Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘barbour’

Shopping from the Past: Barbour Solway Jacket

December 3rd, 2011
Barbour Solway on cover of 1967/68 catalog (via Thornproof)

I stopped receiving Barbour print catalogs several years ago. Browsing the online web shop, I have a hard time tracking the ever shifting Barbour lines (Beacon, Sporting, Gold Label, Heritage, Lifestyle, Ladies, etc). Favorite styles are disappearing behind new Barbours with printed linings, updated silhouettes and Steve McQueen plotlines. Many of the Barbours made from the original, “thornproof” 8 oz waxed cotton have been discontinued. Missing from the Barbour line for several years is one of my all time favorites, the Solway Zipper Jacket.

In its day, the Solway was one of Barbour’s flagship models. Here’s a nice illustrated summary of the Solway’s principal features which include three outside patch pockets, inside game pocket, wind cuffs and a buckle belt.

The Solway zip was designed as both a shooting and “fowling” jacket. It was quickly adopted for for general country wear.


Per the 1964/65 catalog patter, the Solway is well suited for use in cold, damp conditions: “The quest for the ideal coat is over, invincibly waterproof, able to stand up to endless hours of rain and not let one drop through.” Of all the Barbours, the Solway appears to have inspired the most testimonials. My favorite is the story of the gent whose Solway protected him from an enraged Zebra.

The buckle belt adds a dash of style
In 1961, the Solway zipper jacket had spinoff models including the Solway Smock

Here are a few historic examples of Solway Zipper jackets captured from ebay:





There seems to be a disturbing trend towards having the belt and belt loops removed on Solway jackets. Recent ebay auctions list this as a garment feature. Since this is a signature feature of the Solway, I strongly advise against this practice.


Loopless, beltless Solway Zipper Jackets

ST, in Solway, tramping through the W. 18th wetlands

I missed this special close out sale on Solway jackets via Sierra Trading Post. Ignominious end to a coat that once graced a catalog cover.

Archival Keeperwear

October 19th, 2011
Shopping from 2001: Barbour Keeperwear Jacket

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

Waistcoat version also available

A decorative pin for your lapel (via ebay)

Shopping from the movies: Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982)

June 24th, 2011

Some films are better watched on fast forward or reproduced as film stills. Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982) is just such a movie — playing out like an Ingmar Bergman domestic drama populated by Woody Allen characters. While we’re asked to focus on the dissolving marriage of Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, one’s eye cannot help but wander to the the family’s shared taste in classic clothing: wonderful cotton plaids, knits, woolens and jackets sourced (perhaps) from venerable brands like Barbour, Woolrich and Pendleton.

I’ve reproduced a few stills for reference:


Rugby stripes and heritage garb for kids

Knit cardigans

Plaids (and pencil sharpeners)

Barbour Solway Zipper jackets (and a fetching duffle)

Woolrich jac-shirts

Down vests
Pendleton blanket robes

Cotton knit caps

And a few a household accessories:

Rotary phones

Backyard tennis courts
Family station wagons

Shopping from the past: Barbour jackets

February 2nd, 2011
Aspirational layering (zippers, webbing, waxed cotton and wool)

For a little winter cheer, I’m reprinting pages from my favorite Barbour print catalog from the early 1990s. Compared to current offerings, the catalog presents a minimalist collection of jackets. Each has a specific, distinctive feature making it unique to the line. Once you memorize this catalog you’ll be able to distinguish between models based on fabric weight (light or heavyweight waxed cotton), lining (wool or cotton), pocketing (size, type and placement), length and snap gusseting (none, double or single). Synthetics are non-existent save for the quilted waistcoats and shooting jackets meant to be worn as jacket liners. The catalog’s visual presentation of the product line is exemplary. Female models are mixed into the story world without overly feminizing their looks. Almost every jacket is paired with a signature bag and breed of dog. For instance, I’m thrilled to see that the Moorland, a Barbour favorite, gets the Weimaraner treatment. Sadly, many of my favorite, more exotic models have disappeared from view including the Solway Zip, Longshoreman smock, Northumbria and Spey wading jacket. Let’s see if we can pester Barbour into bringing a few back in broader size range.

Take a look.

