Abercrombie continues to fumble around for a turnaround plan. The grand irony? In this era of reclaimed wood and plaid shirts and Edison bulbs and boots apparently ordered from a 1922 Sears & Roebuck catalog, it would be a great time for old-school grandpa we-outfitted-Hemingway-or-whatever Abercrombie!

This point comes via Bloomberg Businessweek, which makes the case:

Vintage Abercrombie had a lock on the urban outdoorsman, a style and type of consumer that accounts for a sizable share of today’s menswear market. You’ve seen these guys and, occasionally, girls. They winter in Fair Isle sweaters, and they summer in waffle-knits. The Red Wing boots seldom come off, and don’t get them started on bourbon, Persol sunglasses, or selvedge denim. The most ardent among them blog at length about “heritage” and “authenticity” and Steve McQueen or advise companies on how to do so.

Look, here’s the sorta stuff Abercrombie used to sell, circa the 50s and 60s:


Here’s a peek even further back, at the company’s inaugural 1909 catalog, via Wikimedia Commons:

Bloomberg Businessweek author Kyle Stock ordered catalogs from 1949 and 1964 to scan the available wares and found “page upon page of gear and apparel that would fly off the shelves of a Brooklyn boutique these days (apart from all the guns and ammo, of course).” Truly fetching wool coats! Moccasin boots designed for bird hunting but perfect for that dude you know who works in advertising and talks a lot about fancy bacon! You could probably bankrupt yourself buying vintage midcentury shooting jackets on Etsy and Ebay.


Just a thought—not that we really ought to be encouraging this generation of young men and women wandering their offices in clothing designed for, like, turn-of-the-century mountaineering.

Photos via Abercrombie.com, Getty, AP Images, Wikipedia Commons.

Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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