Vintage Wool

Wool – though often used year-round – is as much a part of fall as hot cider, hay rides or listening to your slightly racist uncle ramble on during Thanksgiving dinner. It’s usually to be find when the mercury falls as a competent in thousands of near-identical flannels worn across the social spectrum, though there are other multitudes of ways that wool can be worked into the average man’s wardrobe in ways that are certainly not “average”.

This is the first blog I’ve written that’s at least partially dedicated to “vintage” clothing, which is defined as clothing that’s sufficiently old to be hard to find and potentially not in 100% repair. These are usually one off pieces from a brand that has become recognized as something of a household name (though maybe not a “luxury” brand).

With each piece I’ll introduce it, provide a picture or two, and then provide a short paragraph explaining how I would go about integrating the piece into a wardrobe.

Firstly, the quintessential autumnal fashion statement for everyone from broke college students to blue collar workers. Flannel shirts have long been synonymous with hard work and affordable warmth at least since 17th century Wales, where farmers wore flannel shirts to protect them from the elements. However, flannel isn’t the same as plaid. Flannel refers to a way of treating wool whereas plaid refers to a pattern that is thought to have origins in medieval Scotland. Since plaid looks so good on flannel however, the terms have been used interchangeably since pretty much the dawn of time.

For this piece I would pair it with your favorite crewneck sweatshirt, a pair of blue ripped jeans and nice, broken in black leather boots. Flannel shirts have a history with the grunge scene, so why not lean into that aesthetic for a night out at the bar with your buddies?

This jacket – at first glance – appears somewhat similar to the one shown above. However, when the buttons are undone and the interior is shown, this jacket clearly becomes deserving of the term “jacket” rather than just being a simple shirt. The Sherpa lining goes from the bottom hem of the jacket and at least appears to extend down through the sleeves, providing warmth and comfort through the entire garment. Note that it is also a zippered closure, meaning the garment will store heat more efficiently.

The same rules as the previous flannel still apply for this one (think sweaters, jeans and boots/high top shoes), but color balancing will be somewhat harder with this garment. Think off whites (ivory, light grey), neutrals and skin tones for the shirts while the pants can be any shade of black/grey or faded blue. Avoid complicated patterns and let people’s attention rest on the coat draped over your shoulders.

According to Pendleton’s “About Us” section, the Lobo line was launched to appeal to a youthful, outdoorsy customer. This jacket certainly does just that. Evoking the spirit of similar jackets by Carhart, this camel wool jacket combines warmth with utility and practicality in a package that appears working class while providing comfort and wearability in all but the worst conditions.

While styling this jacket I would double-down on the wool and pair a solid colored flannel shirt over a black t-shirt that’s left untucked over a pair of slim fit dark blue jeans. I’d polish off the look with a set of brown leather cap-toe boots and a brown belt and you’re ready to brave just about any conditions a Michigan winter can throw at you.

Easily my favorite coat of the lot, this one is done in the style of a Mackinaw coat, which means it’s a four pocket style that extends past the waist and down the thigh. The shell is made of 100% wool with a nylon interior lining to aid in heat retention. It features a wonderfully traditional color palette, and seems at home in a blizzard or walking through a fine art gallery.

Pair it with a thick knit sweater, black ripped skinny jeans and black leather boots. Or with an olive green chambray shirt, khaki slim fit pants (cuffed slightly above the ankles) and dark brown leather boots. Really, the point of an outfit under a coat like this is to draw attention towards the coat. That’s the hero piece. It’s the focus.

Thank you all for reading! If you’ve got any experiences thrifting, buying vintage pieces or bringing in older pieces into your closet I’d love to hear from you! Please hit that subscribe button and I’ll do my best to continue posting more regularly. Please reach out if you have any questions, and let me know what you think!

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