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Posts from the ‘Pendleton Womens’ Category

THE PENDLETON 49’ER JACKET REDUX

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The Nouveau ’49er for Holiday 2014, in a new boucle-accented plaid. See them here and here!

The Pendleton 49’er is a perfect illustration of the adage that quality never goes out of style.

This jacket is an American classic, still going strong after more than sixty years. But where did it come from?

The answer starts with the changes for women in World War II, when American women proclaimed, “We can do it.” Rosie the Riveter’s  WWII image was used in countless posters and bond drives during WWII. A serious woman dressed for hard work with her hair in a kerchief, Rosie’s image still fixes us today, gazing out at onlookers over a flexed bicep.

She was a symbol of women stepping up to fill the need for factory workers during wartime, but she was also part of the emergence of one of Pendleton’s most enduring items of womenswear: the 49’er 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. 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.

In 1949, when market research identified an opportunity for sportswear for women, Pendleton entered the market with their first women’s line. This was a test offering of classic skirts, jackets and shirt, to test exactly how the American woman would react to a branded line of virgin wool sportswear. The positive response was resounding, but no one could have predicted the enormous success of a single garment introduced that year.

Says Linda Parker, head of Pendleton Communications, “The first women’s line in 1949 was composed of five items.  It is amazing to me that out of such a limited initial offering that the 49’er would develop such an immediate following and reputation.”  The jacket referred to both the year of its introduction, and the California Gold Rush, in a nod to Pendleton’s Western roots.

The designer was Berte Wiechmann, a young woman who came to Pendleton from Jantzen,  another iconic Portland apparel company. Miss Wiechmann sewed the original samples herself, taking styling particulars from the Pendleton men’s shirt. The 49’er jacket featured discreet tucking at the yoke, and two bias-cut patch pockets near the hem. The boxy cut showcased Pendleton’s famous plaids, and larger iridescent shell buttons softened the look.

Miss Weichmann was very particular about these buttons. She insisted on a special black shell from Australia and Tahiti, supplied by J. Carnucci & Sons, NJ.

In 1956 alone, Pendleton would use $150,000.00 worth of these buttons.

Yes. You read that correctly. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of buttons alone, in 1956.

The desirability of the 49’er was immediate, despite the introductory retail price range of $14.95 to $17.95. Says Parker, “We have many testimonials of how young women saved their babysitting and strawberry-picking money in order to buy a 49’er.  Women everywhere had it on their wish list of gifts.” The first consumer was the collegiate girl, who were in the grips of a menswear inspired trend. The 49’er was perfect over a white cotton dress shirt over “trews,” narrow wool pants.

The first print ad for the 49’er ad was done by Fred Love in 1950. A college girl in a MacLamond tartan 49’er pretends to ignore the cartoonish interest of the college boy behind her, snug and stylish in her 49’er. Love continued to illustrate the ads through 1951, when famed illustrator Ted Rand took over the job of communicating the Pendleton 49’er with ads that are still iconically beautiful. He changed the focus from the teenager to the woman, and incorporated elements of the Western landscape when he could.

The 49’er’s simple, casual styling continued to be a perfect fit for the emerging suburban lifestyle of post-war America. During the post-war years, it served as one of the easiest solutions for outerwear over all the Baby Boom baby bumps. Parker explains, “I personally think that Ted Rand shares some of the kudos for making the 49’er a household name with his inspired illustrations.”

Ted Rand began illustrating Pendleton ads in 1953. His elegant women and echoes of the Western landscape moved the jacket from the campus to the suburbs, where it became the staple of a woman’s wardrobe. The popularity soared and knock-offs abounded, to the point where the company had to seek legal protection of the design. Yes, the 49’er is a patented jacket!

The earliest 49’er in the Pendleton archives is a red, yellow and chartreuse version owned by Mrs. Sarah Brourink, who sent it to our archives in the year 2000 after wearing it for 51 years. Here is a vintage example in the exact plaid.

