Expedition Outfitter c.1966 | A Continuous Lean.

Expedition Outfitter c.1966

Feb 3rd, 2010 | Categories: Outerwear, Retail | by Michael Williams

If you follow the ACL Twitter you would have known all about my little adventure this past Sunday. I decided to make the drive out to Hamburg, PA for a little shopping. What possible store could warrant a two hour drive to the Lehigh Valley? One word: Cabela’s. It has been a few years since I stepped foot in one of the Nebraska retailer’s massive stores, and to be honest, I was pretty disappointed with what I found. While I know I am not the target demo for such a store, I will say that I found the product mix to be fairly boring.

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Most of the outerwear on offer is sold under the Cabela’s brand — which entirely consists of knockoff China-made versions of popular jackets from other labels. The other disturbing thing at Cabela’s is the insistence on decorating everything in that ugly hunter camouflage, which I find repulsive. (For more, read Brett’s comment in the L.L. Bean post.) Cabela’s puts that camo on everything you can think of. I can see the sales meetings in my head: “This is a really nice lamp, but you know what would make it better?” Again, I’m sure they do this for a reason and stupid blog people from Manhattan should just stay out of it. I’m not trying to bash the operation just because it doesn’t appeal to me. (Although, the selection of boots was definitely appealing.) I’m sure Cabela’s knows what its customers want — and I’m guessing it has a lot to do with price. I just think there is a lot of potential there.

Another place that has a rich history and a lot of potential is an equally esteemed American retailer from Seattle — Eddie Bauer. Below are some scans from their 1966 catalog showing all sorts of well made goods from companies like C.C. Filson and Woolrich, right along side some of Eddie Bauer’s own products. Now, if I was to drive out to the Garden State Plaza to an Eddie Bauer store, I’m not sure I would even know the company that put out this catalog and the company in that mall in New Jersey (nothing against Jersey — I’m a fan) are related. (We’re not even going to discuss Abercrombie & Fitch.) In the past year Eddie Bauer has released a few new products that are intended to be more functional (or historical) than some of their other offerings. But while I am definitely intrigued, I’m not totally sold. I would love to see Eddie Bauer reconnect with 1966 and re-release some of their amazing outerwear that is made in the U.S — outerwear that made the company famous. That is the heritage I am interested in. The company has a rich history and I would love to see more of that in product rather than marketing or product packaging. Then again, who cares what some fake-hunter-hipster in Manhattan wants.

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Comments: 63

63 Comments to “Expedition Outfitter c.1966”

  1. Mike
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:00 AM

    Cool stuff in the Eddie Bauer catalog. I’d like to point out the Russel Moccasin is still in business in Berlin, WI – http://www.russellmoccasin.com/. In fact, I’m expecting a pair of boots I ordered from them to be delivered this week. I drove four hours up to Berlin to get measured and had the boots made to my measurements.

    This company would be worth an article on your blog, if you haven’t already done it.

  2. Michael Williams
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:02 AM

    Mike — have you seen The American List?

    http://acontinuouslean.com/the-american-list/

  3. Mike
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:30 AM

    You know now that I think about it, that’s probably how I found out about Russell Moccasin in the first place. Their little workshop is worth a visit if anyone is in the area. Everything is hand made on site.

  4. Alan Wenker
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 11:03 AM

    Vintage Eddie Bauer garments are relatively common in Minnesota thrift shops. Back in the day Eddie Bauer had a retail store in Minnesota which must have been quite a draw as all other Eddie Bauer stores were on the west coast at that time. The Minneosta store may have had somethign to do with the company being owned by General Mills at the time.

    I’ve sold quite a number of Eddie Bauer down garments on ebay and in hind sight wished I had kept a few, most notably a down vest as I’ve never seen anything quite like it since – simply over the top in terms of quality. The vintage Bauer down garments are nearly impossible to wear out.

    Eddie Bauer has tried to recapture some of their former glory in the First Ascent line which has gotten a bunch of press in various outdoor magazines. I applaud the effort, but time will tell if Eddie Bauer will keep the line alive for any length of time. Competition is tough in that industry and nobody younger than me knows what Eddie Bauer used to be.

