Tucked at the end of Extra Place — an alley off of Bowery — sits New York’s coolest new shop Extra. If you don’t take care and pay special attention the shop can be difficult to find, but it is certainly worth it. To be honest, when I saw the address for the first time I didn’t even think it was in Manhattan. The shop’s proprietor is a very nice man named Koji Kusakabe who’s a long time (and much respected) vintage hunter. This fact becomes very obvious when you step foot in the modest space and see all of the treasures that are on offer. In addition to a whole host of vintage gems and collectibles, Koji stocks new goods from Engineered Garments and Post Overalls. The man has a knack for vintage and workwear, it’s a beautiful thing.
Go, go to your archives. That was the call, and Fort Worth-based-workwear-juggernaut Dickies heard it and is re-releasing its “Uniform Shirt” ($175) and “Uniform Pant” ($200) this coming July. Both pieces — part of the company’s new 1922 Collection, which will initially be available at Unionmade in S.F., Stronghold in L.A. and Luther’s in Austin — are made in the United States at the oldest and longest continuously operating Dickies factory in Uvalde, Texas. Boom.
Made from twill Type I Cramerton Army Cloth, both the Uniform Shirt and the pants come in two color variants — Khaki and Suntan. The 1922 shirt comes two ways, with short or long sleeves and the pants are offered either hemmed or cuffed. This is a small start, but hopefully this will be a beginning to a larger movement of American production from Dickies.
A dose of nostalgia and workwear for your weekend. This 1950s film about the development of the U.S. railroad system is a great looking little piece of history. “America is the living symbol of the miracle of modern production.” Well said Mr. Industrial Propaganda Film announcer. Check out those brand new Caterpillar dozers at the 2:03 mark, the plaid work shirt at 6:19 and all of those factory scenes. Great stuff.
This past weekend The San Francisco Chronicle and writer Aaron Britt weighed in on the work wear trend. Aaron was kind enough to speak to your humble blogger about the specifics and even included a photo from my trip to the Post O’Alls factory a few weeks back. Many thanks again to Mr. Britt and also to Annie Wilson for going to the trouble of mailing me copies. Print version below, online here.
When it comes to the Life photo archive I seem to be stuck in the year 1942. The mining always begins at random places and seems to inevitably end up around WWII. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has long been a fascination of mine, and these pictures of war-time industry help to scratch that itch. One day when ACL is a massive corporation (with interests in everything from ladies undergarments to heavy equipment; just like the Japanese!) the world headquarters will hopefully be at the navy yard in good ole Kings County, Brooklyn USA.
To relax, some people play golf or some people go sailing; I like to visit factories. Maybe it was all those Mister Rogers “how it’s made” segments I watched as a child. Or it could just be my insatiable curiosity about what goes into things. Provenance and all that sort of good stuff. POST OVERALLS started making its own line of work wear back in 1993, well before anyone ever thought about reproducing authentic American goods like chore coats, dark denim jeans and chambray shirts. Long before people were arguing about dressing blue-collar on the internets. Respect and credit is due to Post for paving the way for all of the work wear brands that are out there today.
Items from the POST O’ALLS autumn / winter 2009 collection.