Pointer Brand Jacket

It’s the jacket that almost wasn’t.

Or, more accurately, it’s the jacket that was, then wasn’t, then was again in a very big way.

Although popular in Japan (as are many examples of American made workwear), the Pointer Brand jacket/chore coat was a sartorial prophet without honor in its own country, little known outside the town (Bristol, Tenn.) where it’s made.

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Constructed from a tan cotton duck and sturdy as nails, it’s the perfect shoulder season jacket for all manner of physical labor.

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Despite its utilitarian advantages, the jacket fell out of vogue; production was halted on it for more than a year. But then it found itself on the back of the right trendsetter, an Internet style blogger who Johnny Appleseeded the jacket back into prominence. Soon, a new audience was clamoring for what was once a jacket favored almost exclusively by those who worked with their hands.

Ostensibly, being a creature of pure function, the jacket exists beyond the vicissitudes of fashion. But, like the venerable U.S. Navy pea coat, the L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoe and the buffalo check flannel shirt, such things have a way of reinsinuating themselves  into the zeitgeist. This is particularly so when your audience is hungry for its own little manufactured slice of blue collar authenticity–a bit of what the French call nostalgie de la boue.

I don’t much cotton to the whole workwear-as-streetwear aesthetic, but my son Andrew does. So when his birthday rolled around this year, he found himself the delighted owner a Pointer Brand jacket.

Unfortunately, Andrew’s birthday falls smack dab in the middle of the always brutal Texas summer, so his first wearing of the jacket was held in abeyance until our trip to Colorado, where cooler temperatures prevail. This is particularly so in Breckenridge, our second destination, which sits at almost 10,000 feet above sea level.

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He’s quite fond of it, and even a dedicated classicist like myself can see its charms.

Back to the Thrift Store

Regular readers will know of our affinity for thrift stores. Amid the detritus of other people’s castoffs, you occasionally find wonderful items with many more years left on their lifespans. For folks on a tight budget, a thrift store can be an ideal way to assemble a tasteful, classic wardrobe.

It’s also an excellent source of American made goods.

The typical closet of a previous generation included far more items of American provenance, so a thrift store (at least for now) is far more likely to contain items that appeal to the Americanophiles among us.

While in Colorado on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I found a trio of American made ties at a thrift shop in Cañon City–after my son and I finished a whitewater rafting trip in the Royal Gorge: two Brooks Brothers ties (one of which still had the original sales tag) and one from Lands’ End, in perfect condition, possibly never worn.

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A Land’s End tie, hearkening back to when such things were made in the United States
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The classic BB#1 repp tie from Brooks Brothers

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Bob Goodman & Co. Ties

We’ve been on something of a hiatus recently, so it’s good to be back, sharing our love for items of classic style, made expertly and lovingly on these shores.

The companies we’ve featured on Classic American Style come in many different flavors of familiarity. Some have been a part of our lives for years and represent some of the most trusted names in classic style. Others are more recent creations whom we have been well pleased to get to know better. And then there are a few who, despite our economic engagement with them, remain total strangers.

Bob Goodman & Company falls into that last category.

I recently had the pleasure of purchasing a tandem of Bob Goodman repp ties from the American Suit Store. (Note: Despite the moniker, only some of what the American Suit Store sells is American made.) The ties were offered at the relatively modest  sum of $110 for two.

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Let me not mince words here: At that price, they represent what I believe to be the best value in American neckwear today.  I would compare them favorably to Brooks Brothers, but at a cost that is more than 30 percent south of what Brooks charges. The silk is both sturdy and sumptuous, and the knots produce a dimple as well as any in my collection.

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Relentlessly traditional, the ties are 3.5″ wide (although the American Suit store hears rumors that the width may be curtailed to 3.25″ next year). They come in a number of different color combinations, all of which would have a welcome home in a traditional wardrobe.

Despite my affinity for the company’s neckwear, I’ve been able to learn very little about Bob Goodman, aside from the fact that his eponymous company makes its ties in New Jersey. From what I gather, the ties are available only at select men’s stores, the American Suit Store being one of only two online examples I could find.

Still, it’s an exceptional product, one that I would strongly recommend our readers consider.