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Posts from the ‘Pendleton Mens’ Category

Happy Father’s Day. Sometimes, a picture says it all.


This is a photo of Robert and Matt Raven, father and son, taken in 1963, and shared with Pendleton this last year. It was taken by Carl “Pete” Petersen, who was there along with his son Grant.

Here are some words about his father from Matt, who is a professor at Michigan State University.

My Dad (Robert D. Raven) was the epitome of what Tom Brokaw termed the Greatest Generation. He grew up on a farm in Michigan and was a gunner/mechanic on a B-24 in the South Pacific during WW II. This was one reason he was such a great wing shot. He went to Michigan State (then Michigan State College) on the GI Bill. My mom (Leslie Erickson Raven) was a Marine during WWII (an aircraft mechanic) and also went to Michigan State on the GI Bill. They moved to California after they graduated in 1949 with $200 in their pockets. My Mom help put my Dad through Law School at UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and he graduated in 1952. He practiced law for Morrison Foerster (home office in San Francisco) all of his professional career and help build them into one of the premier law firms anywhere. He was one of those men that helped the United States become the greatest nation on the planet after WWII. He died in 2004 and I miss him every day. I am proud to be his son.

What a great American story. We love this image so much, we chose it for our Instagram #PendletonDad photo contest this year. It just says Father’s Day, and it’s a fitting way to wish Happy Father’s Day to all the admirable dads out there from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Happy Father’s Day to “the officer in the Pendleton.”

We received a letter from Sharon Myers Knoph with some wonderful photos of her father, Fred Myers. We decided to save this post for Father’s Day, because it’s about a Pendleton dad.

Here are Sharon’s words about her father.

My dad, Fred Myers, was born in Parkdale, Oregon.  He joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Korea.  He married Margaret Hinrich of Hood River, Oregon, in 1956.  They eventually settled in southern California where he graduated from the Police Academy. He was an undercover narcotics officer during the 1970s. After retiring from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, my parents traveled the country in their motor home.

mom and dad 2013

My dad loved his Pendleton shirts. He bought his first one in 1957, a shirt that he actually wore for 57 years.  He was described more than once as “the officer in the Pendleton”.  He held his first grandchild wearing a Pendleton shirt.


When he passed away in May of 2014, my mother couldn’t bear to give away his Pendleton shirts. She decided to use them to make three quilts. They are very special to us, reminding us of the man that his friends and family loved very much. In the photo below, his first shirt from 1957 is circled.


Here at Pendleton, we have seen quite a few quilts made from our shirts. But we have not seen one made with the pockets, which is a charming touch. What a way to have your dad keeping you warm forever.


To all the admirable fathers out there, happy Father’s Day from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Our Grateful Nation

Ed. note: We are reposting this previous entry this Memorial Day. Please note that the Grateful Nation Vest is currently available, thanks to the efforts of veterans like Chris Winters. Our respect and thanks to the men and women who have served in all branches of our military. 

We have been making our Grateful Nation blanket for most of a decade, and for part of that time, we also made a Grateful Nation Vest. It honored veterans in two ways; by visually commemorating each of this century’s service ribbons, and by donations  to The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides residences near military and VA medical centers for families of ill or wounded veterans and service members. A portion of the sale of each blanket goes to the Fisher House Foundation, as well. 

Cue Chris Winters, a Puyallup tribal member and veteran who understood that we were no longer making the vest, but wanted to know if we had fabric available. He sent photos of his own vest.


Said Chris, “I am on a Tribal committee and we not only wear Pendleton vests for ceremonies. ..we gift your native blankets to guests, elders, and returning warriors.” Chris is very involved in IUPAT, a Washington State organization that offers outreach, support and training for Native veterans. This group marches in local parades honoring servicemen in their Grateful Nation vests, decorated with the medals earned by veterans who have served our country.


The role of Native Americans in our military cannot be understated. Books have been written and movies made about Native Code Talkers in both World Wars. The percentage of Native Americans serving in the military is higher than any other minority group in America.