  5. Alan Wenker
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 11:06 AM

    I should ad, one of the Eddie Bauer catalogs I have mentioned they had sold over 200,000 of the Candain vests in your scans above. That number amazes me in a what was mostly a catalog, mail order business at the time.

  6. unitedstyle
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 11:14 AM

    How weird. I just read a post a few days ago about a rebranding proposal for Eddie Bauer, focusing on heritage.

    http://sartoriallyinclined.blogspot.com/2010/01/stumbled-across-eddie-bauer-case-study.html

  7. James of Secret Forts
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 11:52 AM

    Awesome stuff.

  8. stuart
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 12:04 PM

    Thats so cool
    I have been buying and selling eddie bauer vintage for the last few months its so well made and still looks great,

  9. Chris
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 12:11 PM

    This is interesting because the other day I was in Eddie Bauer and thought “Huh, that looks like LL.Bean’s Duck boot” and “Huh, that looks like a Filson Mackinaw Cruiser”.

    Who stole from whom?

  10. JR
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 12:50 PM

    In high school (in the 90s), I briefly worked in a Eddie Bauer outlet, and heard that Eddie Bauer died the day after his wife died…of a broken heart (and being well into old age.) Japanese folk would come in monthly and buy garbage-bag-loads of stuff to, I assume, ship back and sell in Japan at higher prices.

  11. Ulysses
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 12:53 PM

    Michael,

    I’m assuming you know of the outdoor sporting company Duxbak, which was around for the greater majority of the 20th century. I see you posting a lot of old catalogues and such, and hate to see my great grandfather’s company never given any light. In its day it rivaled Filson and LL Bean, and was mentioned in almost every magazine when hunting was concerned. Anyways, I’d love to share some prints and old memorabilia with you for your website. I inherited the remains of the factory up in Utica, so I have an immense amount of stuff.

    Ulysses

  12. jfox
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 2:55 PM

    @ulysses: i have only really seen Duxbak in its early incarnation with Carhartt… but if you have images or a source online would love to see more. J

  13. lisbeth kramer
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 3:13 PM

    I think you are so “on it,” from a marketing style and product perspective. Smart brands and some are (i.e. even Gucci), are realizing their heritate has a very RELEVANT value even in our super nano hi tech world. That in fact, some of those iconic items, would appear “new” to a younger audience, and rekindle a love affair with the ‘older” audience (who might have since left them). That there is something to be said for heritage and quality and PURPOSE of product particularly in these times of more educated consupmtion. But even from an emotional connect point of view…making classics modern, as trite and as easy as that may sound..I believe has a vivid life expectancy if you know your competitive marketplace, your consumer, and you surley know how to source great ingredients to build great product…love your thoughts!

  14. Brett
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 3:47 PM

    The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” sums it up…

    There has been, and will always be superior and inferior product out there. Buy the best, take care of it, and is should last a lifetime…or better yet, maybe you’ll actually wear it out, doing with it what it was originally designed and made for!

    (on a side note…JD Salinger probably helped sell a lot of red hunting caps.)

    thanks for the shout out!

  15. jc
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 4:54 PM

    “We’re not even going to discuss Abercrombie & Fitch.” This made me think … does anyone remember when Banana Republic sold actual safari gear? Talk about changes.

    And, those Russell Oneidas are dope. 8E, please.

  16. bork
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 5:00 PM

    Huh – Interesting to check the prices with a CPI inflation calculator. The Woolrich shirt-jacs would cost over $100 in today’s prices; the Russel Kangaroos would be about $315.

  17. jason
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 6:32 PM

    I experienced something similar when I moved to the South a few years ago. I’ve come to realize that I’m not really the kind of person Cabela’s or the like are marketing to. In reality, while I don’t understand it, the camouflage lamps and singing fish are exactly the kind of aesthetic Cabela’s customers are looking for. I’ve resorted to doing the majority of my shopping online, seeing as most stores I’m interested in don’t have much following south of the Mason-Dixon.

  18. jose
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 7:26 PM

    i first learned of cabela’s back in the early 90′s when i started fishing more. i reconnected with them about twelve years later and wow, they definitely changed from folks who acually spend time outdoors doing things and now on a focus of, as jason notes, people who enjoy the singing bass and would rather not be outside.

    i have to to explore orvis shops to see if they still focus on actual fishermen and women.

