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Stylee Fridays: Mail Order Stories

January 25, 2008

Eons ago—before the internet even existed—the closest thing to online shopping was probably the mail-order business, a consumer tradition which is pretty much on the verge of extinction. There’s one impeccably dressed male friend in particular who I’m constantly pestering for spiffy shopping finds, who usually name checks the kinds of brands you might find in grandpapa's wardrobe, like Orvis or Filson, rather than any exclusive New York menswear boutiques or swank indie designers. Orvis, for example, was a mail-order success story of the early 1900s, making top of the line fishing rods before anything else, while Filson started out as a small loggers' outfitter in Seattle (you can see the gear being made at their flagship store to this day). Catalogues like J Peterman cashed in the nostalgia of ye olde brands of yore in the 80s, and have since launched online. In search of awesome sturdy outerwear and practical roll-uppable gear—the kind that won’t fall apart after one season—we took a turn around all three of their on-line stores and found more than a few unexpected classics.


The bush jacket, the wool packer coat, the wool tweed clays coat

Filson stock for every hunting scenario possible, so all their pieces come with study authentic trimmings like pig suede shoulder pads, woolen collars (wool is quiet in the field, brethren) and bush jackets to keep you Serengeti-ready.


The smoking jacket, the money clip, the packer hat

Look past the teal cashmere and you’ll find a bunch of great workwear-inspired clothing, including some suede-elbowed mechanic’s sweaters and navy seal boots. The descriptions for items, like this packable, crushable hat—“in the style of the great outdoor sportwriters of a bygone year” deserve a special shout-out of their own.


The Heirloom Bag, Bay Rum, the J Peterman Shirt

The website features product sketches instead of photos for whimsical sartorial effect, just like the catalogue did when it first launched. This might seem like a slightly annoying leap of faith for your on-line shopping basket, but with accessories like Bay Rum straight out of Dominica included in the line up we can’t be mad.

From The Collection:

Stylee Fridays
Posted: January 25, 2008
Stylee Fridays: Mail Order Stories