We thought you’d enjoy seeing the vest worn in Tacoma, Washington area parades and ceremonies by Native veterans who have served our country well. 

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And thanks, Chris, for reaching out. Chris-in-his-vest

Here’s the blanket in the  IUPAT office.

office blanket display

More information below on the meaning of each service ribbon stripe.

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

A portion of every blanket’s sale goes to support the Fisher House Foundation and its mission to support the families of veterans. As their website states:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe.   Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease… Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Made in the USA label

The Original Westerley: Dude, it’s finally back.

ColoradoManager&signYou may know it as The Dude’s cardigan or the Big Lebowski sweater, but we debuted the Westerley cardigan in 1974 as part of our High Grade Westernwear line.

Original History

The Westerley drew inspiration from beautiful Cowichan sweaters that are hand-knit by Pacific Northwest tribes. Our version was machine-knitted by Winona Knitting Mills of Minnesota, a two-facility company owned by the Woodworth family. Winona Mills was one of the very few USA knitting mills who offered a 2gg knit, a term meaning only two knit stitches per inch. A 2gg sweater is heavy enough to work as outerwear. As the long-time leader of our menswear division expressed it, “You could wear it in a monsoon, and you’d stay warm.”

The vintage Westerley was knit in 3gg, and it was almost as impressive as the 2gg for thickness and warmth. The Westerley was one cozy sweater. We offered it in the western, outdoor and casual lines for over ten years. Over its run of production, the zip front, ring zipper pull and shawl collar stayed the same, as did the Greek key-inspired pattern. Archival visits show that the Westerley’s color variations are surprisingly wide.

The sweater went out of production in the 1980s, but found the limelight in the early 2000s, thanks to an obscure movie that didn’t stay obscure.

The Big Lebowski

This Coen brothers film was released to low to middling success in 1998, but quietly grew into a cult favorite. No one can pinpoint the exact reason why. Was it Donny’s clueless questions? Walter’s chin-strap beard? The German nihilists? The dream sequence scored by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition?

Well, it was probably a grand confluence of all of these important factors, plus the masterful turn taken by Jeff Bridges as The Dude. He staggers in and out of trouble, wearing alternately sweats, shorts, pajama pants, a bathrobe, a purple t-shirt and a battered Westerley cardigan.

Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes for this role, and though there were two sweaters hand-knitted as back-ups, he preferred wearing his personal Pendleton Westerley.

“The Big Lebowski” continues to grow as a cultural phenomenon. It’s not a movie anymore, it’s a lifestyle. Its fans, the Achievers, have conventions and their own documentary. And as the movie’s audience has grown, so has the demand for a re-creation of The Dude’s sweater.

The First Revivals

Pendleton’s first run at reproducing the “Big Lebowski sweater” came in the Fall of 2011. The Dude Cardigan was not an exact replica. It had the weight and coloration of the original Westerley, with a slightly different knit pattern and a leather zipper pull. This homage sweater generated an enormous amount of publicity, especially because the sweater worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie was going to auction that same year. The provenance of the auction sweater came into question and it was withdrawn from auction. Pendleton’s version sold out almost immediately.

New Dude

In Fall 2013, we brought back the sweater in the original 3gg knit under the Westerley name. We went to the archives, and settled on two versions: a cream with red and black pattern, and a desert brown version with navy and gold pattern.


We offered the Westerley in another archival coloration in charcoal and blue early in the fall of 2014.  These were all great Westerleys. They were archivally accurate, beautifully made and selling well to fans of traditional menswear. We stand behind these Westerleys!

But this was not the sweater the Achievers wanted, and the Achievers would not be denied.

The Original Westerley

Well, it’s here. We have researched the archives and studied the movie to capture the coloration as best we can for our newest version, known as The Original Westerley.