  19. Andrea
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 8:12 PM

    Ulysses – I’m completely intrigued that you’re the heir to Duxbak! I’ve come across some WWI era ads for Duxbak that featured field clothing for women, and as soon as I get the time-travel widget to work in my browser, I do intend to order me some.

    Gosh. Can I have your autograph?

  20. Bryan
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 8:17 PM

    Michael, did you happen to stumble into the “guns” section of the store? I know I’m off topic but to see a hunting rifle with a $20,000 price tag is incredible.

  21. Rick/ Know Your Legends
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 9:28 PM

    Man, Cabela’s is way to hardcore for most city slickers. My ex girls pop is a bow hunter and we took the hour long trip from Philly a couple times a year to reUP on new hunting gear and I had to act mad rural dude when dealing with the staff there. I mean I know about hunting and fishing, but they are next level. To break it down for you, most hunters don’t worry about where their camo rifle carrier is made. They want mad gear for a good price. This is my opinion, you dudes from Iowa can disagree. It’s cool, you kill more deer per capita then any other state in the union.

  22. Ulysses
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 9:48 PM

    Andrea – If you want to find a way to get into contact with me (I’m not certain you’d want to put your email on here), I can definitely make some things happen for you if you’re serious about getting some clothing. No one has really shown any interest in the women’s clothing and we have a large surplus of it. So let me know.

    Also, at “jfox.” I have every magazine and ad ever printed so when I get around to it I’ll scan them and send you a link. And by that, I mean post it on this comments section. Have to go up home to Utica to do that though.

  23. Rome Reality
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:05 PM

    Bergan’s is still around as well and a branch of the family lives in Seattle. I would love a Paddock vest for my husband! Eddie Bauer would be smart to collaborate with you.

    Love this site, your lists (I’ve visited new stores in NYC, new websites and look forward to future shopping adventures) and maps. Thank you for your attention to detail and dedication!

  24. Andrea
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:12 PM

    Ulysses – the link on my name should eventually get you to an email address.

    Andrea
    (who, way back in the last century, lived in Elmira, NY)

  25. Brohammas
    on Feb 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:55 PM

    Gander Mtn. is way better than Cabela’s.

  26. Greg
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 1:31 AM

    The more things change, the more Russell Moccasin stays the same. The price today for those Kangaroo boots is only $77 more (inflation adjusted) than the RTW ones here, for MTM boots! Not bad.

  27. chafe
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 8:06 AM

    Orvis has stayed pretty true to their hunting and fishing roots. However, the hunting and fishing are definitely seen as different lines than their mainstream clothes. They are even marketed separately from the mainstream catalogue. Remember Orvis has a huge travel, hunting trip, fishing school, etc arm of their busines.

    As for Cabelas – it’s definitely for the hardcore hunter. It’s one of those stores that might not appeal to a broader audience, but if you know and need something specific, it’s a good place to go. If you’re not hunting, it won’t appeal at all to you…

    Can’t comment on the singing fish…I hunt and fish and I don’t own any…

  28. Walt
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 10:03 AM

    Just purchased a late 1960s Eddie Bauer Skyliner jacket, the one with diamond quilting, raglan cuffs, collar, and waist, for $19.95!

  29. Greg D
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 10:04 AM

    Coming from a heritage of fishing and upland/waterfowl hunting, I find this whole hipster fascination of all things outdoors hilarious. Mainly because being on the fringe you will truly never understand the real progression of the products, why certain things are no longer made and why real outdoors people buy what they buy (no, I don’t own any singing fish or camo lamps). I’m thankful knowing the real things we treasure – great bird dogs, tan cork decoys, Penn and Fin-noor reels and Fox SxS’s will be kept in the fold and appreciated by those that actually do – not pose.

  30. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 10:06 AM

    Well said Greg D.