An all time favorite

The pockets on the Border are vast

Proposing a Barbour reissue in sizes down to XXS






Synthetic exceptions
I’d like to recreate this bag tangle with my own collection

Field Bag Round-Up

November 16th, 2010


As I type, our sewing contractors are working on our first run of Archival Clothing Field Bags. Just like last time, we’ll preface the introduction of a new product with a round-up of existing bags.



We’ve always loved Brady Bags, and this small trout bag has served Lesli faithfully for years. We like the heavy laminated duck, the fine quality webbing, and the convenient pocketing. The side-mounted shoulder strap also ensures a comfortable, close carry.



We really are Filson devotees, but we’ve found their Field Bag series to be challenging. This example has been used heavily by the Archival family for 15 years. Though it’s built like a truck from top notch materials, we’ve found a few drawbacks. Abundant use of heavy twill, bridle leather and brass mean that the bag is heavy and bulky, even when unpacked. We prefer webbing shoulder straps to leather, as web is softer and more comfortable (and negates the need for a separate strap pad). Attaching the straps on the back panel means that the bag tends to flop downwards rather than hug the user’s back. And a panel of extra fabric around the bag’s opening keeps rain out, but also makes it harder to load and unload your gear.


One of our favorite bags, this Hunting World Safari Today is comfortable and convenient (there are two pockets on the inside). Of course, it’s no longer available, and it doesn’t fit laptops or much more than a half-day’s worth of gear.


Though we love the hand-knotted fishing net on this old Chapman game bag, we had to admit that its utility is limited in daily use, as fingers get caught and small objects vanish instantly. We’ll keep this one around for hunting squirrels, but we left the net off of our own Field Bag.


So surrounded by examples, both material and visual, we set off to design a workhorse shoulder bag that would equally serve an urban professional or a dedicated fisherman. Our requirements:

– Unquestionably durable construction
– A strap configuration that provides for a comfortable carry
– Useful pocketing while keeping the layout as minimal as possible
– Plenty of room for laptops
– Protection from the elements
– No features or finish that compromise function or unduly raise price (i.e. abundant leather trim)
– As with all of our products, domestic materials and manufacture to the best of our ability.


Results to be announced soon!



Archival Review: Shooting Waistcoats

September 25th, 2010

Try UK/European country clothing brands for top quality wool and tweed garments this fall. Companies like Hoggs of Fife, Barbour, Musto, Le Chameau, Chrysalis, Hucklecote, Purdey and Beretta produce practical, beautiful country clothing from best quality materials (mostly in their traditional country of origin).

In the fall, the waistcoat functions as a transitional wardrobe item, moving the user from bare armed summer to multisleeved winter. The vest allows freedom of movement while providing some protection from the elements. In contrast to the standard nylon puffy version, we love the tailored look of wool and waxed vests. Since they are designed for rugged use in the field, we know that they will last for ages. Archival Clothing endorses garments with well placed, well thought out pocketing. The pockets found on the shooting waistcoat, engineered to carry heavy shells, are my absolute favorites.

Here are a few of my favorite waistcoats, some within my pricepoint (Hoggs of Fife) and others exhibited as purely aspirational eye candy (Purdey). Most of the brands shown here offer waistcoats (and country clothing) for both men and women.

Barbour Westmoreland waistcoat (Archival Clothing favorite)

Austerity option:Hoggs of Fife waxed waistcoast

Musto Technical Tweed Waistcoat

Musto Luxury Tweed Waistcoat for women

Le Chameau Balmoral tweed shooting waistcoat

Beretta St. James vest

Nothing heavier in the pockets than a smartphone and small change

Shopping from 2004

Archival Game-Hawking

December 5th, 2009

by Lesli Larson



Game-hawking might be an archival hobby worth reviving. In Eugene, even my dental hygienist raises chickens in a backyard coop. Why not expand fowl-keeping to include birds that fetch their own dinners? At minimum, game-hawking provides us with new possibilities for heritage ensembles for 2010. Archival files show a promising range of outfits roughly based on the gamekeeper’s wardrobe of tweeds, tall boots and jaunty caps. Excessive, protective layering–even on warmer days–is advisable to guard against underbrush and misdirected talons. Dress shirts and ties are encouraged. I leave sartorial takes on the falconer’s gauntlet up to the individual.


