• Penfield FW11 Look Book


    Given the sweltering summer that settled in across the country back in May, autumn couldn’t be arriving any sooner. And with its cool breeze comes the inherent pleasure of pulling on a great piece of outerwear. Penfield knows a few things about outerwear. They’ve been at it since 1975. My favorite piece they consistently turn out is the down-filled puffer vest. It’s a prep classic.

    Earlier this year, Penfield set me and a couple friends loose with their upcoming collection of jackets, vests, and cold weather accessories. Shot on location in Massachusetts and styled by Christine Mitchell (N’east Style) and Branden “Skip” Brooks (Alex Grant), “From Rockport to Cambridge” is a visual introduction to Penfield’s forthcoming Fall/Winter 2011 Collection. The concept for the look book is loosely based on the darling style feature Mitchell and Brooks endearingly call “Date Night.” You can peruse the lookbook in its entirety at PenfieldUSA.com in addition to pre-ordering a handpicked selection of lightweight outerwear due out the first week of September. Now, if only we could get autumn to ship at the same time.

    Photographs*: F.E. Castleberry
    Styling: Skip Brooks, Christine Mitchell
    Outerwear, Sweaters, Shirting: Penfield
    Models: Neal, Madeline

    *You can experience larger versions of the images here.

    Aug 22, 2011 | Permalink (32) Total Comments

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/28/2011 at 3:48 PM:

    @MCC—The young lady is a model by the name of Madeline.

    @Joey—The penny loafers are Aldens.

    mcc left a comment on 11/27/2011 at 7:45 PM:

    great photos, wonderful setting.
    and who’s the beautiful young lady?

    joey left a comment on 9/20/2011 at 10:54 AM:

    hi. may i know the brand of the penny loafers. thanks FEC

    BRL left a comment on 9/19/2011 at 1:42 PM:

    Can anyone answer the question about the height of her bean boots? they are PERFECTION.

    tim left a comment on 8/25/2011 at 10:54 PM:


    Benson and Clegg
    D.R. Harris & Co.
    Drake’s London®
    Ebbets Field Flannels
    Field Notes
    Heller’s Café by Warehouse
    The Hill-Side
    Jack Purcell
    The Laundress New York for J.Crew
    Mister Freedom
    New Balance
    Rainbow Sandals
    Red Wing Shoes
    Saint James
    Saturdays Surf
    Seil Marschall
    Selima Optique for J.Crew
    Sperry Top-Sider
    Thomas Mason for J. Crew
    Woolrich - John Rich & Bros
    JW Hulme

    and thats just the mens side!!!  are rainbow sandals “exclusive”?

    joey dee left a comment on 8/25/2011 at 5:56 PM:

    whoo hoo, a sale. the products look great, and likr they are made with quality in mind. thats all that matters anyway.
    great photos

    Lori left a comment on 8/25/2011 at 2:28 AM:

    Are the Bean boots that Christine is wearing 10”? Also, cannot wait for this to be available to shop. Great job.

    J left a comment on 8/25/2011 at 12:15 AM:

    @Tim - J. Crew’s collaborations are pretty exclusive (Adidas, Barbour, Baracuta, Belstaff).  I don’t see them teaming up with Penfield.

    That said, these pictures look great and, for anyone interested, Penfield is having a sale online right now with pretty good prices.

    Tim left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 6:38 PM:

    Great shots Fred!  It is a very attractive lookbook.  I also appreciate the points that AEV has.  It is not negative.. rather, more informative. I love this location though. If Penfield teamed up with j.crew it would easily spark their sales/brand awareness.

    CHC left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 3:49 PM:

    Oh, I gotta wait till September, nevermind…

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 3:46 PM:

    @CHC—You can find all of these pieces, including the red jacket, at Penfield’s website later in September.

    CHC left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 3:43 PM:


    Do you know where I can find the puffy red jacket?

    khordkutta left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 3:17 PM:

    co-sign, with jason one-hunnid.  Again…Really nice shots FEC!

    jason left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 2:05 PM:

    It seems we’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees.  I for one could care less whether the brand is authentically “heritage” or not.  The point is whether they make quality clothing that is aesthetically appealing to you.  The company could have been started last week for all I care, so long as the clothing is quality-made and looks nice.  I’ve never owned anything by Penfield, but I like some of the pieces here and have already begun compiling a list.  If they turn out to be quality, well-fitting pieces, then they have my business regardless of the date of their founding.

    cam left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 1:37 PM:

    @FEC…great shots…as stated in my previous post..i don’t know why you continue to waste your time responding to the continued negativity..chalk it up to a heaping bowl of jealousy lol

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 1:06 PM:

    @AEV—Has it occurred to you that the location was chosen because of where Christine lives (Boston) or where Skip went to school (Harvard)?  Has it occurred to you the styling is the way it is because that’s how we (real people here) dress?  I hope it would.  We all actually wear Bean Boots…shocking.  This is authentic as it gets.  Penfield asked us to be ourselves.  We did that.  All they did was say “We like the final product, we’ll use it.”  It is *that* authenticity that Penfield was interested in.  The result speaks for itself.

