacturing traditional style bedrolls and bags in marine grade waxed cotton. Per catalog copy: “sleeping bags are made for the serious, rugged outdoorsman who recognizes quality and know the value of comfort and convenience.” All product descriptions should read this way.

Wishing I had a Butler bedroll for my trip back to my old summer camp, Camp Robbinswold, in two weeks. Instead, I’ll be packing a mouldering down bag purchased from Eddie Bauer in the vintage days when EB was still a venerable, Northwest outfitter (w/a brick and mortar, Spokane, Washington storefront).

Let me know if you know of anyone who has actually tested out one of the Butler bags in a real world, outdoor location. I searched the Butler dealer list and found a retail outlet, Salem Tent and Awning, worthy of its own future archival fieldtrip.

Heavy duty brass zipper

Sewn in end ropes

Cinch straps

Marine canvas carrying case
Just saw new link to this US made bag by Wiggy’s on Rivendell Bicycle Works site (great source for highly curated camping and cycling supplies). According to the Riv blurb. Wiggy makes bags for the US military.

Archival Safari

August 3rd, 2009

Tom Baxter, Explorer

To Have and Have Not (Hawks 1944). Overstuffed safari jacket signals villainy.


Filson Bush Jacket for women (sans belt)

Filson Japan

90s Filson catalog (discontinued poplin pants and shorts)

Matching Kalahari shorts and Safari dress


In Swiss gabardine

Absence of Malice (Pollack 1981)

After several catch and release episodes, I finally ordered and removed the tags from a Filson Safari jacket for women. I’ve been a longtime admirer of the safari jacket. I’m a fan of its timeless design, warm weather wearability and cotton poplin fabric (the waxed cotton of August). If I could update the safari jacket styling, I might shorten the cut, remove the epaulets and delete the belt. For now, however, I’m wearing the belt buckled behind my back just to soften the Karen Blixen look by a few clicks. Wear test report to follow.