Price£1000£795.00 WITH TAXES & DUTY PAID



RemarksThe Real McCoy's MJ23110

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The ALPACA VEST / USS ASHTABULA pays homage to the USS Ashtabula, a US Navy fleet oiler in service from 1943 until its decommissioning in 1982.

Throughout its decades-long service, the USS Ashtabula withstood the challenges of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The USS Ashtabula's extensive journeys and time in service took it to ports in Subic Bay, Sasebo, Yokosuka in Japan, Hong Kong, and Keelung in Taiwan.

Whilst US military were stationed in parts of Asia, it became a common practice for GIs to bring back souvenirs during their leave. Soldiers used their uniforms as a canvas, enlisting local tailors to customise jackets and accessories that could portray their wartime experiences, showcasing maps, stationed bases, and incorporating traditional motifs, like the dragons seen embroidered on our ALPACA VEST / USS ASHTABULA. The embroidered details of this piece have been applied with a large format embroidery machine using eight different thread colors, and each piece is individually adjusted by hand.

The USN ALPACA VEST was a layer piece worn by the US Navy during the Second World War. Made from a cotton poplin shell and finished with a plush alpaca lining, aspects of this garment are reminiscent of the N-1 Deck Jacket that was also worn during this period.

The actual origins of this piece are elusive as there is no military specification tag available to refer to. However, archive images and found vintage pieces with evidence of being signed off by inspectors do confirm the vests role among sailors. The prevailing theory being that the USN ALPACA VEST was a civilian garment that would have been made by a contractor with experience and skill in crafting military uniform.

The smooth handle of the shell found on vests worn in the 40s has been carefully replicated with our cotton poplin, while the alpaca lining adds a comfortable, insulating layer.

  • 100% Cotton poplin
  • Alpaca wool pile lining
  • 40s brass bell-shape zip
  • Cotton placket
  • Cotton thread construction
  • Made in Japan