  31. dewey decimal
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 10:30 AM

    Wait a minute Greg D, am I not supposed to wear a flannel shirt or 60/40 jacket because there is something wrong with them now there there are newer more “advanced” versions of these products? Do my flannel shirts not keep me warm? Does my 60/40 not keep me dry? I can “treasure” them no longer? How about you wear what you wear, and I wear what I wear. Denim was for miners, caps for ball players, khakis and desert boots for soldiers. WAS. Don’t make such hard and fast rules.

  32. Alan Wenker
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 12:43 PM

    Both Greg D and Dewey make valid points. I don’t hunt, but I’ve gone backpacking, canoeing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing since the 1970′s. Over those years I’ve seen a lot of clothing ideas come and go. Some changes have been for the better, notably raingear, and yet most are simply good marketing. Woolrich still makes the types of wool shirts you see in the catalog scans but the fabric quality is not as good. 100% wool shirts changed to 85% wool shirts in the 1970′s and are now 80% wool. Stag shirts are $108 retail for 20% nylon.

    Fleece and other synthetics may be ligher than wool and may dry faster than wool but if a campfire spark hits the fabric you have a big hole in your garment. If I were lost in the bush overnight I’d rather be wearing wool than anything else.

    60/40 parkas are wonderful garments unless it’s raining hard, though they are heavy.

    The Canadian vest in the catalog scan is perfect for what it’s designed for, yet today down vests have all sorts of crazy features which you don’t need and never use.

  33. The Urban Naturalist
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 1:21 PM

    Last summer my cousins and I went on a fishing trip to Michigan. We stopped at Cabela’s to grab some fishing licenses. I also picked up a pair of Cabela’s brand duck boots which have treated me well in the city on rainy days ever since. Unfortunately for the nature loving and fashion forward, Cabela’s isn’t looking to cater to us. But we can find some diamonds in the rough.

  34. Rumsey
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 2:31 PM

    Re: Cabela’s

    I have been ordering from Cabela’s for years, and both “Rick/ Know Your Legends” and “The Urban Naturalist” have hit the nail on the head, it’s geared towards the hardcore hunter/ outdoorsman, not the “fake-hunter-hipster in Manhattan”. Furthermore, it’s a place to shop for middle class Americans and below (rednecks if you will; see talking fish) who are looking for serviceable and affordable goods for hunting/ fishing and beyond. This demographic can’t afford the Orvis website and are looking for items to use in the field, not on a stroll to the Corner Bistro for a burger.

    “Brohammas” Gander Mtn. is essentially the same thing as Cabela’s, as is Bass Pro Shops

    Note: I’m a Boston transplant from upstate NY, while not a redneck owner of camo lamps I’d do consider myself to have some redneck tendencies. I’m new to the blog and love it, I just don’t see a need to “bash” (for lack of a better word) the folks at Cabela’s for doing what they do, rather well and for numerous decades.

  35. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 2:39 PM

    Rumsey — did you see when I said: “I’m not trying to bash the operation just because it doesn’t appeal to me.” ??

    Your comment simply reiterates points that have already been made and misinterprets the original post. I get it. It’s a hunting Wal-Mart. Not for people from Manhattan. All acknowledged. All I am saying is, your point is valid and correct, just redundant.

  36. Rumsey
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 2:47 PM

    It just seems rather odd that you’d even include Cabela’s in this post, why not simply focus on Eddie Bauer here? Some of the points you made prior to your “not trying to bash the operation” disclaimer did just that…that’s all, not looking to ruffle any feathers, only voicing my view/ opinions. I found it odd that you’d even bother mentioning Cabela’s at all since all previous content is posted in a much more positive and optimistic light.

    Again, love the blog and keep up the good work.

  37. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 3:07 PM

    I’m critical because both stores disappoint me on a certain level — which is my opinion. Sometimes when I’m not totally thrilled with something, I will express that by being slightly less than positive. Like I said, your point is valid and I think mine is as well.

  38. HB
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 3:43 PM

    worked at a bauer back in the day of sleeping bags, guns and fly rods…wish i’d bought a skyliner……at x-mas return season, we would accept any product a customer wasn’t satisfied with NO MATTER WHAT AND NO MATTER HOW LONG THEY OWNED IT..had a woman say her kid grew out of a coat, took it back….once sold a car dealer 5 Superior Polar Parkas at $400 a pop to go to a Chicago Bears game! Great post Michael!!!!!

