Pendleton: A lifelong love affair with an iconic American brand

To be accurate, it hasn't been a lifelong love affair but I do remember distinctly the first time I came across a Pendleton flannel shirt.  I was in college and a friend of mine who had grown up in Montana was wearing this flannel one day that just took my breath away.  I considered myself a flannel aficionado, at least as much as one can consider themselves an aficionado of anything at the age of eighteen, but I remember being struck by the quality of the construction, the bright vibrant colors and the remarkable comfort of the scratchiness of the wool.  I asked what kind of shirt that was and that was the first time I heard the word Pendleton.  

This was back in the early 90's so the internet didn't exist, you just had to rely on word of mouth to discover the things that you enjoyed.  This translated to everything--clothes, music, places--but it served us well.  People experienced the things they endorsed and had a personal connection to those things that they could tell you about.  Justin was no different with his Pendletons.  He sold me on the quality, durability and look and feel of them.  

Over the years, I've come across a bevy of Pendletons in my travels and tried to accumulate as many as I could with a preference for vintage Pendletons.  There's something about them that just says quality and knowing that they were made in the Pacific Northwest makes me a tad nostalgic.  I've been to Pendleton, OR and visited the Pendleton Woolen Mills but nowadays the flannels are made abroad with wool that is sourced from the US.  It's an iconic brand with iconic products, be it their flannels, blankets or the wool itself but the days of producing fine flannels in the US has sadly gone by the wayside in the past few decades as the recent feature on NY Times American Giant feature revealed.  

I don't mean to live in the past, and sure, there are still some mighty fine flannels being produced under the Pendleton brand but for me, it's all about the vintage Pendleton flannels.  

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