This is 100% lambswool in 3gg knit, and it’s ready to take you through your next monsoon, or maybe to your next Lebowskifest. We’ve even restored the ring zipper pull, to which we’ve attached a small bowling pin keychain. We think it really pulls the sweater together.

The Dude abides. And so does his sweater. Come see us in our stores (see Ben, the manager of our Colorado store, above), or order online before they’re gone.


Thomas Kay is a Man of the World

We’re fans of the stirring photography of the Thomas Kay line for men (from Pendleton Woolen Mills) in the Fall quarterly issue of Man of the World.

“Half Wild” features our Thomas Kay folding campstool, made for us by the artisans of Wood & Faulk.



Yes, we know, it’s so artfully packed over there on the right side that you almost can’t see it, but we like the shot anyway. There’s nothing quite like camping with wool.

“The Big Sky State” captures Montana style with our Thomas Kay Oliver shirt in Macrae Ancient Dress Tartan.





A pickup truck, a good dog and a Pendleton wool shirt. What more could you ask for? Besides that awesome tractor. These are great Big Sky shots from a beautiful publication. Pick up your copy and marvel.

You can check out the rest of the Thomas Kay line here.


Pendleton Wool Decade Shirts for Women: Steal His Shirt

Women have been carrying on a love affair with men’s style since the 1940s.

1940s teenager in Pendleton wool shirt. We won't apologize for the cigarette, because everyone smoked in the 1940s, including doctors while they performed surgery.

Call it Boyfriend Style, call it Menswear-Inspired, call it dressing like boys or whatever you want to. Women have always loved wearing male-inspired fashion and men’s garments. Especially, it seems, men’s Pendleton wool shirts.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Comey Boots

Boyfriend style is hot right now, but it’s not new. The Pendleton 49’er grew directly from this trend. To quote our blog post on this iconic jacket:

Pendleton’s success with men’s shirts had happened twenty years earlier, but during WWII, men were not the only people enjoying distinctive plaids and ombres in pure virgin wool. Women began to borrow men’s work shirts for both work and warmth.

1940s women in Pendleton wool shirts. The fetching ax-wielder on the right looks like Mad men's Peggy Olson AKA Elizabeth Moss, doesn't she?

 It’s possible that by wearing their husband’s shirts, women kept the memories of their husbands, fiancés and brothers close, though many undoubtedly needed some serious work wear that was simply not available for women at the time. Whatever the reason, women loved Pendleton shirts.

We answered this love by introducing the Pendleton 49’er jacket in (you guessed it) 1949. (As an aside, how much does the woman on the right resemble Peggy Olson?)

Women loved the 49’er, but continued to raid men’s closets. Here are two 1950s icons of femininity, rocking their Pendletons.

Marilyn Monroe in a Pendleton wool shirt.

Jayne Mansfield in a Pendleton wool Board shirt. With chihuahuas. Cooking breakfast, because that's how all chihuahua owners cook their eggs.

These photos of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield offer a clue as to why Boyfriend Style was so popular in the 1950s.  It was associated with relaxation, home, comfort, ease, the outdoors. It probably offered them a break from their sexpot styling, though this Life magazine series of Jayne Mansfield cooking breakfast in a Pendleton shirt still manages to radiate her kittenish allure.


(As another aside, clearly Jayne inspired today’s selfie-pout).

The desire to steal his shirt didn’t end in the 1950s. Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall style showed up in the 1970s, creating a wave of skinny-tie-and-vest wearers. Women tucked shoulder pads under the bigger shoulders of men’s shirts and jackets and belted them tightly to create the signature silhouette of the 1980s. The 2000s brought the rise of thrifted style. Countless women reworked shrunken men’s Pendletons into their looks. And when we introduced our Fitted line, market intelligence informed us that a surprising amount of these slimmer-cut shirts were selling to women. Women still love wearing Pendleton men’s shirts.

When we decided to celebrate our Nine Decades of Pendleton Wool Shirts, we knew that women would want to celebrate this milestone, too. So we developed three Decade Shirts for women using plaids from our archives.


