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 trade blankets destined for commerce with Native Americans, 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.
Of course, you become a part of this history every time you choose a Pendleton shirt. The limited Edition Guide Shirt is available at pendleton-usa.com and other retailers. Enjoy some special shots of this shirt taken by Portland photographer Taylor Painter, who you should immediately follow on Instagram.