Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pendleton 49er Jackets

I'm a big fan of US fashions of the 40s and 50s, and one of my favourite icons of that era is the Pendleton 49er Jacket. Pendleton Woolen Mills from Portland, Oregon started in 1909 and were famed for there blankets and uniforms. In 1949 they began producing women's sports/leisurewear and the 49er jacket was launched. Pendleton still produce a variation on these jackets today. {Click photos for a closer view.}

I've got two vintage Pendleton 49er jackets and they're great for recreating a 40s or 50s casual outfit. They look particularly good when worn with high waisted Jeans such as those from Freddies of Pinewood - I wore that very outfit complete with 40s-style turban on a trip to London, late last year.

Although they were made in 1949 and worn in the 50s, these early jackets still have a very '40s' look, with their wide lapels and sharp, padded shoulders. The classic 49er jacket also has pearlised buttons and two front pockets. You can also make out from the above photo, a pleat that runs parallel to the shoulder seam:

Above is the inside label. On later labels, from 60s onwards it includes the Wool symbol, so if it doesn't have the wool logo you know it'll be an original/early one. A great resource to check labels is the Vintage Fashion Guild. To see their collection of Pendleton Labels, Click Here. It's good to know your labels as it can help you date an item if you're ever unsure of the age. With jackets like these, the lapels are very wide, so much so they could even look 70s to the untrained eye. If you know what to look for on the label too, you know you how to date it correctly and not be caught out.

My grey and red check 49er. You can see here the straight back with two sets of gathers along the top seem:

Another label pic and on the right hand side you can see the thin shoulder pads made from the same material as the jacket:

If you're into 40s and 50s fashion it's definitely worth keeping your eyes peeled for a 49er! Here's an original ad that features one that looks a bit like mine!

Read more about the history of the 49er Jacket on the official Pendleton blog here - funnily enough they also link back to this blog post!


LaToya R. said...

Thanks for this! I bought a Pendleton yesterday at a vintage store. The tag said it was 1950s but you can never be to certain. But from the info you provided it IS actually one of the original
49er jackets! YAY!

Jo Waterhouse said...

Great! Glad it helped! ;-)

Laura Crumpacker said...

Thank you for this post and the link to the resource site! I bought a beautiful green, yellow and teal Pendleton blanket today and it has the same label as posted. I'm delighted to be able to estimate an age for this gorgeous throw!

Thanks for the helpful and interesting information!

Jo Waterhouse said...

Hi Laura, thanks for the comment! So glad it was helpful for you!