  39. Tuco
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 3:57 PM

    The Cabela’s near me has an oustanding selection of firearms.

  40. Brett
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 5:55 PM

    the American Sportsman needs an image makeover, and ditching the camo would be Step 1. When I started hunting, camo was only used by a handful of “modern” archers…Fred Bear and the like, and understandably. When you need your prey to be within a handful of yards for a clean shot, you need a little help in blurring your silhouette.

    It is my opinion that camo as a pattern or “decoration” is a fashion choice more than a practical one.

    My main issue with Cabelas products and the like is that I feel more and more we are taking the hunt out of hunting. I occasionally watch hunting shows on the Outdoor Channel and Vs., but I can’t stand when they start talking food plots to grow BIG BUCKS and shooting deer from tree-stand houses on stilts. That’s not hunting. I don’t need more advantage over any animal than a rifle, and maybe a scope for the long pokes…
    It’s a multi-million (billion?) dollar business and I understand that whole economies are based on the industry, and that’s all well and good, but all this camo and scent blocking and hiding in houses on stilts does not a hunter make.

    I am going on a back country, horse and mule pack-in, Elk hunting trip this fall and nobody in the hunting party will be wearing camo.

    …but I digress again…thanks for hitting the chord again MW.

    Oh, and “not that there’s anything wrong with that…(wearing camo)”

  41. Brett
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 5:56 PM

    …one last thing, Jack O’Connor used to wear a Skyliner from Eddie Bauer.

  42. Michael Williams
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 6:00 PM

    Well put Brett. You are a true gentleman.

    If you people don’t know his site, it’s worth a daily click: http://sportinglifemag.blogspot.com

  43. Abe
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 6:29 PM

    @Ulysses I run a small US made clothing label and have a keen interest in historical outdoor gear, would love to chat more and totally happy to trek up to Utica. abe ATsign outlier.cc is the email.

    @Michael & everyone else
    Pretty sure Anne at Crescent Down Works was at Eddie Bauer in the late 60′s era and the stuff she makes now is pretty much identical to what they were doing back then. Either way it’s great classic outdoor gear.

    As for the state of outdoor gear, the price points have gone down significantly relative to inflation over the past 25 years and most companies seem content to chase cheaper labor rather than try and defend the higher price point, quality-driven portion of the market. Make of that how you will but it hardly seems like a sustainable path to me…

  44. doug
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 9:26 PM

    Seeing the Filson stuff in that catalog reminded me that it was not too long ago when Filson catalogs still showed photos of guys working in their stuff.

  45. William
    on Feb 4th, 2010
    @ 11:43 PM

    That’s because Cabela’s is meant for regular Joe outdoorsmen. Some people actually hunt and actually live in rural areas and actually go camping where you can’t drive a car up to the site. Not everybody can afford–or even wants–to walk around in $400 Red Wing boots and $250 Filson jackets and carry a $100 canvas bag just to play outdoorsman for the sake of an aesthetic. Cabela’s is what it is…a great supplier of outdoor gear for outdoor people that offers a reasonable level of quality for a reasonable price. You talk about there being “potential,” but can’t hipsters stick to their trendy, overpriced, faux-vintage outdoor products sold in other stores, and leave the stores intended for the rest of America alone?

    I’m not trying to be rude; it’s an honest question. I walk in an Eddie Bauer store, and it has some neat stuff, but most is overpriced to be practical outdoor gear, and posting romantic vintage catalog pictures doesn’t change the fact that regular Americans who love the outdoors need a place for reliable gear that isn’t dirt cheap but doesn’t break the bank either.

  46. Sean S.
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 12:23 AM

    “You talk about there being “potential,” but can’t hipsters stick to their trendy, overpriced, faux-vintage outdoor products sold in other stores, and leave the stores intended for the rest of America alone?”

    I cry bullshit. None of the people going to Cabela’s, which is the equivalent of Wal-Mart, are any more “authentic” hunters and campers then the hipsters you decry. Are we seriously suggesting that a large, thousand of square foot, national shopping operation runs off the handful of American’s who actually still live in purely rural areas?

