Soo Woolen Mills plaid surcoat
This vintage plaid mackinaw coat was made by the Soo Woolen Mills of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan immediately after WWII. It has a surcoat zipper attachment and length. The main zipper is a rare transitional talon- with a Talon marked stop box of the type used in the mid-late 1940s. The main zip has a square sided, square holed puller, a type used very briefly as they were transitioning between the square edged pullers with a small hole and round ended pullers with a larger hole. The pockets zip with bell shaped, round holed Conmar zippers. The overall cut of the coat is interesting, with its long rear pleat topped with triangle reinforcing stitching and a belted, buttoned back. Most plaid mackinaws were of very traditional designs which changed very little over the years. This particular Soo model was very modern and sport for the time it was made. It is lined in red flannel, and is marked young adult age/size 20, which going by the measurements, is about a men’s size 44 short.

Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length: 28″

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1950s Stetson Whippet
This vintage fedora hat was made by the John B. Stetson company in the mid 1950s. It is their iconic ” Whippet ” model, with a wide bound brim and a broad ribbon band. It has a brown leather sweatband with the dark style of imprint used briefly by Stetson in the mid 1950s. It is made at the “Royal Stetson” grade, and was sold by Silverwoods of Southern California for an original purchase price of $10.

Size: 7-1/8
Brim Width: 2-1/2″
Ribbon Width:1-5/8″
Crown Height: 5-1/2″

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NRA labeled Miller cowboy hat
This vintage cowboy hat was made in the early 1930s and was sold by Miller of Denver, Colorado. It is NRA (National Recovery Administration) tagged, which dates it manufacture between 1933 to 1935. Under the sweatband is a Lot number, of the type used by Stetson on their sweatbands. Comparing this number to others found on NRA tagged hats places this one on the early end of the 1933-35 spectrum. I addition to hats under their own name, Miller was a large distributer of Stetson hats. With a type of sweatband so far only known to be used by Stetson this could have been produced under license by Stetson for Miller. The reorder tag is of a generic type with no maker’s name, so it’s a bit of a mystery. The hat is marked XXXX quality, and has the gold “Miller Fine Hats Denver Colorado” bucking bronco logo embossed on the leather. The sweatband has a taped rear seam, and appears to have received very little wear.

Size: 6-7/8
Brim Width: 4″
Ribbon Width: 1″
Crown Height: 6-1/2″

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1940s Fitzgerald Special fedora
This vintage fedora was custom made in Boston by Fitzgerald hatters. I believe it dates from just after the war from the style, but the construction has a number of more typically pre-war details to it. The hat has a fancy pleated liner and a textured, unreeded sweatband. The hat has a teardrop crown, narrow brim binding and a fancy ribbon.

Size: 7-1/8

Here’s another from Fitzgerald, dating to the 1960s

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1930s AlPeru overcoat
This vintage overcoat was made in the late 1930s by Roger Williams from Alperu fabric and was sold by The Fair, either at their Chicago or Oak Park location. In the 1930s, these Alperu fabric overcoats retailed for $40. In today’s money, that’s the equivalent of a $650 coat. Despite the “Warmth Without Weight” slogan, this is quite a heavyweight coat. It is single breasted, with notch lapels, flapped patch pockets and half-cuffed sleeves. The coat is fully lined and has a vertical interior breast pocket.

I love all these brand names from the 1930s and 1940s.  Alperu.  Alpacama, Alpagora, IncaPaca, Algora, BalPaca, etc.

Chest (pit to pit): 24″(doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 20″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26″
Length: 44″

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1920s Wool A-1 jacket

This vintage jacket was made prior to 1926 in a wool A-1 style out of Hudson’s Bay point blankets.

In the early 1920s, a style of jacket emerged that would later come to be adapted into the A-1 flight jacket. This style had knit cuffs, a knit collar and a knit waistband, to keep of the wind and cold. It was produced in both wool and leather, and was marketed toward men who spent time out of doors- workmen and sportsmen. By the mid 1920s, the style started to evolve, with some makers dropping the knit collar for one in a shirt style made of the same material as the body. That variant, made in leather, later became the A-2 flight jacket. This jacket dates from the transitional period between the two. It has a waist length cut with a knit waistband and cuffs. It has a button front, as the separable bottomed zipper pioneered by Hookless Fastener, which allowed for zipper fronted jackets, would not go into production until 1930. Although most jackets of this style had flapped patch pockets, the positioning of them varied by maker and model. While some had them down towards the waistband in a setup now considered conventional, this one has them positioned midway up the chest.

