A couple of months back, I wrote about the Wood & Faulk bag I received as a Christmas gift. It’s a magnificent creation, made of cognac colored leather and gray waxed canvas, and it finally got its first use when I made a road trip to Alpine and Marfa, Texas.
Flannel is one of the essentials of a winter wardrobe. The ideal intersection of warmth and comfort, it’s the perfect fabric for those months when the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the sun.
Often brushed to create extra softness, it can be made in both wool and cotton varieties.
I recently purchased a flannel shirt for Frannie from the Vermont Flannel Company. It’s in the Dress Stewart pattern, one of the most classic and versatile of all the tartans.
For more than 20 years, Vermont Flannel has been making flannel shirts (and a variety of other items) at its headquarters in East Barre, Vermont. Given that they continue to be manufactured to a high quality in the United States, their shirts are an incredible bargain–slightly less than $50 for both the men’s and women’s varieties.
Of note, their shirts are generously sized. Frannie’s is a size small, although she probably could have shimmied into an extra small.
Earlier today, Frannie and I made an excursion to Hamilton Shirts in Houston. Hamilton is the country’s oldest maker of custom shirts, in business since 1883, making it two years older even than England’s venerable Turnbull & Asser.
Although it had been four years since my last visit, we were, as always, warmly received. I had the option of of perusing the fabrics in books or adjourning to the workroom, where bolts of fabric fill shelves that line the walls. I opted for the latter, as considering fabrics on large bolts always adds more verisimilitude to the custom experience.
I ended up ordering four shirts: a white herringbone with a spread collar; a blue solid with a spread collar; a blue check with a button down collar and a pink and purple hairline stripe with a contrasting white club collar. They should be ready by mid-March.