Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘shoppind from the past’

Archival Undergarments

December 19th, 2012
Best quality shirts and shorts from 1949

I love brands that draw inspiration from original, specific historical examples.  The product range for Choctaw Ridge, a company specializing in traditional undergarments, looks like it was extracted from the pages of the Montgomery Wards 1949 catalog.  The star of the Choctaw line up is their traditional, yoke front boxer which has been updated for 2012 with a shorter inseam and lavish Japanese fabrics – from lightweight cotton to seersucker to  linen.  Here is a quick snap view of the complete Choctaw range.  As the Wards catalog might report, all garments are well tailored for wearing comfort.


Vintage inspired Choctaw Ridge box 
If you are still looking for last minute gifts for the holidays, the folks at Choctaw have forwarded along a coupon code for their heavyweight thermals and drawers.  Use code: ACCR15OFF

Archival Resolutions 2012

January 1st, 2012

1. Decide that quality matters and pay for it. In the end, it will save you time and money.

2. Before you buy, be selective. Scrutinize items for build quality, fit, finish, functionality and lasting style. If an item is not perfect, catch and release it.

3. Do more with less. Add a few key pieces to your wardrobe and wear them until they dissolve.

4. Shop from yourself and from thrift shops. Repurpose strategic items from the past.

5. Support apparel companies that manufacture their products in the US. Buy products still proudly made in their traditional country of origin.

6. Contact manufacturers and let them know what they should offer. If you’re a woman and you love classic heritage styles, ask them to offer their products in your size.

7. Find out what products are manufactured in your region. Visit factories and publish reports.

8. Wear wool and linen year round. Experiment with summer weight woolens, and heavier linens.

9. Come up with a signature uniform. Wear it once a week.

10. Read historical newspapers and magazines. Learn about lost brands, fashions, and manufacturing traditions.

Shopping from Japan: Dry Bones Pharaoh Coat

September 17th, 2011

Dry Bones is a terrific clothing company out of Tokyo, Japan. While their primary focus is on denim, Dry Bones also makes beautiful, 50’s inspired outerwear. My favorite is this insulated, wool tweed car coat (google unreliably translates the model name as “Pharaoh“). I love the two-tone flecked wool, exposed 2-way zip and knit ribbed collar and cuffs. The inside of the coat looks as stylish as the outside. This is one of those pieces that absolutely looks like it has been shopped from past.

Good news for women. Dry Bones also sells a line for women. Last year, I picked up this pin striped coverall jacket via rakuten (first spotted at Self Edge in SF). But, o my, the offerings for this year look a little less heritage themed.

Shopping from 1933: LL Bean

August 5th, 2011

I just received my LL Bean Spring 1933 catalog in the mail (egregious delivery delays!). I’m forwarding along to Archival readers in need of last minute moccasin sandals, pack baskets, tackle kits, Maine fishing coats, tobacco pouches or fly rod outfits for their August camps. To order your goods, complete the form below and send at once to LL Bean, Freeport Maine.

Place your order here:

“no explanation or excuses required for returning an item”

Shopping From The Present: CHINO ALERT

December 30th, 2010

Heads up, chino lovers:

Context Clothing is blowing out the exceptional Dickies 1922 Collection trousers at half-price. See our thorough review. Highly recommended, if you aren’t looking for a slim fit.

Also, the gent on eBay with a container full of vintage Hunting World clothing is still selling those terrific chinos for only $25. Don’t pass these up! UPDATE – from our experience (5 pairs between the two of us), the brown chinos are made in the USA, and the khakis are made in China.

Instead of stocking up more on these great garments, I’ll shop from myself and keep dreaming about Patagonia re-issuing my beloved, slim-fitting Stand Up Pant from the early 1990s in the same 8oz Cramerton Twill as the above Dickies (and making them in the USA).

Evidence of ideal trouser

Archival Essential: Wool Blankets

November 24th, 2010

We love woolen garments and accessories. We obsess over pure new wool. We prefer wool over almost any other fabric because of its warmth and durability and because it retains its natural beauty over its long life. We believe, and can testify from experience, that an investment in wool pays off generously. Wool blankets are essential this time of year. As temperatures drop and you start feeling the chill, add a blanket layer to your bed or pull a blanket over your lap while you’re sitting on the couch or in the car. Wrap blankets around your kids (or your parents). A personal sized wool blanket or throw is a lasting gift. It makes a great picnic blanket (for those of you in temperate climes). Kids can take a magic carpet ride on a wool throw, or pitch a cozy tent in the living room. Pets also enjoy sleeping on wool. The favorite spot of a certain cat we know is the folded blanket at the end of the bed. (The dog would be on the blanket too, if only the cat would let him.)

