White Stag Tyrolean Style Jacket

This great jacket ticked off several boxes on my things to look for when adding to my collection list.  Vintage White Stag – check.  Tryolean inspired garment – check.  Great color combination – check.  Interesting historical detail – check.

It’s not often that I get such a solid confirmation of the date of a garment, but here it is.  And even more interesting is the ability to put this jacket in a specific time and place.  So many times the garments I find have been entirely divorced from their histories.  And while I don’t know the name of the woman who wore the jacket, I do know about its place attachment.

Wheaton College is in Illinois, and it has a long history of supporting social reform.  It was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and enrolled both black students and women in a time when such was rare.  Wheaton was established in a time when many schools of higher learning were founded by religious organizations, and Wheaton retains its Christian focus to this day.

I’ve written before about the interest in Germanic clothing styles in the years leading up to World War II.  I even have another piece from White Stag that shows this trend.

White Stag has its beginnings in a canvas tent company owned by Max and Leopold Hirsch and partner Harry Weis.  When Max’s son Harold Hirsch returned home from Dartmouth College, he brought back his love of skiing, which was just catching on as a recreational sport.  The company began producing ski clothing in 1929, and in 1931 the line was named White Stag, the English translation of Weis Hirsch .

The Germanic roots of this jacket are obvious.  One could wear it to Oktoberfest today and fit right in.

There are several questions I’d like to ask about this piece.  Did White Stag make the jackets specifically for Wheaton college, or was the discovery of the jacket by someone at the college a happy accident.  Are there others, or is this just one girl’s project?  Could these have been for a club?

Here’s one more little special detail.  The pockets are lined in red.  The label is from the United Garment Workers, which was the union for people making ready made tailored products like coats and suits.  I’ve got to wonder if that number can be traced in any way.

I found this great piece through the weekly VFG feature, Fresh Vintage, where members share their latest finds that are for sale.  This jacket came from Amy at Viva Vintage Clothing.

10 Comments

Filed under Collecting, Curiosities, Vintage Clothing, World War II

10 responses to “White Stag Tyrolean Style Jacket

  1. Lizzie, you amaze me. You make vintage things so much more interesting than I imagined. Before I read your story about this White Stag jacket ….I thought of it as just an “old jacket”…however, you made this old jacket come alive when you revealed a bit of history. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Love the history. Made me wonder what it was like for Harold Hirsch as a Jew at Dartmouth in the 1920s. No doubt not entirely pleasant, but nonetheless he persisted. While my own family had limited involvement with the rag trade (except for one aunt & uncle who owned a successful hat company in NYC from 1946-65), I remain very proud of my collective Jewish history in the industry.

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  3. Lizzie, I wonder if your great jacket was a class jacket for the class of 1940, as per this link:

    https://archon.wheaton.edu/index.php?p=digitallibrary/thumbnails&q=Jacket

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps a search through a couple of college yearbooks might reveal an actual photograph of this jacket and several others. By checking sizes you might be able to put more of the pieces together!

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  5. NICE!!! I had White Stag ski(stretch) ski pants with attached stirrups on feet and a beautiful coordinating turtle neck platted/twisted bulky ski sweater and weather proof zip front hooded parka – all in pale ice blue/white from my mother circa 1958-9. Hope the dates/description helps with timelines!? This was my first look at the White Stag Label as a kid!

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  6. The details on this jacket are just so neat! I really love the pocket details. And that color of blue is fabulous!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this tyrolean style jacket. I lived in Tyrol and still love to see / acquire items with a folk style. In fact I recently purchased a vintage “dirndl” green dress, which probably I’m never going to wear really, although I love it. Not that it is as interesting or old as the item you found!

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