The Eddie Bauer ‘Skyliner’ and how one can discover one – Everlasting Model


With the expansion of curiosity in out of doors clothes lately, there was a predictable dive into the historical past of firms that produced it, of which some of the outstanding was Eddie Bauer. 

One cause I discover this exploration fascinating is that loads of heritage out of doors clothes was extra refined than at this time’s puffas and parkas – even elegant. They tended to be slimmer, that they had collars quite than hoods, and so they used extra pure supplies – dense cottons for instance, or cotton/nylon mixes. 

A number of firms have performed reproductions lately, together with Buck Mason with Eddie Bauer itself and Bryceland’s, whose down jacket (being reissued later this yr) is a copy of my favorite fashion, the bomber-like Skyliner. 

However it’s additionally potential to select up classic Bauer cheaply on eBay (particularly within the US), which is what I’ve performed lately and the fellows at Bryceland’s have performed up to now. The one stumbling block is that one thing just like the Skyliner was made for therefore lengthy that the standard slowly deteriorated over the many years – wool ribbing was changed with polyester, metallic zips by plastic. 

So I believed it might be helpful to get a information to purchasing items like this from Ben Chamberlain at Bryceland’s, who is aware of much more about it than I do. Listed here are my questions and his solutions, and pictured is Kenji (proper) in a classic Skyliner, in addition to Ben (left). 

What’s the very first thing to pay attention to when shopping for these items classic, Ben?

Most vital is knowing what you need: a real ‘archive’ piece, which is able to include a excessive price ticket (typically staggeringly excessive) or one thing which is wearable and inexpensive, although not as fascinating for one cause or one other.

How have Eddie Bauer jackets modified over time?

Since Bauer first began pioneering down jackets within the mid-thirties, they’ve been a relentless crossover merchandise from open air adventurers to street-style icons. When Bauer first bought his diamond-quilted, down-filled design in 1936 it was revolutionary; the thought was so forward of its time and so easy that the essential development has remained just about the identical ever since – simply two layers of cloth quilted and crammed with down feathers, for better heat retention with out the burden.

As not lots has modified, and Eddie Bauer particularly produced the identical designs such because the Skyliner and Yukon for many years, the variations are actually in issues just like the supplies and {hardware}.

When does the Skyliner date from?

The Skyliner is considered one of Bauer’s recognisable fashions, and a precursor to trendy bomber jackets. Waist-length with knitted collar and cuffs, it was the earliest industrial mannequin Eddie Bauer dropped at the market in 1936. It’s straightforward to see why the design remained unaltered in addition to turning into extremely collectible. 

Kenji’s instance proven right here dates from the late Fifties/60s. In comparison with the unique patent the tightly woven cotton outer has been changed with a cotton/nylon combine – which was discovered on most down jackets of the time and continues to be used at this time – and the ribbing has modified from 100% worsted wool to wool/nylon. The liner additionally modified over time as manufacturing and textiles modified and modernised. 

Are these the important thing issues to look out for when making an attempt thus far one, on eBay for instance?

Sure, the very first thing is the outer shell. You’re unlikely to discover a pure cotton one, however the cotton/nylon mixes are nice and really purposeful. The combination modifications from 60/40 to 40/60, however they’re all good.

The pure nylon which began to look within the 60s onwards is a bit totally different, extra of a ‘shell’ jacket, which is a bit lighter and in-line with extra trendy streetwear, however nonetheless has its place. Within the 80s pure nylon shells began to grow to be the usual throughout all fashions; these are nonetheless advantageous and have some pretty colors, however lose a little bit of the allure of the sooner variations.

Search for the label too. Anybody that loves labels on the whole would have come throughout the long-lasting Eddie Bauer ‘Solar’ emblem. Used from the very first jacket, it’s immediately eye-catching: the wealthy gold of the solar rising above the horizon, the chilly blue of the ice move and pink ‘Bauer’ lettering all set on a black background. The angle of the ‘Bauer Down’ textual content is ready central, like a monolith, or the opening credit of Star Wars – it’s epic. 

