A vintage piece sourced by chance became the inspiration for our French pullover, which is a core part of our current collection. This historic workwear item has a history of use that we admire, and as well as amazing versatility.
The workwear pullover has roots in the European agriculture industry. It was intended to be a heavy exterior tunic worn as a protective layer of a farmer's other clothes. They could be quite long, but by the 20th century the style had become shorter, as well as more prevalent.
In regions like Flanders, comprising Northern France and Belgium, incidentally also where the flax for our linen is grown and processed, these shirts stopped just under the belt so they could be easily tucked into pants.
At blluemade, we are increasingly inspired by late 19th century and early 20th century workwear for the classic, polished appearance of the clothes, durability, and history. In the above picture, we see a woman wearing a similar short work shirt. She was a member of the Women's Land Army, a British civilian organisation created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls.
In the images of the Land Girls, we see how these clothes became effective unisex items, allowing women and men freedom of movement, protection against the sun and other elements, and also opportunities for style.
We believe elegant, capable clothing is the order of the day. The more unisex the better--workwear today represents freedom, expression, and utility in every area of our lives. The roots of workwear in agriculture, which is of the foremost importance in our linen, is a constant source of inspiration to us. These shirts were the traditional garb of flax farmers in Flanders--we can easily imagine previous generations of workers at the heritage mill that makes our linen wearing these items. We are excited to incorporate that history into our collections today, and create a 21st century lineage of workwear.
Our version of this classic piece retains the proportions of our early 20th century archival item, as well as the beautiful details of it's construction.
The pleats at the rear yoke are shirred for a romantic, yet structured, appearance. The front pocket adds character as well as utility. Patches at the shoulder and gussets at the sides reinforce the structure and strength of this garment, and will also stand out more over time as this item wears and ages, allowing it to grow in distinction with individual use.
The generous cut allows the French pullover to be worn as an over shirt on chilly nights, but also gives it a breezy feel when worn directly against the skin.
We loved this silhouette so much we created it in a lovely dark indigo, a beautifully textured flax, and a creamy oyster-white color. We also sized it with unisex dressing in mind. We recommend taking one size down for a closer fit, or going with your normal size for that classic look. This is an investment piece that you'll wear over and over again, and can be passed down for generations, just as our inspiration pieces have become heirloom, mended items as well.
Feel the difference in our linen. Shop the French pullover now.