Editor’s Note: Happy Monday – back from a short staycation here on my side.
First, from our friend James Taylor at Waterhollow Tweed, a brief history of the classic LL. Bean Chamois Shirt.
Introduced by L.L. Bean in 1927 after L.L. Bean himself had worn the prototypes while hunting the Maine woods the Chamois shirt was originally called the “Leatherette” shirt to indicate that it was similar to chamois leather and would be a decent alternative to buckskin.
The term “chamois” was introduced in the 1933 catalogue, when the shirt acquired a slightly different collar and slightly more slanted pockets.
The shirt was designed to be wind-proof and extremely warm; both of these effects were achieved by multiple brushings of the cotton flannel from which the shirt was made to raise the nap and give it is distinctive peach “fuzz”–an effect that led to the shirt fabric resembling chamois leather.
Originally offered in tan only the shirt became available in Bright Red in the 1950s–a colour chosen because it was believed that red repelled flies. (L. L. Bean claimed that red was introduced in 1960s but this cannot be correct, as Rock Hudson was photographed in a bright red Bean chamois shirt in 1955.) Other color variations followed–forest green in 1971, navy in 1975, slate blue in 1978, and a wildly impractical ivory in 1982. (This did not last long.)
Warm, comfortable, and eminently practical, Bean’s chamois shirts are an iconic article of American clothing.
Editor’s Next Note: Marc Chevalier is a true gentleman, it is a privilege to add him and his content to our team.
So some really great news. Marc Chevalier has agreed to join us for a weekly Q & A. Marc’s expertise is in the history of Ivy and the rules of traditional men’s fashion. Email me, I will send to him, and we will get his first column up!
Also, Email me with nominations for profiles if you like. We have some great profiles coming up from the FB Group, but some of you all don’t do FB, so if you can think of someone who would make a good profile, AND YOU HAVE THEIR CONTACT INFO, let me know?