The chinstrap detail is taken straight from workshirts of the period- constructed in the same way, with an extended collar stand with two buttonholes. The two tone nature of the red and black blanket material allows for a great two tone look, highlighting the pocket flaps and the collar.

The jacket is constructed from a three point sized Hudson’s Bay Company Point blanket. This material would have pushed this particular jacket into the top of the line position for this style. Jackets such as this made from HBC blankets were regularly double (or more) the cost of a heavyweight wool jacket of the same model and manufacturer. It was often an even pricier material option than the horsehide or capeskin leather options. The Hudson Bay blankets have a long and proud tradition in the history of rugged clothing for outdoorsmen. An icon of Canadian culture, the blankets at this time were made in England. The first mackinaw coats were tailored from then in 1780. Fur traders wore Capotes made from this fabric throughout the 19th century. Lumbermen of the late 19th and early 20th century prized the brightly colored coats as being the best on the market for warmth and durability. This one bears an early style label, before the “Reg. No.” was added to the bottom in 1926.

Chest (pit to pit): 27″ (doubled = 54″)
Shoulder to Shoulder: 23″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length (to bottom of knit): 27-1/2″


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These ads are from the 1930s, but give an idea of the pricepoint comparisons. In this period, they were frequently advertised alongside horsehide and mouton ” Grizzly ” jackets, and other such expensive and rugged garments.  photo 193606Stitch-Copy.jpg

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Pre-War R. Plankl loden mackinaw
This vintage coat was made in Austria before WWII by R. Plankl of Vienna. R. Plankl was founded in 1830, and is one of the oldest and most respected makers and dealers of loden wool goods in the world. While examples of their work from the 1960s and 1970s come on the market fairly regularly, it’s exceedingly rare to see anything from the 1920s or 1930s period.
This coat is made of high quality loden wool, with a nice nap to it. The front follows the basic layout of what in America was called the mackinaw coat. Double breasted, flapped pockets with slash handwarmers above. The sleeves have stylishly angled buttoned adjuster belts. The back of the coat is belted, with a deep pleat starting at the shoulders and continuing to the hem, for additional freedom of motion while wearing the coat. The coat is unlined in most of the body, with a double layer in the front and in the shoulders. There are two buttoned interior pockets. The label is of a style commonly seen in the 1920s and 1930s, with a black background and yellow text. The tag reads ” Wien / R. Plankl / I. Michaelerplatz 6″, and has a logo of a rucksack with crossed ice axes.

Chest (pit to pit): 26″ (doubled = 52″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 21″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26″
Length: 33″

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Score Sportswear blue leather cafe racer
This vintage leather jacket was made in Toronto by either Score Sporting Goods of by its successor, Shields Sportswear. Without the label, it’s hard to say which incarnation of Harry and Lorne Shields’s company made it. The jacket has the interesting collar of this maker- a short rounded stand collar with a single-snap chinstrap. Most makers made the snap tab as an extension of the collar stand, rather than a second piece. The separate chinstrap is more of a holdover from 1930s leather jacket design. Side adjuster belts are another early style holdover found on this design. The elbows are reinforced with a second layer of leather. There are zip sleeves to keep wind and dust out when riding. Zippers are mismatched, with Canadian made Acme and Lightning zips on the pockets and sleeves respectively. The front zipper is a replacement, with a YKK tape and a vintage Talon slider. The lining is long since missing. The blue leather of this jacket sets it apart in a sea of black and brown leather jackets, as if the distinctive and rugged design wasn’t enough.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length: 23-1/2″

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ClothCraft gray flannel sportcoat

This vintage gray flannel jacket was made in the 1950s by Joseph & Feiss under the ClothCraft label. The jacket bears a 1949 union label. It has a two button front, patch pockets, and a half lining.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25-1/2″
Length: 31″

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Block Sportswear corduroy jacket

This vintage jacket was made in California by Block Sportswear in the 1940s. It is brown narrow wale corduroy. It has a three button front and leather buttons. There are twin patch breast pockets and it is unvented. The jacket is fully lined.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to shoulder: 20″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26″
Length: 32″

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