    No, what Cabela’s and other big-box outdoor stores represent are the same kind of suburban faux cowboys that have been invading outdoor areas, camping grounds, and other nature spots for years playing at roughing it with their RV’s, “make it easy” fishing and hunting gear, and their various cheap synthetic garb that some rube told them was the best stuff ever for the outdoor. These places exist because of the various outdoor cable channels and the incessant selling of whatever the latest product that will get you THE BIG FISH/BUCK/GAME.

    I’m tired of people defending what are mass merchandise, commercial and corporate driven retail stores as for “real American’s”, while actual real American’s who own hunting and fishing stores locally get brutalized by these big box retailers.

  47. William
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 12:38 AM

    @Sean

    Sure, there are wannabes everywhere. My point was that in the post he says there’s “potential.” And I’m asking, “potential for what?” Turning it into another hipster corner shop that sells “cool bags” and “cool old leather things” and “cool old canvas things?” There are plenty of posers everywhere, but you walk in Cabela’s and I’m willing to bet quite a few bucks the people you’ll meet will, on average, be more competent at hunting, fishing, camping, take-your-pick-of-whatever than the bearded 26-year-old sporting a flannel shirt and skinny jeans walking down the sreet in LA.

    I like locally owned stores, but to call bullshit on them because they’re commercial and corporate…lol. What do you think small locally owned shops are? They’re commercial as well. They’re there to make money. Unfortunately, sometimes they can’t compete with the big box stores. It’s unfortunate yes (my granddad ran an outdoor supply store from the 1950s to the late 1970s, btw). But to decry it as horrible is to ignore the fact that a large chunk of Americans DO live in rural areas or at least participate in outdoor activities to a real degree, and aren’t the posers worrying about whether a store has “potential” to become the next hipster hot trend. We need gear. We don’t have a lot of cash. It’s not adifficult equation.

  48. Brett
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 1:05 AM

    I have a great idea…lets all pool our dough and start our own “American Sportsman Outfitter.” We can sell Vintage as well as new stuff, maybe we’ll jump start the cottage industries, put small town America back to work…who’s with me?..or better yet, lets start and “Etsy” for true quality Outdoorsman products, new and used…

    MW check out

    http://www.uswings.com/khakis.asp

    I bought the shirt and shorts. So far they’ve been great. They do come relatively unfinished, a lot of thread trimming left to be done, but have worn in nicely. NEVER PUT THEM IN THE DRYER!

    They’re prices are very reasonable too.

  49. Chris
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 9:46 AM

    It is becoming more and more difficult for me to hold my tongue when “fake-hunter-hipsters” feel the need to go slumming at places like Cabela’s and come back with nothing but vitriol and self-satisfaction. Here is reality: real American working-men–the guys who get their hands dirty–can not afford, for example, a pair of Red Wing boots. They wear cheapo Die Hard boots from Sears, and they are grateful to have them. The ones inclined to go hunting do not play at English-lord-on-holiday in exorbitantly priced Eddie Bauer and Filson gear–they go to Cabela’s. If you are too much of a classist to appreciate that, please, stay on your own side of the tracks.

  50. Michael Williams
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 10:00 AM

    Chris — I think you are more of a classist than I am. I also call bullshit on your romanticized description of “real American working men”. I bet you work at an ad agency.

  51. Brett
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 11:49 AM

    …”their”, not “they’re”, and I just learned today that “spelling is for editors”…

    Chris has a point, not to beat a dead horse here, but the topic is near and dear…I work with a lot of “real American working-men–the guys who get their hands dirty”, and yes, none of them wear Redwing boots. In fact, none of them have even heard of Redwing boots, and frankyl they don’t care. They want to pay as little as possible, and for the cost of one pair of Redwing boots, they can buy 5 or 6 pairs of their boots. Oh, and most of them are from Mexico or Central America, so they’re stoked to have a job where they have to buy boots….

    Speaking for myself only, I have a serious nostalgia problem. Maybe its a generational thing. I have to work at not romanticizing the way things were and focus on the here and now. Fashion is fashion and my uniform is a lacoste shirt, some khakis and either boots (RM Williams-not logger boots) or rod lavers, depending on the site and the weather I dont wear my woolrich hunting tuxedo unless i’m hunting, and even then, its so freaking heavy, I only wear it when I’m hunting back east or in the midwest. I dont even wear carhart, its more than I need.

