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Monthly Archives: January 2013

This is one of the most gorgeous 1930s/40s tweed spotscoats I think I’ve ever owned. I wish it fit me! Sadly too big, so off for sale. It was made for Al Stein of Baltimore, MD, USA, and dates to the late 1930s or early 1940s. The herringbone weave tweed is ginger/orange in colour. Most of the buttons when I got it were replacements and mismatched. The one remaining one that seemed to be original was made of beautiful caramel-y orange corozo. so I sources a full set of corozo buttons in nearly the same colouration, and fitted them to the jacket. I also had to replace the sleeve liners, which were missing when I bought it. It also features working cuff buttons, and a relatively rare for the era centre vent to the bottom hem of the jacket rear. A truly awesome, and very rare indeed, vintage sportscoat.

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Moire, or watered, silk was used for neckties back in the day, but is certainly less frequently found than “normal” fabrics. You can see the watered effect on the tie below – it’s most obvious in the solid maroon parts – that was produced in the late 1920s or early ’30s. This pattern is typically produced by passing the silk through engraved copper rollers at high temperature and pressure (calendaring). It can also be produced by varying the tension of the warp and weft threads when the fabric’s being woven, but for the tie below I’d say it’s calendared fabric. The watered pattern is just too regular and repeated to be produced in the weaving. fabric woven in that way tends to have a highly irregular, random watered appearance. I have some ties made like this, and will post about them at some point. They (non-calendared moire ties) tended to be sold by only the very highest end makers.

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Haband is one of the real great American brands, and the made wonderful ties back in the day. The first blue and red leaves motif tie is quite an early Haband, the length, shape and construction suggest it’s probably fro the middle 1930s. The second one, with horse and hounds (hunting a fox that doesn’t appear on the tie?) is most likely fro the early to middle 1940s, and the last striped one is from the late 40s or early 50s. Note the subtle difference in the map of the USA between horse ‘n hounds and stripes. Stripes acquires Michigan and the upper peninsula, for some reason absent on horse ‘n hounds.

HabandRedBlueLeafTie HabandPinkBlueHorseHoundstie HabandMaroonBlueStripeTie

I never thought I’d see something this awesome. A jacket that was a tie-in to the brief moment when Ronald “Ronnie” Reagan was a Warner Bros First National movie star. His first 15 minutes of fame was in the late 1930s, before his descent into B-movie oblivion and his later rambling and incoherent “Star Wars” Presidency. The zipper (Talon with sunburst stopper box) pretty solidly dates this jacket to the late 30s, along with the Gipper’s brief and dubious film fame of that era. For all the awful tweeness of the “designer” (like most movie stars of the era, Reagan was a whore who would put his name to anything someone gave him money to do so – cigarettes, booze, leather jackets etc.), the jacket is awesome. Very Western in feel, it was made by Californian Leather of “Washable Goatskin” whatever that might be. The leather’s in great condition, though the rayon liner’s pretty much shot. I have seen 2 other jackets with these labels, and they’re all very different in style, though clearly from around the same time. Ronnie “designed” a whole line of jackets!

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Here’s a lovely Stetson from back when they made decent hats. It probably dates to the late 1940s or early 1950s. An excellent shade of brown that works with pretty much any colour and shade of suit. the Whippet was one of those very popular models of hat with brim and crown dimensions that worked for most men. It is still a very popular hat amongst the vintage hat crowd, and Whippets regularly fetch the outlandish prices on eBay. This one has a great contrasting ribbon and wide edge binding that was the mark of the Whippet. Someone who owned this hat before me creased it in a very … errr … unique crease with the tight pinch at the front and diamond crown crease. from the front, it reminds me of a seagull’s bill.

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This pair of ties is from the Sugar and Spice line made by Superba. They’re made of a very nice slightly stretchy rayon and typically came in such checks or stripes. I found them both hanging next to each other in a Goodwill store in Indiana in 2005 or so …

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Another pair of spectator shoes. I have little idea on date, but at a guess I’d say from the 50s … someone probably knows more than me. [EDIT] Some folks over at The Fedora Lounge tell me these are probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s. My favourite vintage summer shoes.

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