Three styles, five fabrics, all available at The Prineville is a popover with a 3/4 placket. The Ranch Hand is based on our Men’s Canyon model, the original High Grade Westernwear shirt. The Ponderosa uses our beautiful Sir Pendleton worsted fabric, meaning there’s almost a mile of yarn in every shirt.


To finish things nicely, because we love to do that, each shirt has a special Decade Shirt label in the placket. We wanted to give you everything you love in our Men’s shirts with Women’s more fitted shaping.

Here are the Decade Shirts for Women in action.

Photo by Lauren Field

You can see the special Decade label in the shot above. Copyright 2014, Lauren Field All rights reserved by Pendleton Woolen Mills

03930003Copyright 2014, Lauren Field All rights reserved by Pendleton Woolen Mills

photo by Blaire Russel

Copyright 2014, Blaire Russel All rights reserved by Pendleton Woolen Mills

photos by Travis Hallmark

Copyright 2014, Travis Hallmark All rights reserved by Pendleton Woolen Mills

Our Decade Shirts for women celebrate our past and inspire our future. But even so, we know from experience that you’ll continue to steal his shirt.

The Decade Shirts: Nine Decades of Pendleton Wool Shirts

The Pendleton Decade Shirts for men celebrate our ninety years of shirt making using re-creations of fabrics from each decade. We went deep into the archives to find the wool shirt fabric that best expressed the men’s fashion ethos of each decade, and here’s what we chose. Pendleton wool shirt 9 decade wool shirt fabric

We used these special fabrics  in your favorite Pendleton shirt styles; those that have stood the test of time, just like a Pendleton should. That includes the Gambler, a western shirt that first debuted in the 1930s.

January 1959 vintage pendleton wool shirt ad

And Sir Pendleton, which is turning sixty next year.

Sir pendleton wool shirt advertising vintage


We are offering the Lodge, Trail, Epic, Guide, even the Zephyr shirt from early in the 2000s. And the Board Shirt is offered twice, including a labeled version of the shirt made famous by the Beach Boys in their Surfer Girl days.

Photo of Beach Boys

If you want to make sure you’re getting a Decade Shirt, check the front placket. You see a special label there, letting you know you’re getting the goods.

pendleton wool shirt label

And here they are: all the shirts and all the fabrics and all the styles and all the decades.

Pendleton wool shirts

Of course, there are nine decades and ten shirts. The tenth is the numbered limited edition Guide Shirt, that you can read about here.  All the shirts are currently available at pendleton-usa, and in most of our retail stores.

We are fairly certain that there’s a shirt for every man in that assortment. But quality shirts are not just for men. We marked the Nine Decades with some beautiful Pendleton wool shirts for women, which we will talk about next week.

In the meantime, ladies, just steal his shirt.



The Limited Edition Guide Shirt: 9 Decades of Pendleton Wool Shirts

Limited Edition Guide Shirt for 2014 by Pendleton, photo by Taylor Painter

This fall, we’re offering a limited edition Guide shirt in an edition of 1863. Why 1863? Because, of course, that’s when our weaving legacy’s founder, Thomas Kay, arrived in Oregon. We made the shirt in an amber and brown ombre plaid that appears to be straight out of the Pendleton archives, but was developed just for this year. Each shirt has a hand-numbered label:


This shirt model first appeared in our 1927 men’s shirt line. Back then it was called The Buckaroo. Thanks to the Pendleton archives, here’s a look at the Buckaroo’s debut (you can click to enlarge):


Yes, we understand that it looks comical to the modern eye to have a man going hunting wearing a bowtie and trilby. Perhaps sportsmen really were that much more dapper in 1927.


He also oddly resembles Peter Sellers, but this was long before Inspector Clouseau’s time.