    Dont get me wrong, i have a whole chest full of vintage hunting clothes. I went through that phase in the 90′s (Cheap Jacks in NYC used to have a great selection and i’d stock up when i was there…i cant imagine what a good woolrich jacket costs now)

    What I dont get is th classiscist comments (i was an art major, so maybe its above me) it sounds like some people have inferiority complexes. I just bought a rifle rest from Cabelas and will probably buy one of their down vests for my hunting tirp in the fall. They have some good prices on scopes, ammo, etc. Oh, and Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops all sell a lot of unnecessary lifetsyle junk, just like everybody else.

    I prefer more traditional hunting clothes, which for me boils down to some durable pants, a long sleeve shirt, a vest for layering, and some descent boots.

    Speaking of romanticizing, don’t tell me that the “Okie” look during the great depression hasn’t launched more than a few fashions. Do you think the poverty look of our generation will be romanticized like the Great Depression era is?

    “Cant we all just be along?”

  52. Ant
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 12:24 PM

    the best part of the catalog are the prices!

  53. Russel Sprouts
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 3:04 PM

    This stuff is too expensive.

    Oh wait…it’s not made by ACL? Price on point!

  54. Rumsey
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 3:36 PM

    Brett, Chris, and William…I couldn’t agree more (not sure if you saw my posts from yesterday).

    William you’re spot on in your response to Sean re: the Cabela’s demographic.

    Brett, my father was a city driver for Yellow Freight and drove tractor trailers for nearly 40 years. I can’t tell you how many times he spoke almost the exact thing you typed above: “for the cost of one pair of Redwing boots (or any other brand, say Chippewa) they can buy 5 or 6 pairs of their boots.”

    Just had to give you guys some props here. Bottom line is middle and lower class Americans can afford Cabela’s and get exactly what they need. Sure they’d prefer to hunt in the now ever popular “hipster” hunting brands, but these are blue collar men without the expendable income to purchase from those “labels”.

  55. Sean S.
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 6:00 PM

    Except he isn’t, for the exact reasons I described. Anyone suggesting that a big-box retailer survives off the handful of “real American’s”, however they define it, is an idiot.

    And I can give a just so story for why I’ve never, or rarely, met a union member who doesn’t try to buy American or union-made when possible. And they’re willing to pay the extra price. I mean Jesus, Ross Perot ran a whole entire campaign off this kind of bread and butter economic nationalism.

    People who abandon their local stores for big box retailers deserve everything they get when their cities become ghost-towns, and then they wonder why it is the case. It is dingbats like the people above who are responsible for most small towns becoming nothing more than Wal-Mart supercenter parking lots.

    And, for the record, lest anyone accuse me of being a NYC hipster, I actually live in Columbia, SC, surrounded by the kind of economic devastation that has wrecked America’s textile base. Thanks alot!

  56. Sean S.
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 7:52 PM

    The reality is the opposing commentators are using, essentially, “a true scotsman” type of logic. No matter what we say, a “real American” will always be the person who does X and doesn’t do Y that fits their argument and most certainly won’t fit ours. So its all a wash.

  57. Michael Williams
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 7:54 PM

    The comments section of ACL is Groundhog Day — the same shit over and over.

  58. William
    on Feb 5th, 2010
    @ 8:23 PM

    I never mentioned the words “real American” or real anything. I did however allude to a difference between those who buy products because of an authentic pursuit of outdoor sports, and those who buy products for purely the aesthetic. Naturally, with all things, there are a million shades of gray. Most people are probably a mix of the two and most stores probably serve a base that’s a mix. However, I don’t for one second back down from my defense of bigger stores like basspro or cabelas. I like to shop local and small when I can, but I’m also practical and a realist. So, for example, I support my local bait shop and my local bike shop and I get a lot of camping supplies from a local owned hardware store. But when I’m buying a new pair of boots, I’ll go to cabelas no sweat. I’m not paying several hundred dollars for a romantic aesthetic when I’m looking for an affordable function-driven hunting boot. It’s moderate practicalism, if you will, if I had to call it something lol.

