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 metmuseum.org