This little nugget,is straight from the archives of Time magazine and made me smile so much,that i had to post it for your enjoyment .....
TIME magazine Monday, Nov. 29, 1976
Modern Living: The Call of the Wilderness
Manhattanites in plaid flannel shirts and crepe-soled leather boots are hiking down Fifth Avenue. Students in goose-down vests and baggy sweatpants are trekking through Harvard Square. Dudes in lumber jackets are hanging out in Beverly Hills. Few of these folks have a clue how to swing a fly rod or an ax. But they do know that outdoor gear designed for the backwoods has come in from the cold for wear everywhere.
The new First Family may help push the roughing-it fashions into high gear. The President-elect clomps around Plains, Ga., in cowhide ankle boots, blue jeans and flannel shirt. Brother Billy breakfasted (on grits and Pabst) at the Best Western Motel in Americus, Ga., last week wearing denims and a blue plaid shirt opened to reveal his new, post-election T shirt emblazoned with REDNECK LOBBYIST. Of course, to them and many Americans the gear look is an old look, something they have been comfortably wearing for years.
Long Johns. Such backwoods garb is actually as old as the hills—and mountains and streams—where the clothes fit in best. Venerable firms like L.L. Bean of Freeport, Me., Eddie Bauer of Seattle and Gokeys of St. Paul have been doing a brisk mail-order business in such gear for 50 years or more. Says Bean's bemused merchandising manager, Fred McCabe: "Fashion has just come round to us. We certainly haven't gone fashionable ourselves."
No one at Bean's is complaining, since business has jumped 30% each year since 1967. The famous quarterly Bean catalogue, crammed with nylon gaiters, duck-hunting caps, long Johns and the like, now goes out to 2 million geared-up customers. After operating only one retail outlet (in Seattle) for 18 years, Eddie Bauer has opened nine new stores across the nation since 1971. At Gokeys, the mailing list has grown by almost half since last year. The new country-chic look has even received benediction from fashion critics who gave out Coty awards (fashion's Oscars) last September to five manufacturers of outdoor wear.
Several well-known designers have climbed aboard the hayride, turning out country-look garb at double and triple the prices of the catalogue merchandise. Ralph Lauren, 37, has made the rough-hewn look the backbone of his collection. His Harris tweed hacking jacket is a highly styled—and highly priced ($256)—version of a riding jacket sold for $79.50 by the equestrian outfitter, Miller's of New York. Louis Vuitton has whipped up a knapsack ($275) blanketed with the familiar L.V.s. Patti Cappalli, 37, has turned out a little mink-lined lumber jacket ($450) and Alice Elaine, 33, is into Army twill pants and cowl-necked sweaters made out of sweatshirt fabric. "I really studied the catalogues," admits Elaine unabashedly. "But I changed the proportion, the fit, the cut. You have to be Lauren Hutton to look terrific in one of those green grizzly things from the catalogues."
Swaddling Coats. Even European designers are getting into the north-country spirit. Paris' Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, 26, is the most nobly sauvage of the pack. His collection includes sweatpants ($98) tucked into linen or leather booties, parkas with built-in knapsacks ($160) and swaddling coats made from blanket material ($355). Proclaims Castelbajac: "The outdoors look is a reaction to dullness."
Not to mention a move back to the basics. As Grace Mirabella, editor in chief of Vogue explains it, "There was a momentum building of the casual, down-to-earth way of dressing; there was casual day, casual city, casual night. It hit its peak this year." Adds Elsa Klensch, an editor at Harper's Bazaar: "The gear look makes it easier for women to manage in the tough city life. We have to cope with things like racing up subway steps. That's hard in high-heeled boots." Some country-look converts, however, do not stop at the subway. Eddie Bauer proudly waves a letter from a satisfied San Francisco customer who turned one of the firm's goose-down bathrobes into an evening cloak. Trilled she: "I wore it to the opera."
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