An Early Pendleton Jacket

There are times in my life that I’ve been very happy to be wrong.  That statement will come as a shock to those of you who think I’d never admit to ever being wrong, but that’s another story.  Let’s just say I was wrong about this jacket, and I was thrilled to discover my error.

The jacket has been in my possession, and actually in my closet, for at least 15, and probably closer to 20 years.   There are no labels, and when I found it I thought it was most likely from the 1940s, and maybe from a Southwestern US weaver, or possibly Mexican.  Was it the colors that made me think this?  I’m not sure, but I was definitely not as experienced at evaluating a garment then.  To be honest, I have not even thought about it , nor worn it, since 1997. My father always complimented me on the jacket whenever I wore it, and after he died in 1997, I just haven’t had the heart to wear it.

Last week I was sitting here wasting time on that huge time-suck otherwise known as Tumblr.  If you don’t know Tumblr, it is a photo blogging site, where people post anything and everything, most of it taken from other sites.  One blogger does vintage and antique clothing posts, pulling dozens of photos from around the web, all on a theme.

Last week she was posting coats and jackets.  As I was scrolling through them, I found myself feeling envious at some of the wonderful skiwear in the holdings of various museums.  Suddenly there was a photo of a jacket, labeled as 1929-1931 Pendleton,  that looked very familiar.  It looked like… my jacket!  I clicked through to the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s site, and there it was – not exactly my jacket, but one that is so similar that I’m sure it is indeed a late 1920s Pendleton.

As you can see, the only differences are in the stripe and in the collar.  Every other detail is identical.  Even the buttons are the same.  Mine, however is missing the label.

If I were to have found this jacket today, I would have suspected that it is earlier than the 1940s.  But as I’ve pointed out in the past, we often see what we think we have, rather than what is really there.  I’m quite content to be in the wrong.

Of course, this really does point out the value of a label.  The graphic is clearly from the 1920s, though it could have been used a bit later.

The label also contradicts a bit of often-read information that is even alluded to on the Pendleton website, and that is that the 49er was the first women’s garment made by Pendleton.  The 49er was certainly the beginning of Pendleton developing a line of sportswear separates, but it is pretty obvious it was not the first garment Pendleton made for women.

Jacket and label photographs copyright


Filed under Collecting

23 responses to “An Early Pendleton Jacket

  1. Lovely! And in this case, what a beautiful mistake 🙂


  2. Amazing! When something like this happens, it’s easy to admit that you were wrong.
    Would you be so kind as to give us the link to the Tumblr site you were referring to?


  3. Gail Ann Thompson

    Love the front darts and/or raglan sleeves. Unusual.


  4. Fantastic! Congratulations on making such a great discovery. It’s even better that it was from your own closet!


  5. What fun! I love the way the girl on the label wears a wide leather belt over her coat.


  6. I love this. I especially love the colorway on *your* Pendleton!

    And this is also why I love Tumblr, though I agree it is a complete timesuck. If not for Tumblr, I might not have discovered that a blouse I’d sold had been from an Edith Head line for a movie. (Of course, it would have been nice to know that before I sold it, but still!) If you’re smart about who you follow, you can get a pretty good Tumblr feed rolling.


  7. How very cool! 🙂

    Do you think you’ll start wearing the coat now that you know what it is?


  8. I love to find adverts or information on the things I own, especially if they have a provenance such as your coat.


  9. Oh, Tumblr! It is so very addicting! But you do find marvelous stuff there, such as this. I love finding vintage graphics.

    Wow! That is so nifty! As an Oregonian, I love early Pendleton stuff.


  10. Oh my Lizzie, what a fabulous mistake!

    Pendleton has such a rich history. Thanks for helping to clarify part of that and for sharing your dads beautiful jacket.


  11. What a beautiful surprise!


  12. Bijoux

    Wow, what a great jacket. Initially I thought it was your Dad’s. I was going to comment on what a dashing dapper dandy he must have been! But reading your comments and replies I see it was always yours, but now you can’t wear it as your Dad loved you in it. Please find a way to get over this. When a loved one passes, all that’s left is the love that exists in your heart. By wearing this you will be doing something he loved, and that’s what keeps the love of both of you alive. Feed that and you’ll miss him less. Please don’t sell it. You don’t think you are too old to wear it, do you?…Do you?


    • I’m afraid that the way I originally had it phrased made it looked like the coat was my dad’s. No, it was mine, and I wore it from time to time. It was just that he loved it.

      I’m not going to sell it, but I’ll not be wearing it either. And not because it makes me sad, but because I want to keep it in its present condition. I’ve very rough on clothes! I do have it hanging where I can admire it.


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  16. Rhiannon Macbeth

    I’d love to buy this if you ever think of selling!


  17. Pingback: Vintage Miscellany – October 26, 2014 | The Vintage Traveler

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