Wishful Filson

by Lesli Larson

I’ve been wishful holiday shopping for discontinued Filson plaids. In Japan, you can purchase a classic Mackinaw cruiser, vest or matching hat in blue x black buffalo plaid, a fabric that was discontinued by Filson years ago. When I emailed Filson to ask about a custom order in the blue x black plaid, I was told that the fabric would not be available for domestic orders (though lap blankets and tote bags can still be found at Portland Filson).

As a consolation, I’ve been browsing the pages of a Filson catalog I reprinted here last summer (when I was more fixated on poplins and cruiser vests). The catalog taunts me with lost opportunities to own Filson garments that were the best of their kind–the forestry cloth hiking trousers and matching cruiser coat, for example. My latest nostalgic longing is for the red and black plaid cape coat (now only available in predictable greens and greys). I expect that many of the garments pictured below might be resurfacing in Japanese web shops in next year.

Blue x Black Mackinaw Coat

Red x Black Mackinaw Pants

Red x Black Cape Jacket

Original Hunting Vest

I’m including photos of the the original Filson cotton duck hunting vest, a favorite Filson design. The vest has a wonderfully arcane pocketing system and fits (me) like an A-frame tent. It was discontinued a few years ago but brought back by custom request. However, my understanding is that sales remain slow. So, please consider supporting the archival garment cause by purchasing one in 2010.

Japan Plaid

15 thoughts on “Wishful Filson”

  1. That Filson catalog was the first one I ordered from, about 20 years ago. I missed my chance for the serge pants. Ah well, they wouldn’t fit me now anyway. My wish is that Filson bring back that material and use it to make something like their Tin Cloth Cruiser Vest. Wise up Filson, forget the leather covered paper weights!

  2. I have collected 3 forestry cloth jackets and they are amongst my most valued of items. I hope I have a lifetime supply.

  3. I believe you can purchase these through the Japanese distributor for Filson:


    Jealous of the collection of forestry cloth jackets. I owned two (both found at thrifts). But they were so over-sized for me I ended up reselling them on ebay. My favorite was the version with the enameled Filson snaps. Best Filson garment ever. I still have some matching trousers that were retailored to fit.

    In my dream Archival Clothing x Filson collaboration, I’d bring back the forestry cloth garments (though I think the original mills are long gone).

  4. Is it me or does the red/black plaid Mackinaw at the bottom fit better than normal (ie not like a tent)? I tried a 36 and it was too big, but it looks like you can get a 34 in Japan. Any idea if I can get a 34 in the US, maybe direct from Filson?

  5. Been holding out on the original hunting vest for years. Maybe I’ll change that soon.

    Although I don’t know what I’d use it for, as I already have a turkey vest, and this vest looks kinda warm for a dove hunt.

  6. The waistlines seem vaguely retro, too…
    These catalog scans are great — I think they’re from the same catalog I requested on the basis of the Essential Whole Earth Catalog review. I lacked the wherewithal to order then, alas, and have had it only intermittently since.

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  8. I was in the Seattle store today and I was told they’re reissuing the forestry cloth Cruiser this fall as a limited item. Definitely jumping on that.

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