Here are some vintage images of the game-hawking club at Oxford University. In this case, I will not be shopping from the club’s Medieval falconry garb:





Who can resist a sport that requires an extra set of accessories for the companion animal?

Traditional hawk furniture

Falconry in film:

A Canterbury Tale (Powell and Pressburger)

STP Salvage (12/4/09)

November 29th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

Here are some recent Filson items on offer through Sierra Trading Post (my source for archival imagery of discontinued Barbour, Filson, John Partridge, Gloverall and Beretta). This month, several styles of waxed cotton shelter cloth jackets are on the chopping block.

If I were the right size, I’d buy the cotton poplin breeze jacket or waxed cotton bomber.

From this selection, I’m sorry to see Filson discontinue their original line of merino socks. The newer models are perfectly functional but incorporate a techno-knit grid pattern that’s visible above the shoe line (if you wear loafers or oxfords).

Since I’m providing these images for visual reference in ten years, I offer no guarantees on sizing or product availability.

Wool Hunting Cap

Weekender Sweater

Original Wool Shirt

Sierra Windbreaker

Shelter Cloth Bomber

Waterfowl Upland Hunting Jacket

Clockwise: Foul Weather Jacket; Bush Jacket; All-Season Raincoat; Mackinaw Cruiser

Shelter Cloth Hunting Vest & Timber Moleskin Jacket Liner

Original Merino Wool Socks


Addendum: Some snazzy Barbour Berwick wool breeks that would be perfect for your next tweed ride:

Barbour Berwick Tweed Breeks

Packing from Archival Clothing

November 18th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

I’m preparing for a brief field trip up to Seattle. I’ll be visiting friends and checking out Blackbird’s pop-up Ballard store, The Field House.

Rather than packing the usual uniform (Levi’s, loafers and St. James sweaters), I’m sourcing my wardrobe from garments and accessories previously featured on Archival Clothing. Although I’d love to say that I’m bringing all USA-made goods, my selections for this trip are mainly UK brands . My hypothetical wardrobe features shoes by Crockett and Jones, perfectly tailored blazers and knickers from Holland & Holland and jackets by Beretta, Barbour and Hoggs of Fife (a jacket for every Northwest weather condition). At the moment, my shopping options for top quality, nicely fitting shirts for women is limited to my paper doll Holland & Hollands and a thrifted JCrew haberdashery shirt (not pictured). Please send along future packing suggestions for Gitman Bros. or Our Legacy type shirts sized for women.

Inspired by this 1919 demonstration of transformative wardrobes, I’m trying to identify a single clothing item that would generate multiple travel outfits (from Thursday through Sunday).

From formal clothing to sports wear in no time (Nationaal Archief)

Here’s what I’ve packed so far. I still need to edit my selections down to a single jacket and carry-all:

Barbour Urban Transport jacket

Hoggs of Fife & Beretta Maremmana jackets

Holland & Holland knickers, blazers and shirting

Crockett and Jones lace-up ankle boots and brogues

Brady & Hunting World travel bags

For some reason, one of my favorite travel bag brands, Bertram Mann, lacks a web presence and produces zero results in a Google image search. I’ll leave this space blank to illustrate the Bertram Mann weekender bag I’ll be using to pack up these outfits.

Vintage Sportswomen

July 19th, 2009

Suede jacket (“a dozen uses in its warmth and lightness”)

Safari in sneakers

At the Duchess County show


Golf and Yachting

Watching the trotters

Upland shooting attire

Carrots to her horse

Archival Pageant

Campwear (“following a code and creed of dress”)

Sweater, shorts and loafers

Holland and Holland

Here is Marion Taylor’s report on some 1920 shopping options for the sportwoman looking for country clothing and attractive accessories (apologies for the June in January focus of her article).

Aside from Filson, Barbour and Beretta (and for a privileged demographic, Holland & Holland), who is minding the store for the current generation of archival sportswomen?

In the area of footwear, I’m happy to report that British Sporting Ltd still carries a scotchgrain boot for women by Crockett and Jones. Full country clothing selection, including Crockett and Jones, and Barbour, available here.