Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘uniforms’

Archival Jockey Silks

June 5th, 2012

I have a deep fondness for jockey silks. Unlike most sporting garb, the basic jockey’s uniform of jodphurs, cap and tunic has remained unchanged over time. Designed for legibility from a distance, the visual code of stripes, dots, hoops, sashes, crosses, chevrons and bold colors has a functional beauty that appeals to me in any media – from cigarette cards to a high definition broadcast of a triple crown race. If you squint, a snapshot of horses in the homestretch today doesn’t look that different than an image from the past. What has changed, of course, is the addition of advertising on the trousers and the use of more closely fitting, synthetic fabrics. In honor of the upcoming Belmont Stakes I’m reprinting these cigarette cards featuring ad free British horse racing colors from the 1930s.

From the Archives: Rugby Ephemera

September 28th, 2011

In honor of the World Cup, I’m reposting selections from Frederick Humbert’s awesome collection of historical rugby print ephemera. Humbert’s flickr catalog and blog, Rugby-Pioneers, include photographs, programs, cigarette cards, advertisements and even hand painted lantern slides of vintage rugby action. Even if you don’t follow rugby as a sport, study the photographs as a guide to looking stylish in a sports uniform (blazers and wool knits in lieu of track jackets and sweats).

Archival Jackets: Mister Freedom Biribi

May 21st, 2011

I’m always shopping for a jacket to complete my archival uniform. My preferred jacket possesses indoor-outdoor utility. It needs to be unlined w/open patch pockets and a high buttoning neck. Chore coats, forestry cloth cruisers and and engineer’s jackets work OK from Fall through Winter. But in Spring/Summer, I want something made from a summerweight fabric like cotton poplin or linen. Last year, I experimented with Safari jackets but could not pull off the belted waist and epaulets (epaulets should just disappear for a decade).

This Spring, I’m testing a Mister Freedom Biribi linen jacket. Based on French military work garb, the Biribi is constructed of new old stock French linens and vintage hardware and trims. The Biribi is one of the few work jacket styles that are being marketed to both men and women; it comes in sizes down to a slim 34. If you are interested in the jacket, email the helpful folks at Mister Freedom to check on availability.

Here are some catch and release snaps.

Here is Jing’s report on her striped Biribi jacket (via Hands on with X).

From the Archives: Women War Workers

March 17th, 2011
“Chippers.” Women war workers of Marinship Corp, 1942

The U.S. National Archives just released these terrific photos of female war workers from WW II. The images are part of NARA’s Women in WW II series. Original captions are included below.

U.S. Army nurses, newly arrived, line the rail of their vessel as it pulls into port of Greenock, Scotland, in European Theater of Operations.

Secretaries, housewives, waitresses, women from all over central Florida are getting into vocational schools to learn war work. Typical are these in the Daytona Beach branch of the Volusia county vocational school., 04/1942

Women man America’s machines in a west coast airplane factory, where the swing shift of drill press operators is composed almost entirely of women., 05/1942

Auxiliaries Ruth Wade and Lucille Mayo (left to right) further demonstrate their ability to service trucks as taught them during the processing period at Fort Des Moines and put into practice at Fort Huachuca, Arizona., 12/08/1942

With the grade and dexterity of a master dressmaker, this young woman fabricates “pup” tents for the expanding war army at the Langdon Tent & Awning Company., ca. 06/1941

Building assault boats for U.S. Marine Corps. by women workers., ca. 12/1941

Training in marksmanship helps girls at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, Calif., develop into responsible women. Part of Victory Corps activities there, rifle practice encourages girls to be accurate in handling firearms., 08/1942

Archival Football Uniforms

February 6th, 2011

Lawson Fiscus (one of the first professional football players)

Here’s a quick survey of exemplary historic football uniforms from the late 19th and early 20th century. The photos sum up my ideal of the perfect sports uniform: basic solid or striped tunics, all wool knit cardigans or pullovers and knickerized canvas duck trousers. Belts, lacing systems and leather boots complete the look. Although the uniforms are over a 100 years old, I propose they be adopted for modern use–by athletes and non-athletes alike. All the figures below could exit the field, ditch their metal cleats, and wear their outfits to work or campus. With a few rotating layers, one could have a single, signature uniform made from long wearing, best quality materials.

All images courtesy Library of Congress’ Flickr Photostream.

Shopping from Powell and Pressburger

December 11th, 2009

by Lesli Larson

Miss Smith and the soldier from Oregon

A Canterbury Tale
(Powell and Pressburger 1944) provides us with evidence that heritage clothing for women is not an impossibility. In a recent post to Valet, a 23 year old woman inquired about how she could wear “peacoats, slim pants, loafers, etc. without looking too boyish? Any brands you would recommend?” In response, Valet offered three suggestions: Boy. Band of Outsiders, Black Fleece and JCREW. Though a good start, we’d prefer to shop from smaller labels like Nigel Cabourn, Mister Freedom, Our Legacy, Opening Ceremony, Gitman Bros. and SNS Herning. Unfortunately, none of these brands offer collections for women (Engineered Garment’s ephemeral FWK line has yet to migrate West). Further, Valet advises “to mix in those boyish pieces with light touches of feminine charm.” If the reader had emailed Archival Clothing, I would have suggested she model her wardrobe after the Land Army Girl, Miss Alison Smith, from A Canterbury Tale. Note Miss Smith’s smart uniform of knee length woolen stockings, wide leather belt, brogues, sweater, plaid scarf and corduroy breeches.

Sweater tucked into pants. Above-elbow cuff.


Dress w/cartridge bag

Belted coveralls

Traditional Women’s Land Army uniform

Thanks to archival finder Robin E. for sending along the original recommendation for A Canterbury Tale.

Heritage military uniforms for women

May 21st, 2009

Auxilary Fire Service
Auxilary Territorial Service
Red Cross Officers’ Outdoor Uniform
Volunteer’s uniform in the A.T.S.
Auxilary Fire Service

Mechanised Transport Corps


Auxilary Air Force (Officer’s Uniform)

Women’s Voluntary Service

Land Army

From the archives of the Illustrated London News, here are some WWII uniforms for the women’s auxilary service (“its members attend to cooking–their most important work—stewarding, all kinds of clerical work, motor driving, coding, and also serve as telephonists”).

Some of these uniforms, and accessories, seem ready for re-issue by History Preservation Associates (“Linking You With the Past”). My personal favorite is the Land Army ensemble (buckets, brogues and breeks).


Air-raid shelter provisions

Mathematics in action