In the years of its prime (1949-1961), over a million Pendleton 49’ers were sold to American women. And it continues to sell well now, after re-introduction in the early 2000s. Collectors still chase after the originals, and beautiful examples can be seen on elated bloggers. Our re-issues do extremely well whenever they are included in a Fall or Holiday line.  Whether in the arresting brights of a bold Buchanan tartan, or the shaded colors of a subtle ombre plaid, the silhouette is still unmistakable. Still made of 100% virgin wool woven in our USA mills, the 49’er works dressed up with a skirt and a belt, or dressed down with jeans. Like a good wool men’s shirt, it serves as a go-to second layer for the backyard or the office.

And we’ve had a little fun with our original archival jacket. We brought it out, compared the specs, and refashioned the original design. Back in 1949 the collar points were a little more dramatic, the back shirring more subtle and the length slightly shorter—all details that give our fashion icon a decidedly modern edge and make it new again.

49erFall2014

Fashion is fleeting, but style endures. The Pendleton 49’er is a perfect illustration of the adage that quality never goes out of style.

 

Editor’s note: This post is an update on a favorite post, just as the Nouveau ’49ers are updates to this classic jacket.

Pendleton Signature Coats. Oh. My. Gosh.

Pendleton Signature Coats are available now at pendleton-usa, and you’re going to love them.

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These stunning coats are an expanded outerwear offering in Pendleton’s classic women’s line. Traditional silhouettes have been reinterpreted with exceptional styling and craftsmanship.

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PeaCoatThe function of each coat is as important as the fashion. Materials are a range of weather-repellent tech fabrics and pure Pendleton wool, including our signature Native American-inspired jacquard-woven blanket fabric.

HardingWrapDuffels, trenches, parkas and more mean that we have a coat for every lifestyle.

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Plaid-woolEach style has unique details that include top-stitching, piecing, signature buttons, fur trims, quilting, pockets, even shoulder rain capes to secure and cover bag straps.

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Camel

Pendleton has a long history as lifestyle brand, and outerwear has always been a strong category. Since the 1940s, we’ve made coats so durable and beautiful that some are still worn today.

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Our Pendleton Signature Coats live up to our highest standards with the authenticity you expect.

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These are just some of the styles available.  Go see’em!

 

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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.

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(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.

WEB_WomensDecadeShirts

Three styles, five fabrics, all available at pendleton-usa.com. 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.

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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.

Mad for Mad Men

As much as we dislike half seasons, the decision to spread Mad Men’s last episodes over two years puts off the inevitable, painful farewell to a fascinating show.

We’ve seen Pendleton on Mad Men’s men, in robes and Topsters. Peggy disguised her pregnancy under the waistband of an ever-higher Pendleton reversible skirt–or Turnabout as it was called back then.

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The early seasons captured an iconically Pendleton look. The characters seemed to step right out of a Ted Rand illustration.

 

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MadMenMegan

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Time has passed in the world of Mad Men, and the characters are wearing miniskirts and bell bottoms. As always, the costumes are pitch-perfect.  And, as always, we will be watching–for just as long as we can.

 

 

Pendleton Remixed.

Tipp&PlaidSpring’s here in full force, and the freshest look is pattern mixing.

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Pattern mixing can be subtle, daring, or just plain fun. Here are some celebrities doing the complicated work of mixology.

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Solange Knowles mixing prints for Madewell

Michelle Dockery on the cobblestone carpet

Michelle Dockery on the cobblestone carpet

Scarlett Johansson Honored With A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Scarlett Johansson on The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Of  course, it helps to have personal stylists. Here are some stylists and bloggers who work their patterns perfectly.

basiccravingsSydney

Sydney at Basic Cravings.

Mixing it up at The Pacific Standard.

Katherine at http://www.notdressedaslamb.com/

Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb.

Give you any ideas? We hope so. We’re mixing it up for Spring at http://www.pendleton-usa.com; tweed with polka dots, plaids with our very-Pendleton Native-inspired patterns.

