Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ernest Hemingway Rugged Style Icon

One of the great influences to the Papa's life is Ernest Hemingway. Papa's moniker and the real PAPA incidentally is entirely unrelated but that's another story.
Many years ago I discovered Ernest Hemingway as the ultimate rugged style icon. It was something about the way he wore his personal style that attracted me. It was something that transcended the normal parameters of sartorialism, something that was the man and not just a facade of cloth. Let's face it the Papa was never a dandy but he still wore his personality through a choice of style. The more I read about him the more I managed to penetrate his world. I studied every photo I could find of him and this lead me to develop a great visual understanding of what I would later term the 'vintage woodsman style'. As a vintage collector this fascination sparked an intense interest in purchasing 1930's and 1940's outdoorwear. Woollen garments from Duluth, canvas coats from upstate New York, deerskin jackets from Berlin Wisconsin and boots from Washington state. For years this was something that I adopted as my own personal style way before it became a fashion feature in Japan's Free&Easy magazine, this was how I traversed the urban forests of my hometown city. Today Im still taken by Pendleton blanket patterns and have just recently ordered a new pair of Wesco Smoke Jumpers but have sold off much of my old collection. There's stuff I'll always keep though, especially my 30's Filson hunting vest and various vintage plaid shirts, my leather trimmed shooting cardigan and a variety of outdoor caps. These will always remain the staple of much of what I enjoy to wear and so in honour of the original PAPA I have posted these photos with attached commentary for your enjoyment.

Ernest wearing trade mark virgin wool outdoorshirt and lined sheepskin vest. Papa Hemingway travelled with an extensive selection of vests and would often layer two and three together.

Papa in Africa working on a manuscript in the cool of the afternoon. He would order all his safari clothing from the original Abercrombie and Fitch in NYC. Many manufacturers would claim that honor but it was A&F.

Upland Bird hunting in Idaho wearing a tweed shooting jacket with bi-swing action back and leather trim.

Papa was a war correspondent embedded before there was a term to describe it. His knowledge of pre-war Europe made him an ideal scout and reconnoiter and during the campaign through the Hurtgenwald forest, Hemingway fought off an infiltration of German troops who threatened the command post. This heroic action was rewarded with an investigation for his breech of the Geneva convention for baring arms.

Papa and Gary Cooper were friends till death. Papa wears his custom deerskin vest. This was a favourite that he wore in Africa and also in Europe during the war where he wore it over his fatigue jacket.

Style icon in Idaho.


  1. Great article! Been checking your blog for a while and really like it! Hope to see more soon!

  2. Hey Papa !!

    Kerouac, now Hemingway, but where is "Jacky" ??? (Jack London for the closests :) ????

  3. Hmmm an article about the Sea Wolf could be apprioprate. Jack's observations on surfing and the early days at Waikiki were facinating.

  4. Jack London is my favorite author and hero since my 11 years. I only discover in 2004 that he was a surfer. I regret to won't be able to read him in english.
    There is a nice article about the surf renaissance in waikiki by Surfer's journal where we could read his description and feeling about surf.
    I could easily imagine how it will be great to surf waikiki in 1910's.

  5. Is that Robert Capa on the left with Hemmingway.
    Looks like him.Love your work.
    I'm a friend of Dave Himel. Names Matt.
    Got a shop in T.O. Check it out
    Klaxon Howl.

  6. Hey Matt,
    Klaxon, yes checked your blog, get the connnection with Capa, think what you're doing is great, right on the money!