    But, to each his own. I couldn’t care less who’s a real American…what does that even mean anyway? But I live in small town Oklahoma. nobody sees me dressing like some sort of punk musician or something. It’s not who I am so why pretend?

  59. Sean
    on Feb 6th, 2010
    @ 12:24 AM

    “And, for the record, lest anyone accuse me of being a NYC hipster, I actually live in Columbia, SC, surrounded by the kind of economic devastation that has wrecked America’s textile base. Thanks alot!”

    Just want to point out I have no affiliation to the rhetoric above.

    As you were gents.

  60. Chris
    on Feb 6th, 2010
    @ 12:25 AM

    Michael et al.,

    First, thanks for responding to my comment, even if it was little more than a speculative knee-jerk rebuke. I’ll dismiss it with a fair amount of contempt, but won’t let it discourage me from wading back into the conversation, which is an interesting one. Don’t be so hasty to deride the thoughts you stirred up in your readership just because it calls your narcissistic world-view into question. And for the record, I kept myself alive through childhood and college in a variety of manual labor jobs which I was grateful to put behind me, though now that I am trapped in retail they’re starting to look good to me again. If you happen to know anyone in advertising who is hiring, I’d be willing to give it a try, though, if it means I never have to empty a Port-o-John again.
    Now, my point is not that anyone should or shouldn’t be dressing in faux-hunting/Depression-era-esque garb. If I didn’t happen to enjoy the aesthetic myself why would I read this fine webpage? I have nothing against the bearded Brooklyn masses fopping around in overpriced Woolrich coats while stuffing their maws with artisanal porkchops. It’s only natural–we live in a plastic, hands-free culture and people are desperate for something authentic. Hell, I own two sweaters from Rogue’s Gallery and I am no more a whaler than they are.
    My gripe begins when such people leave the confines of their elite world and then cast judgment on the lowbrow world they are emulating. You went to a bastion of the culture you crave connection with and you came away “bored” and lamenting unrealized “potential.” The temerity!
    And yet, I don’t know why I’m surprised. My grandfather was a gunsmith at the old Broadway Abercrombie and Fitch for 40 years and I’m only too glad he died before he saw the fully realized “potential” of that organization. The fact is that the more cheaply made and unfashionably designed Cabela goods remain the more likely the store will continue to serve the people who patronize it rather than being co-opted by cask-ale quaffing flaneurs.
    So bring on the camo.

  61. Michael Williams
    on Feb 6th, 2010
    @ 12:28 AM

    Knee jerk part II.

    Chris works at Cabela’s.

    Case closed.

    P.S. Don’t act like you know me and I won’t act like I know you.

  62. Himel
    on Feb 6th, 2010
    @ 8:10 PM

    Hmmmm Camo….excellent for getting shot at by other hunters…that aside…I cant stand the term “hipster” as though wearing quality functional well made clothing should be divided up between those that hunt and those that live in Manhattan? Absurd…take it from this Canuck…who spends mucho wilderness time and lives in downtown Toronto in the clothing business and also works with my friend who has a workwear store since 1946. The quality of North American clothing declined with the quality of the purchasers. Customers didn’t care about quality and functionality any more so price became the driving point..and its cheaper to offshore goods then make them here. All that skill was lost…and the remaining cut and sew operations had to cheap out on materials and stitching to remain competative, and stay in business to qualify for “union” and made in America and Canada clauses in contracts. That being said, wether or not you are hip (and I would prefer a world of hipsters as compared to the “other” that is so fondly extolled by some of these peeps, if your cold you want a well made warm shirt…if your being rained on, you want a well made dry jacket, and lets be honest kids..we all want to look good. I dont see how blogging about that is some how the paradigm of “hipster vs hunter” although it would make a great Stallone movie. Maybe there is a screenplay there, lol. :O)

    Himel

  63. ryan p.
    on Feb 9th, 2010
    @ 8:59 PM

    you guys, you guys….

    this was funny though:

    “Knee jerk part II.

    Chris works at Cabela’s.

    Case closed.

    P.S. Don’t act like you know me and I won’t act like I know you.”