Like a truck or travel trailer built just right, Woolrich, a Pennsylvania-based company, offers the right combination of purpose and style. The still available and quite stylish Railroad Vest was introduced when tracks were being laid through the company’s home state. The Buffalo Check Shirt has roots dating back to the mid-1800s, and is a top seller even today. When America took to the roads in the 1930s, Woolrich produced automobile robes and steamer rugs to keep a more mobile society happy. Woolrich also outfitted Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to Antarctica in 1939, 1940 and 1941.
John Rich first began producing woolen socks, coverlets, fabric and yarn from his mill in Plum Run, Pa., in 1830, and his company has continued to produce high-quality outdoor clothing for more than 180 years. Today, Woolrich still offers hundreds of products made from multiple fabrics, but wool is still a staple fabric of the manufacturer and a key to its identity.
The traditional and very attractive Original Buffalo Check Wool Shirt ($119) is 80 percent wool and 20 percent nylon designed for warmth and a little give-and-take. It offers two chest pockets with button flaps, two-button adjustable cuffs and a shirttail bottom. The chambray collar is comfy around the neck. It comes in six different color patterns.
If you are looking for a soft cottony feel, try the Pathblazer Plaid Flannel Shirt ($69). The brushed polyester feels just like top-flight cotton flannel, but wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you cool and dry. It provides a UPF rating of 40+. Two button-through pockets and the button-down collar can dress it up nicely, too. Five patterns are available.
Looking for a solid warm cardigan? Check out the Quehanna ($219). It’s made from 100 percent lambswool, is ultra plush, comes with classic jacquard motifs on the body and sleeves, traditional garter-stitch shawl collar, and rib-knit cuffs and bottom. The zipper closure makes it easy to wear. Choose from Slate or Earth colors.
The Charley Wool Shirt Jac ($189) comes out of the Woolrich archives, but has been updated with a warm Berber lining and microfiber insulation for extra warmth. Add nylon trim in the sleeves and undercuffs and you get an 80 percent wool and 20 percent nylon shell made for durability and wind resistance that looks classy. The inside zippered pocket holds a media player and cord. There are six color patterns to choose from.
For something really toasty, buyers can choose the Exposure Down Shirt Jac ($199) loaded with 800-fill gray-goose down. The ultralight and packable 100 percent polyester mini-ripstop-shell jacket offers a center front zipper with an internal storm flap, chest flap pockets with vintage snap closures, and an internal security pocket that is media cord compatible. The Exposure is treated with a durable water-repellent finish, and is available in three colors.
The company headquarters remain in the small village of Woolrich, Pa., but through an outstanding reputation for quality and style, its reach has extended throughout the world to millions of outdoorsmen and women, keeping them warm in fine apparel manufactured from wool, as well as modern blends of many other fine fabrics.