This label was used from the 30s proper up till the Nineteen Sixties, with just a few minor modifications over that fairly huge time-period: the position of the ® image and the ‘Blizzard Proof’ textual content date the jacket to the Nineteen Sixties, whereas relationship earlier than then can trickier. 

Jackets with these labels could be expensive, so the very best place to begin is jackets with the gold script emblem – and the fetching, however fairly plain ‘cubist’ mountains – that changed the sunset emblem within the late Nineteen Sixties. One other plus for later jackets is the vastly expanded color palette, which is usually a bit extra enjoyable and in-line with trendy repro-brands like Rocky Mountain featherbed. 

Different modifications embrace the liner, however this was nylon from the early Fifties onwards, and the zips, which had been plastic in later years. Metallic zips, and particularly Talon zips, are a superb indicator of earlier jackets, and particularly these produced earlier that the Eighties. 

Did the design of the Skyliner change in every other method?

No, it was noticeably timeless. It’s quick within the physique however not an excessive amount of, which proportionally makes it straightforward to put on and pairs effortlessly with most informal objects. The one limitation is that the form reduces the quantity of layering you are able to do. 

How does the efficiency evaluate to a contemporary down jacket?

It relies upon what you want them for. If it’s simply to maintain heat, then classic continues to be good, tends to be cheaper, and as talked about has a contact extra character. Fashionable down jackets can have sealed seams and be extra waterproof, however down jackets aren’t actually designed for wet climate.

Should you needed to go mountain climbing or climbing, trendy would even be a safer wager, though on a visit to Iceland final November I took a classic Nineteen Sixties nylon shell Eddie Bauer and it served me very properly, nice for layering. 

In comparison with trendy repro down jackets, if you could find a classic one you want then classic makes extra sense monetarily and when it comes to sustainability; however there will be a specific amount of compromise relating to choices and hues. 

What different fashions from Eddie Bauer match this classic, streamlined aesthetic?

One of the best recognized mannequin other than the Skyliner might be the Yukon, which Bauer launched in 1946. Nearer to an overcoat or parka, it’s smarter and a bit extra stylised – minimize lengthy with a full mouton collar and extra tailor-made match. The design is a bit dated at this time, but it surely’s an incredible piece. The person himself described it as “the aristocrat of all down jackets”.

What different manufacturers from the interval are value watching out for?

Although Eddie Bauer is the very best recognized, there are manufacturers which typically get ‘unnoticed within the chilly’ when down jackets. Seattle Quilt MFG had been making quilted-down sleeping baggage for the reason that Twenties, a superb 15 years earlier than Bauer took that concept and put sleeves on it. After they lastly noticed the potential for his or her product, they began the Cozy sub-brand in 1936. 

The jacket I’m carrying right here is without doubt one of the earliest Cozy designs – from the late 40s or early 50s – and is much like the Bauer Yukon. There are some components of the Cozy that I personally want although: the diamond quilting much like the Skyliner, the scalloped pocket design, the marginally bigger collar and the burgundy sateen half-lining. 

Within the late 60s into 70s the Cozy model had a particular fashion shift, producing barely extra western-inspired jackets. Nylon shells, shoulder yolks, brighter colors; these are loads of enjoyable, low-cost and simple to seek out. The logos a little bit of enjoyable too, very a lot of the time. 

Past Eddie Bauer and Cozy, there are different smaller manufacturers from the 50s and 60s: Alaska Sleeping Bag Co, Alaska Feather Down, others that don’t have Alaska within the identify. Then within the late 60s into the 70s there was a increase in firms specialising in down-jackets and out of doors apparel: Sierra Design, Rocky Mountain Featherbed, Powder Horn, North Face and naturally, Patagonia. 

Many of those firms’ designs had been very related if not similar, primarily white-labelled. However there are some good examples and good colourways on the market, making them a good way to seek out a cheap and wearable down jacket at a fraction of the price of a brand new one. 

If eBay is the very best supply for the cheaper finish of the market, significantly within the US, top-of-the-line for the very excessive finish is Saunders Militaria. More and more many classic outlets inventory outerwear alongside these strains although – a few of the greatest I discovered had been in Korea at locations like Omnipeople


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