Grandfather's hunting jacket

Worn since the 1930s

Lulu Graham, New York United States of America

Could you introduce yourself?
I'm Lulu Graham. I'm a freelance photographer and writer living in New York City. I have a website called Outfit Dissecting, where I talk to people about clothes, the evolution of their style, and the history of garments.

Could you introduce us to this piece? Where does it come from? How old is it?
This is a hunting jacket that belonged to my great grandfather. A lot of people see this jacket and immediately think it is Filson, but the brand is Hirsch-Weis. A company out of Oregon that made ski gear, mainly gear for downhill skiing. In an old ad, the jacket is referred to as a Hirsch-Weis STAG, "Inside my Hirsch-Weis STAG I'll stay warm and dry as a hibernatin' bear." I’m like a hibernating bear in the winter so this jacket is perfect!

Did it belong to someone else before you? Did you buy it for yourself? Why did you buy it? How did you find it?
This was a jacket my great-grandfather used for duck hunting on the Mississippi. I'm not sure exactly how old the jacket is, but my grandfather said he believes it was purchased before he was born so very late 1930's would be a good guess.This jacket has had a long line of owners in the family before it made its way to me. I'm really grateful that my family kept so much, whenever I visit my grandparents I somehow walk away with a whole new wardrobe of old family items.

Do you remember the first time you wore it?
I started wearing it when I moved to New York two years ago. Maybe it's all the pockets? That's definitely a plus in the city!

What are your memories related to this piece?
This jacket has lived a lot of lives. I don't think when my great grandfather bought this jacket he thought it would be "stylish." Pieces like that, to me, are the most meaningful, the items that are living a life now they weren't necessarily made to live. I remember wearing this jacket during Fashion Week and once on a photo shoot with a big supermodel, which to me is so funny because of the history of the jacket.

Are there any signs of wear and tear? Have you already repaired this piece?
The cuff of the sleeves is starting to show wear and tear. It happens to be right where I cup my fingers over the fabric when I’m freezing - it definitely wasn't all done by me, so maybe it's an inherited trait! This piece hasn't been repaired. I come from a long line of people that really care about their clothes; everything is in such good condition or has been carefully darned or mended.

When do you usually wear it? Do you remember when you last wore it?
This is the first jacket I start wearing when it gets chilly and the last jacket I put away when spring comes. It's relatively waterproof and keeps me incredibly warm. Plus, it's a little too big for me so I can layer, which is something I love to do. I wore this jacket this morning! I have it on most days! I have a bad habit of leaving stuff in the pockets. I found a London Oyster card a few months ago in the pocket from last winter; it was sweet because it reminded me of the trip!