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 themselvesĀ  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.

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