Yesterday I wrote about how easy it is to confuse a Key West Hand Print with that of Lilly Pulitzer. Considering that the two were designed and made by the same team, that is understandable. But there are other times when one item might be mistakenly taken to be something else. In many cases it is a matter of copying.
In 1949 Pendleton introduced what had to be one of their most popular designs ever – the 49er. It was the beginning of their women’s line, and as you might know, it is still being made today. During the 1950s, the years when the jacket was so popular, there were a lot of other makers who cashed in on the design. Several years ago I posted about one I found that had originally been sold at Sears.
I found the blue and grey example this week at my not so secret shopping place. My first thought was that I’d discovered a Pendleton 49er among the Old Navy and Forever 21 trash littering the bins. But an examination proved that this was another wannabe.
There was no label, but I did see traces where one had been sewn into the neck seam. That was not good, because Pendleton sewed theirs onto the back yoke.
Here is the label from a vintage Pendleton 49er, that was a gift from Mod Betty several years ago. A zigzag stitch was used to attach the label on the yoke.
The buttons on this jacket are a plastic that are meant to look like shell or mother-of-pearl. An authentic vintage 49er has grey mother-of-pearl buttons.
Probably the most obvious difference is the way the pockets were cut. On a 49er the bias cut pockets are mirror images of one another. On this jacket they are cut on the bias, but no attempt was made to match them.
Note the beautifully matched pockets on my 49er. Also note how the horizontal lines of the plaid match across the sleeves and the body of the jacket.
Interestingly, the plaids match up quite well on one sleeve…
but note how far off they are on the other side. On the other hand, the two sides of the collar are quite well matched.
My fake does have the same type of pleat to the shoulders, and the sleeve cuffs are constructed in the same manner. The wool is nice; not as nice as Pendleton, but it is passable.
I did buy this jacket anyway. I like the colors, and it will be a good layering piece for the rest of the winter. But darn it, I sure wish it had been a Pendleton.