But back to the Buckaroo. As a manufacturer of Native American trade blankets, Pendleton Woolen Mills was (and still is) headquartered in the west.  It made sense to capitalize on America’s fascination with all things western in the early part of the last century, so our garments were named accordingly. But despite the rodeo name, the Buckaroo was meant to be worn in a variety of settings. The dressiness of the shirt depended on the fabric, not the cut; plaids for hunting, solids for fishing, and broadcloth solids or stripes for “dress-up.” The plaids/solid demarcation is a bit baffling. Were the plaids better for forest camouflage? Would plaids startle the fish? Despite these marketing mysteries, America responded to this shirt line with enthusiasm. The Pendleton wool shirt became a wardrobe staple.

Pendleton wool shirt, Taylor Painter photography

Of course, you become a part of this history every time you choose a Pendleton shirt. The limited Edition Guide Shirt is available at and other retailers. Enjoy some special shots of this shirt taken by Portland photographer Taylor Painter, who you should immediately follow on Instagram.

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90 years of Shirtmaking: the Taxonomy of Pendleton Shirts

We’re celebrating nine decades! yes, that’s right. We have been making men’s wool shirts for ninety years. The Pendleton shirt story starts in 1924, when the Bishop family decided to enlarge their business from trade and bed blankets into men’s apparel.

To quote

In 1924, a man could have a wool shirt in any color he wanted – as long as it was grey. Wool shirts were utilitarian items; warm, durable, an excellent first line in the defense against the elements. They were uniformly drab. Of course, all that was about to change.

At Pendleton Woolen Mills, Clarence Morton Bishop envisioned a different kind of fabric for a man’s wool shirt. Pendleton’s sophisticated weaving capabilities were producing vibrant Indian trade blankets. Why not bring that same weaving and color know-how to flannel shirting?

He wrote to his father, Charles Pleasant Bishop, “I believe we should add such goods as shirts and hosiery.” C.P. Bishop agreed, replying “I am more and more impressed with the opportunity we have here in Oregon.” While his son investigated production options, C.P. Bishop did the early marketing work. He wrote to his son that “I am impressing it on the minds of my employees and patrons…that we are putting a new fabric on the market, something better than other mills can or will make.”

After much weaving experimentation and hard work, Pendleton’s innovative Umatilla shirting fabric rolled off the loom. The rich colors in Pendleton’s woolen plaid shirts were completely new to the market in 1924. The positive response was immediate. It has also been enduring.

Ninety years! To celebrate, we’ve released a poster that elaborates on the design features of our most enduring models.  Click for a larger view, though the best view is in person at one of our many retailers.


Here’s the styles you know and love in photos.


Fall 2014 brings our Decade shirts, each made a style and fabric that represents a decade of Pendleton shirtmaking. We will be taking a closer look at those in the next few weeks. But for now, it’s kind of awesome to sit back and consider how many Pendleton wool shirts we’ve put on the backs of men over the last ninety years. Thank you for your loyalty, and here’s to the next decade!

Aloha from Surf Pendleton and Reyn Spooner

Our Surf Pendleton collection draws inspiration from our history with the California surf scene, where our Board Shirt was featured in songs and on album covers. The collection also celebrates the robust surf culture of our home state, Oregon, where we’ve collaborated with Blackfern on two limited edition surfboards.  But surfing was born in the Hawaiian islands, and nothing says the islands like a Reyn Spooner shirt.


To quote the company:

It is true that in Hawaii, time has a way of stopping.  Our way of life here has roots in the ancient, with nature and in Hawaiian culture.  We are committed to enhancing the past by bringing our lifestyle right to you.  We’ve been in business since 1956 using unique archival prints, exclusive vintage artwork, and work of celebrated artists to evoke the island life.  


Our designers worked together on to incorporate traditional Pendleton patterns into Reyn Spooner’s Spooner Kloth®. This fabric is woven in Japan and sewn on the reverse for a distinctively weathered appearance. Shirts and shorts made with Spooner Kloth® are cool, easy care, and they last forever.


So there you have it; a little bit of Hawaii with Surf Pendleton style. Mahalo!



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