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.
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.
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
Original Wool Shirt
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:
One of the main projects of this blog is to create an online visual archive of what I would consider “near vintage” American outdoor clothing & European country clothing. My sources are online catalogs, Japanese websites, flickr, motion pictures, other blogs, direct visual documentation and my own personal archive of clothing, bags, catalogs, and related ephemera (old leather samples from Russell Moccasin, tweed samples from Hebden Cord, Ventile cloth samples from Hilltrek, etc). I’m less interested in what is considered stylish at the moment although recent news items suggest that my obsessions are moving back into the mainstream.
I do not sell clothing although I do see myself in part as a chirpy, unpaid spokesmodel for many of these companies–at least the ones still in business. As it were–many of the brands I do admire have either gone out of business (Hebden Cord, Lewis Creek, Frost River, Atlantic Rancher) or have drifted (to varying degrees) from their original, classic, US made product offerings (Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Bass, LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, North Face, Levis, and on). As much as possible, I’ll use my blog to both document the golden years of these lost brands and provide interested parties with visual examples of current items worthy of inclusion in the future archive. Until out-of-date print catalogs and company websites are archived and made available through a public, centralized, searchable database, I’ll use my blog as a way to curate and preserve an Archival Clothing product line out of the visual continuum of online ephemera.
The irony of my project is that I do not own or cannot wear most of items documented on this blog–primarily because they are only produced in men’s sizes. My long term mission is to advocate for the creation of “heritage brands” in scaled down (not “feminized”) versions available for wear by Men and Women.
I’m a huge fan of Sierra Trading Post because they’re the only online retailer I know that sells many of my preferred, current brands at a reasonable price point: Filson, Barbour, Beretta, Icebreaker, Ibex, John Partridge, McAlister, Woolyback, etc. The site is terrific because they tell you a garment’s country of original (not just whether it was made in the US or “imported”) and also because most of the items they sell have been discontinued (which means that these items are no longer available for direct sale by the original manufacturer and more poignantly, will eventually disappear from view). So, as a reference resource for clothing images–STP is terrific! I’m going to start collecting and curating an image bank of the STP website images since so many of these items will disappear once stock sells out. Today, I’m showcasing some interesting experiments by Filson in camouflage waxed cotton, a nice Moleskin bomber jacket, Filson loafers (a short lived experiment), “The Most Dangerous Game” shooting jacket (which I never actually saw pictured in the original Filson catalog) and some experimental attempts at a more “modernized” hunting jacket (additional of more loops and clasps). I do not personally own any of these items but in the visual history of Filson product offerings it will be nice to go back and review these examples. I’m curious to know why were these items discontinued: poor sales, costly materials, design or fit problems or too close in style to something else already in the product line?