Pendleton 49er

Pendleton ad, 1953

Well, fall is really here, with cooler weather, so what better time to talk about the famous Pendleton 49er.

For years Pendleton Woolen Mills produced Indian style blankets and men’s wool shirts.  It was not until 1949 that the company started making women’s clothing, and their very first product, the 49er jacket was an instant hit.  It was THE casual jacket of the 1950s, and remained so popular that the jacket is still made today.  The fabric is still woven in the United States, but unfortunately, is sewn elsewhere.  To see the current selection, visit the Pendleton Website.

A few weeks ago I got an email from my favorite retro roadtripper, Beth of the Retro Roadmap.  She said she had a vintage Pendleton jacket, and it was not really her style, so would I like to have it.  Well, I thought, this could be very, very good, or it could be quite bad (as in the case of some 1980s Pendleton…) So I cautiously clicked on the photos, and instantly knew it was the very best of luck – it was a 49er.

So the lovely thing arrived this week, and I have photos to share, but not of me wearing it.  I figure one photo of me per page is quite enough.

This is the classic 49er, with the flanged and slighted padded shoulders, the diagonal patch pockets and the spread collar.  I’ll probably wear it belted for the most part, but it looks super just worn loose over jeans.

A note about the label:  The womenwear label is always white, and the menwear label is blue.  Later Pendleton labels have the Woolmark symbol, which was added in the mid 1960s.

It really has been like Christmas around here, and I guess it is true that good things come in threes!  But this is the last  of my Christmas in October Trilogy.  If you want to see some 49ers in action, check out Maggie of Denisebrain as she shows off some of the many 49ers she has had.


Posted by Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap:

Aw, so glad to see it in its new home! I thought it was a great little jacket and pictured myself wearing it while raking leaves or some other fall activity, but when hubby’s allergic to wool I never get to wear my knits as much as I would like to. Thanks for the history, at least it shows I have a good eye! 🙂

Friday, October 30th 2009 @ 6:43 PM

Posted by Tom Tuttle from Tacoma:

oh you lucky woman! i had to spend quite a bit for two wool coats from etsy. i wore a maroon/forest green one for last year’s xmas 🙂

Friday, October 30th 2009 @ 11:22 PM

Posted by Cheryl:

Love to see all the great collections of 49ers, and we had a blast collecting our own group of 49ers for our Corporate Centennial Celebration this year. We now have quite a range in colors and sizes and have decided to give some back to our fans. We plan to give away one 49er each day the week before Thanksgiving on our Women’s Facebook page. Hope some of you loyal 49er fans win one – we appreciate your devotion!

Friday, November 6th 2009 @ 3:06 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Cheryl, thanks so much for posting. We will all be looking at the fb page to see how to win one of those great jackets!

Wednesday, November 11th 2009 @ 6:36 PM


Filed under Advertisements, Vintage Clothing

6 responses to “Pendleton 49er

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  5. Goodness! I just found one of these today in a charity shop! Wonderful red/green plaid, diagonally placed pockets, wide collar, big abalone buttons, the white label too… I didn’t know the 49er history, but my mother certainly wore something similar in the 1950s. The one I’ve found has obviously been loved – with a few small repairs, including roughly restitched buttonholes. I will no doubt show you in due course…


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