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Buffalo Exchange

A brand builds a base in many ways. Pendleton has been around long enough that we have fans who’ve been shopping with us since the second World War. We also have generations of brand fans who have come to us through vintage shopping.

That’s why were were especially excited to be featured in the in-store publication of Buffalo Exchange.

WEB_coversThey have a nice write-up about our brand history, with photos featuring apparel from our mens, womens and The Portland Collection, as well as some of our blankets.

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And, they have an accurate shirt label guide on the last page.

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We’d like to point out that the “2000s” example is from The Portland Collection. On Menswear, the label you’ll see is more like this one:

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Thanks, Buffalo Exchange! If you are a vintage shopper, please check them out.

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Thomas Kay should be in your mailbox.

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The Thomas Kay Collection should be arriving in your mailbox today via catalog. 

Thomas Kay Cover

 Joining our founder’s British roots with the sensibilities of the American West, the men’s and women’s apparel and Home goods in this collection tell the Pendleton story. We hope you enjoy!

Princess Amber Big Plume and the Calgary Stampede

It’s rodeo week in Calgary, and despite the floods and challenges, the Calgary Stampede has been charging ahead! It’s been our pleasure this year to sponsor Indian Princess Amber Big Plume.

Amber Big Plume

Amber, a Law and Society student at the University of Calgary, is from the Tsuu T’ina Nation. Amber has had an exciting reign as Indian Princess, with international trips and appearances throughout Canada. She’s represented the Stampede, her nation, and Pendleton beautifully.

Our role was to provide clothing, fabric and blankets for some of Amber’s extensive royal wardrobe. Amber is affectionately referred to as “the pocket princess” by the Stampede staffers, so even with our petite sizes, we had trouble finding clothing petite enough for Amber. Thankfully, her skilled seamstress, Janine Stabner, could come to the rescue.

Janine Stabner and Amber Big Plume

Janine used Pendleton fabrics for ensembles she designed exclusively for Amber.

Amber Big Plume

Heather Hirsch was the genius behind the needle for Amber’s official overcoat, made from one of our Jerome blankets. Luckily, Heather had just enough fabric left to make a matching jacket for Amber’s sister, Kaitlyn.

Amber Big Plume

Amber Big Plume

The vertical orientation of the design is in honor of the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and the people she represents. According to our friends at the Stampede, in Blackfoot culture, ceremonial members of the community commonly wear robes with the patterns oriented in this fashion.

A Pendleton Chief Joseph blanket was also part of Amber’s official serape, which was often worn by her mounts (those with hooves and those with wheels) during her numerous parade appearances.

Amber Big Plume

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It’s been our pleasure to support Amber. She has worked so hard this year. Though Amber’s time as Princess is drawing to a close, we will watch with pride as she finishes her degree and moves into her professional life. And we hope you will watch this slideshow with pride. It’s full of Amber’s highlights, including an incredible belt buckle, saddle, custom boots and more Pendleton!

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Nancy Hales

It’s a busy week here at Pendleton Woolen Mills, but there is always time to share another photo of Nancy Hales looking terrific.

Nancy Hales

As the Portland Tribune says:

In her full-time work as director of First Stop Portland, Nancy Hales has been an unofficial ambassador to the city; now she’ll do so in another role as First Lady of Portland. She’s already started to make a fashion statement by supporting local companies. Here she wears Pendleton Woolen Mills’ Portland Collection, which she likes for its durability and classic appeal. ‘I’m trying very hard to wear Portland,’ she says.

Please check the Portland Collection blog for stores near you.

Welcome to the Lobby

This is Shelley, the Visual Director for our stores.  We are lucky to have her creative visual input around the corporate headquarters. While down in the archives, Shelley found some sepia-toned prints of people at work in the Pendleton mills. She brought them up, dusted them off, and let them inspire some beautiful lobby windows with blankets, and Fall 2012 apparel from Womenswear, Menswear and The Portland Collection.

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Hope you enjoyed this tour of Shelley’s creative work. We are thankful to enjoy it every day. From all of us at Pendleton, have a happy Thanksgiving.

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