LL Bean Fall 1942 – for auto, hammock or stadium seat (Oregon green & gold n/a)

Bean Blanket circa Fall 1953 (imported fiber!)

Pendleton offerings

The price of the Pendleton motor robe in the 1967 Eddie Bauer catalog above is $14.95. The 2010 price, adjusted for inflation is $98. By comparison, the Pendleton Lambswool Throw (the modern day equivalent of the motor robe) currently sells for $78. That’s less than its adjusted 1967 cost. Wool does not cost more than it did in the past. Blankets made of synthetics are cheap, so we perceive wool as expensive.

Wool was the long-standing fabric of choice for airplane blankets, outdoor blankets and bedding. United Airlines blankets, for example, were milled by Faribault, a company that recently went out of business. (Look for Faribault blankets on eBay.) Some woolen mills that are still in operation are: Amana Woolen Mills (IA), Bemidji Woolen Mills (MN) and Johnson Woolen Mills (VT). All of them make excellent wool blankets.

We added MacAusland’s wool throws to our store this fall. MacAusland’s Woolen Mills on Prince Edward Island in Canada has been making blankets since 1932. We love the diagonal striping (tweed) on these throws, the variety of colors, and the softness of the wool.

MacAusland’s still makes all of its blankets “from scratch”. The wool is sourced locally from the Atlantic Provinces. It is cleaned, carded and spun into yarn onsite. MacAusland’s is the only remaining Woolen Mill in Atlantic Canada that makes its own blankets. The business is family-owned and a pleasure to work with. MacAuslands also makes bed blankets that can be ordered through us or directly from the manufacturer. They take only about 3 weeks to make.

Blankets coming off the loom at MacAusland’s Woolen Mills

Remember that you can repurpose vintage woolens from EBAY or ETSY, provided they have been well cared for. Here’s a few that I ordered recently. Keywords: wool, blanket, vintage, throw (lap blanket). Look for offering from heritage brands such as Faribo (or Faribault), Amana, Pendleton, Strathdown, Lagoda, Hudson Bay and others to find the best quality blankets. If you don’t currently have one in your car, or at home this is a great way to stock up without making a big investment.

Archival Industry: William Doxford and Sons

October 27th, 2010

by Tom Bonamici
A friend of Archival Clothing pointed me towards this incredible set of images showing the plant of William Doxford and Sons in the late 1950s. Follow the link to get more history on Wm. Doxford, one of the biggest British shipyards of the 20th century. I’m wowed by the scale of the operations here – just look at the size of the lathes!

I’ve done flame cutting, too – on 0.5″ steel. That slab above must be 12″ thick!

Please see Old Town for outfitting before your in-person field trip. Ideally, please schedule your visit between 1955 and 1962. Wm. Doxford was shuttered in 1980.

Archival Knitwear: Devold of Norway

October 16th, 2009

Devold Blue Marine sweater w/zip

Devold Blue Marine sweater w/crew neck

Devold Nansen sweater w/high neck

Devold Islender Sweater

I love the look of SNS Herning knitwear, but if you need economical Scandinavian woolens for your ice-cap expedition, try Devold of Norway.

I’ve been using Devold Aquaduct baselayers for cycling for years. In colder conditions, and in the rain, I wear mattress layers of Devold plus a light wind vest. I’d rather get damp than overheat in a fully sleeved shell. Aquaduct knits can also be worn off the bike as a spread-collar type top layer in the style of Alexander of Fanny and Alexander (Bergman 1982).

For arctic conditions, I recommend one of Devold’s Blue Marine (Blaatroie) sweaters. Worn by North Sea fisherman in some past era, blue marine sweaters are knit from pure new wool using tightly knit worsted yarns. The sweaters are super durable (non-pilling) and work well for wear under waxed cotton jackets or vests. What I like best about the Blue Marine series is that they retain their original historical styling save for the patriotic addition of a Norwegian flag patches. That being said, here’s an example of a Devold nautical model I would not purchase from the past:

Devold Blue Marine w/zip and pockets

While I prefer shopping from the 19th century, Devold is offering a few “modern” tech woolens I might try. I’m a little unsure about the overarching look of the “Optimum” hoodie but I do like its use of a knit grid pattern and thumb loop holes. The optimum might make a nice addition to my post-apocalyptic layering system: