Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘Alden’

Shopping from The ShoeMart for Alden Seconds

November 25th, 2016

On the less refined end of the SMU spectrum, here are some recent offerings of Alden seconds from TheShoeMart. In case you don’t know about this service, TheShoeMart quietly sells Alden seconds. New inventory notifications used to go out via email but now you can now browse listings online if you sign up for a special ShoeMart account. Even when I’m not in the marketing for Aldens, I love to browse the Alden seconds in search of  SMUs you won’t likely find in shops like Unionmade, Context or Leffot. I myself shop the list for hard-to-source Aldens in smaller sizes (like 5.5 and 6) most likely en route to Japan. Here are some recent finds:







Earlier Archival blog posts on Aldens:

Field Trip to The Moulded Shoe in NYC

Alden SMUs from Japan

Alden Surgical Boots


Archival Field Trip – The Moulded Shoe (NYC)

November 7th, 2013

During my last visit to NYC  I took a much anticipated field trip to Moulded Shoe, a historic , family owned  shoe store in midtown.  I first read about Moulded Shoe in menswear forums discussing Modified Last Alden shoes and boots.  As it turns out, Moulded Shoe is one of only a handful of places in the world still selling hard to source, Modified Last Aldens (Anatomica in Paris is another ).  For curious parties, the Alden Modified Last is an older, orthopedic last that is designed to more closely follow the contours of the foot.  As someone with wide feet and a low arch, I love the fit of shoes made on the Modified Last.  Some have commented that the Modified Last gives shoes a slightly bulbous or clown like shape.  I for one prefer the extra degree of stylization that the modified last brings to shoes.  During my visit, I tried on some snappy  v-tip lace ups in Horween and black calfskin in the modified last.  Ultimately, what’s great about Moulded Shoe is that it is like going back in time (to childhood) to shop for shoes.   Super friendly clerks (the shop owners) measure your feet with a Brannock device and lace up the shoes for you.  While I was testing v-tip  fit on the ancient carpeting,  I took in the visuals of the shop.   Shoe boxes were piled in high towers to the ceiling..  Hand lettered signs communicated store policies and prices.  The shop was busy with customers from Japan as well as elderly ladies from the neighborhood dropping off repairs.  Thanks to the kind gents at Moulded Shoe for letting me take obsessive snaps during my visit.
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In a recent post on Japan only Aldens, I posted a number of photographs from a Japanese site that sells many special Alden make ups built on the Modified Last.

Shopping from Japan – Alden SMUs

October 2nd, 2013

Since Winn Perry closed, I’ve looked to Japan for the best examples of Alden SMUs.  What I love about the Alden market in Japan is that most of the shoes are sized down to fit women or gents with smaller feet.  Here are some recent offerings from The Lakota House.  Unlike some more aggressive custom Alden smus (Tanker boots and heavy treads), The Lakota House Aldens utilize subtle leather swaps and unique outsoles.
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Archival Field Trip – San Francisco

May 30th, 2013


Rancourt mocs at Taylor Stitch
  Random encounters with Rivendell


Sound level monitoring

 Mister Self Edge

 Harris tweed castoff

Sushi Boat

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? 


Archival Field Trip – Los Angeles

March 4th, 2013
A few snap views from last weekend’s jaunt to Los Angeles.  For the prequel, check out my LA Field Trip from 2012.
Friend Mimsy sporting an Archival Plain Musette
Blair, proprietor of General Quarters 
Signature, discharge printed kerchiefs
Archival Rucksack on display
Exemplary ensemble – Self Edge LA

 Self Edge x Flat Head denim after 5 years of wear

Out of the past – Mimsy mural print

 Retrospecs at Shelter Half

Tradesmen co-founders, Ruben and Doug
Wrist bling
 Tradesmen by M. Nii pop up shop

Archival baggage on display
California teen style via Lord Love a Duck (Axelrod 1966)
Wishful shopping – Alden Tassel Loafers (size 6.5!)

De Rigueur McIntosh sound system – Unionmade

More McIntosh – Mohawk General Store
Breakfast sandiwch – Salt’s Cure
Shirley Bassey – Oscars telecast
Feal Mor – Sadly closed on Sundays
Last minute media – Scotty McTavish McDougal McCardo

Eugene re-entry – Sundance Natural Foods

Archival Reissue – Alden Workman’s Oxford

December 26th, 2012

Several years ago, friend Jordan Saylor of Winn Perry offered a limited, special make up of Alden Indy shoes in a Workman Oxford style. To this day I regret not placing an order.   I love Alden Indy boots but I prefer the low cut style and double water loc sole used for Jordan’s special make ups. 

For the record, Archival customer Matt Bernier sent me some snaps of his Winn Perry sourced Alden Workman Oxfords – recently resoled with my favorite, Dainite rubber soles.   Until another Alden stockist offers a pre-order for the Indy oxfords, I’ll wishfully shop from Matt’s photographs.

Not available for sale – Alden Workman’s Oxfords (via Winn Perry)

Matt’s Aldens – recently resoled with Dainite rubber soles by B. Nelson
Beautiful red Dainite soles – via Leather Soul blog

Archival Uniform – November Edition

November 19th, 2012

Per Archival Resolution #9, here is the November edition of my Archival uniform. While our resolutions recommend that you come up with a signature uniform that you wear once a week, mine has seen active use on multiple days.  

Archival striped tee women and Centralia multiweave cardigan.  Here, per usual, I follow my own rule of wearing at least two layers on top.  In another month, I might add a kerchief or a fine gauge wool scarf as a neck garnish. 

Engineered Garments Upland Vest.   Inspired by the Japanese, I love to finish my uniform with a vintage Upland style hunting vest (the pocketing doubles as a purse).  Since I’m so small, it’s hard to source an authentic hunting vest that fits properly so I opt for updated versions – sized for women and petite gents – by Rising Sun, Post O’Alls or Engineered Garments.

Red Cloud & Co. Denim.  Howard Gee, the denim guru at Ab Fits, introduced me to Red Cloud premium denim made in mainland China.  The Red Cloud cut is close to a pair LVC Levis 1947, my go to denim on alternative outfit days.

Alden Cape Cod Beefroll Penny Loafer.  Not much visual variation here.  I wear Alden Cape Cod loafers – in black and brown – nearly everyday of the year.  My statement on loafers.

If you have a signature uniform, please post your notes to our Archival Facebook page or send me a note at  I’d love to repost more visual examples (other than mine) on the AC blog. 

Shopping from ebay: Alden surgical boots

February 20th, 2012

Of all the Alden models, the surgical or monkey style boot style is my favorite. Sold as part of Alden’s line of medical footwear, these boots are overshadowed by their more popular work boot brethern (aka the Indy boot).

Truth be told, I’ve never seen the Alden surgical boots in person. I just like how they photograph. Here are some handsome looking deadstock pairs from Japan:

I love how they resemble vintage, high top, lace to toe athletic shoes from the 1920s:

Alden surgical boots are difficult to source. Alden has stopped customizing shoes for individual customers. Here’s a rare ebay auction for a pair in size 6. Part of my Archival project is to sift and capture more ebay photos of archival finds (per Reference library‘s “items I did not buy”). I love the random backdrops (bed sheets!) and attempts at Muybridge scientific documentation that appear in auctions for personal artifacts. This is a good example:

Archival Field Trip: Seattle (July 2010)

August 2nd, 2010

U-District farmers market

Paseos (Ballard)

Ballard Nautical Supplies

Japanese magazines at Uwajimaya

Sara, Bruce and I took a quick trip up to Seattle. Our primary mission was to visit friend Eliz and select buttons for our shawl collar sweater project. Unfortunately, a highway breakdown delayed out trip by a half day as we waited out an alternator repair in Winlock, Washington. (Happily, this permitted us to catch up on Hollywood gossip courtesy of Payneless Auto’s well stocked library of Entertainment Weekly magazines).

While we had to postpone our trip to Centralia Knitting Mills, we did make it up to Seattle in time to enjoy salted caramel ice cream with friend/DJ/author Kurt Reighley who is about to go on the road to promote his new book, United States of Americana. Saturday, we visited The Field House and some of our usual to-dos: eateries, farmers markets, movies, bike shops and coffee shops. Here’s our new favorite Double Americano companion:

Effi (Scottish Oat Cake) @ Macrina Bakery