Scarf to Skirt

As many of you are aware, I am (and have been since the announcement of the collection) a huge fan of Pendleton’s, The Portland Collection. To catch up on some of my past posts about the line check out: The Portland Collection and Searching for the Positives. Well, say hello to my new purchases – The Canyon De Chelly scarves. Made entirely in the good ole’ US of A of some of the finest wool around.

After trying on this scarf, I loved the way it fit around my neck, how wide it was, and the fact that it is beautifully reversible…and I say beautifully reversible because unlike most other scarves, having the backside show if it’s only printed on one side or even if it’s printed on both, normally doesn’t look as beautiful as these do. Pendleton has always done a wonderful job in this area. If you are familiar with their gorgeous blankets or jackets, then you will know what I am referring to. If not, check out the Pendleton website.

Doing a little experimenting, I tried the scarf on as a wrap skirt and fell in love even harder. Not only is it as easy as pie to wear as a skirt, the colors and pattern are so unique and really stand out against any other skirt on the market. And once again, reversible! TWO skirts for the price of one!

Since I was only playing around with the scarf, and haven’t literally transformed the scarf into a skirt by sewing in a waistband and adding buttons, etc., I simply threw on my belt over top. Surprisingly, it held up great! No falling down, no riding up, and the scarf is so long that I didn’t have to worry about it flapping open and showing more than I would want.

One of my favorite aspects of my new scarf/skirt is the extra drape/flap the end of the scarf does. I think it adds a bit of something extra and I love the contrast from the other side that shows along with the little taste of fringe – not too much.

Searching For the Positives

More often than not, we tend to focus on the negative areas of our life such as the things that aren’t working out as nicely as we would like them to or how we aren’t necessarily where we thought we would be 5, 10, or 20 years ago.

Admittedly, I am just as much at fault as anyone else for having these Debbie-downer thoughts, but today, I am viewing the glass half full and focusing on the positives.  Sure, I may not exactly be where I want to be within my career, but in
these difficult times of high unemployment, at least I have a job – in fact, 4 jobs, that keep me busy and involved within the fashion industry. One of my jobs involves working for a company that is more than one hundred years old, founded in 1909. This company is Pendleton Woolen Mills, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

I guarantee that about 98% of people around the Midwest who are under 20 years of age have never even heard of Pendleton. Most people under 30 and even 40 years of age don’t know what the name Pendleton stands for or what their 6th generation, family run business is all about because we’ve been taken over by the masses of department stores and ready-to-wear businesses who care more about changing out the looks in your closet 6 times a year instead of offering consumers lasting product.

Known for their incredible quality all around, Pendleton is originally associated with fabulous woolen blankets and rich Native American history they incorporate into their goods.  As they expanded into menswear followed closely with womenswear, they soon became famous for their classic board shirts, worn frequently by none other than The Beach Boys (who originally were to be named, The Pendletones) and beautiful plaid 49’er (because they originally came out in 1949) wool jackets.

The Beach Boys wearing the iconic Board Shirt

A Pendleton is never something you receive and then dispose of a year later.  Every day, customers and clients of mine come into my store, regaling to me stories of their past, wearing their beloved Pendleton plaid skirts and 49’er jackets in high school or to work and that still, to this day, hang in their closet 50 plus years later, simply because they do not have the heart to get rid of them even though they no longer fit.

Well, while the older and wiser generations might be well aware of Pendleton’s worth, the world’s younger generations are about to be educated and fed a line-up of treats with Pendleton’s first debut of their younger, more contemporary clothing line, Pendleton, The Portland Collection.

This collection, which was created by three Portland-based designers, is fresh, vibrant, creative, and inspiring.  Across the United States, it is catching the eyes of an entirely new customer base and showing them what real, quality clothing looks like; the kinds of pieces that won’t fall apart after just one season and that make a statement on their own.

After having learned about the collection long ago and admiring the pieces via web, we received the look-book in our store. The corners might be bent and the pages about to fall out, but one thing is for sure, every set of our customer’s eyes that the collection was shown to gazed in amazement and instantly asked where it could be purchased. While I sadly had to report that it would not be coming to actual Pendleton stores, The Portland Collection will be sold in boutiques across the United States and a certain selection in Anthropology stores.

As my readers, you know I would never lead you to a collection that I do not 100% support myself.  I urge you to feast your eyes as soon as possible because before you know it The Portland Collection is going to spread like wildfire across the world and it’s nice to know that American heritage is still taking a stand.

*A little tidbit for those of you who don’t know, all Pendleton wool is still woven in the USA today!  I have to say I’m extremely proud to work for a company that takes such a pride in what they create and stand for.  So keep your chin up, look at the positives, and if you’re ever fortunate enough to come across one of Pendleton’s legendary blankets in a thrift shop, don’t think twice about purchasing. Simply feel sorry for the poor soul who didn’t understand what they were giving away.

Check out Pendleton, The Portland Collection for more information on location the collection can be found at!