    AEV left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 12:50 PM:

    Fred - You guys chose it, Penfield approved it and is using it to market their clothes. And, you never would have chosen to incorporate the setting and old Bean boots/mocs, etc. if you weren’t trying to develop and sell a ‘heritage’ aesthetic!

    Again, I understand why you’re compelled to defend your position/the label, but don’t erode your credibility by debating the unarguable….

    We all know that numerous brands are coming out of the closet, relaunching their labels and riding the American heritage brand fad. Some brands pull it off because of well established brand heritage. Some don’t. If you feel an outerwear brand founded in 1975 that almost no one has heard of has what it takes to market itself based on it’s history and heritage (and compete with numerous other brands that make the same stuff and have been around decades longer), fine. I, for one, don’t.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 12:28 PM:

    @AEV—Every aspect of this shoot was a product of Christine, Skip, and myself. The Bean Boots are pre-owned because they are Christine’s…which were passed down by her mom. The Bean mocs are Skip’s. The locations we chose…the concept, we pitched. It was us who interpreted the brand the way whichever way you are choosing to see it. Penfield have us the clothes for the shoot, that’s it.

    AEV left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 12:11 PM:

    Fred - C’mon. A throwback/70s logo, marketing/copy that emphasizes the date the company began (which, frankly, isn’t all that long ago compared with their competition…), they’ve named one of their three clothing lines ‘classic’, and photo spreads/marketing that includes pre-owned Bean boots and cobblestone streets paired with their retro-inspired outerwear. You’re not getting a “heritage vibe”? I see.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 12:03 PM:

    @AEV—My understanding is that Penfield has specialized in the high quality down filled jackets, fleece, and outerwear since 1975.  I am not getting a heritage vibe other than the fact they they state when they were founded.

    AEV left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:55 AM:

    Fred - You’ve just perfectly articulated the problem Penfield has, in my mind, trying to ride the heritage brand craze and relaunch their label on the basis of history and longevity.

    It comes across as little more than aggresive marketing that’s trying to take advantage of a recent trend….if the history/following/traditon/presense isn’t there, you can’t sell and market clothes based on it.

    Hey - in the end, the pics are great and I can’t fault them for trying…it just strikes me as forced that all of the marketing and promotion is based on ‘heritage’ when little/none exits.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:49 AM:

    @AEV—To the layman, Pendleton, Quoddy, and Penfield would all be viewed as having niche followings.  Pendleton has been around for 140 years…Quoddy for 102 years…Pendfield for 35 years.  Give a company a little time to establish a “presence.”

    AEV left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:37 AM:

    Fred - ‘slight obscurity’ is Pendleton or Quoddy….In short, almost no one’s heard of Penfield - not because they’re ‘undiscovered’ but because they simply never developed a following or presense.

    But, we can agree to disagree…I know you’re not unbias on this one for obvious reasons…

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:18 AM:

    @AEV & GLG—Their slight obscurity is what I like about Penfield the most. The product is quality American sportswear, yet it still feels like you discovered something nice.

    Trailer Trad left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:15 AM:

    What nice images! The young lady is just a wee bit photogenic. And, yes, I am a master of understatement.

    August left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 11:02 AM:


    James left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 10:51 AM:

    Nice work FEC.

    DBCC left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 10:35 AM:

    @FEC - awesome photos.  Roy Moore in Rockport, MA is where it’s at!

    @AEV - being born and raised and still residing in MA, I agree with you, Penfield doesn’t have the brand awareness of L.L. Bean.  I first heard of them via Bonobos.com.  Where in New England are you from?

    GLG left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 9:08 AM:

    I noticed this on Skip’s site, great job with the shoot Fred, it came out nice.  I like the vintage Bean Boots, one of the many things that look foolish when overly new.  Also @AEV - Being a fellow New Englander, I have to agree that Penfield has never really had a presence in my coat closet.  I think the market has narrowed even more since the 80’s and 80’s especially considering the growth of the campings stores like EMS and REI, and the increasingly amount of technical gear available at more traditional stores like LL Bean.

    Sam left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 8:13 AM:

    Great photos!

    AEV left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 8:12 AM:

    Great photos, cool project. I think Penfield’s problem is that most people haven’t heard of them…they just didn’t have a large presence with their own label (in large part because they were a producer for other, similar brands like L.L. Bean, EMS, and Lands’ End and only really made rugged outdoor gear…). I know bringing back (and expanding and exaggerating) heritage labels was/is all the rage, but it helps having a brand/logo/label folks remember.

    I grew up in New England during the 80s/90s and never had a single Penfield branded item….if I/my friends needed a down vest, we went with Bean and if we needed more technical outdoor gear we chose Patagonia/EMS.

    SK left a comment on 8/24/2011 at 6:46 AM:

    what a beautiful girl!