About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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« Label love round-up | Main | Cottage industry, or how I spent hours on the Internet »

Nothing is better than Landlubber clothes

Ad in National Lampoon magazine, November 1971. (Click pic for source)I’ve always been drawn to the Landlubber brand because it has a local history and the brand's label because of the groovy font and the purple/orange color combination.

1970s Landlubber denim dress, thrifted, $6.99. 1970s DR (Design Research) t-shirt, purchased at a yard sale 20 years ago. 1930s bakelite pin, owned for decades. 1970s Lucite ring, thrifted, 50 cents. Bangles from India. Blue tights, thrifted, 99 cents. Metallic blue clogs, thrifted and painted by me. Landlubber brand bell bottoms were the coolest jeans to have in the 1970s. Probably dating from the latter part of the 1970s is this Landlubber denim dress I found recently in my local thrift store.

The Landlubber brand started in Boston. M. Hoffman & Co., a company that made flared trousers for the Navy during World War II and sold them to ex-sailors after the war, had the idea of trying to sell this style to both men and women. They altered the design by shortening the rise and began selling unisex trousers in 1963. These hip-hugger bell bottoms took off like wildfire and reached the peak of their popularity in the early 1970s.

At that time, the company expanded its range and made overalls, dresses, shirts and other item until the end of the decade, when manufacturing ceased.

I once owned a Landlubber maroon corduroy overall skirt (i.e., a skirt with a bib).

Label from overall skirt, from mid-1970s.The label in my dress, probably from around 1976-77. In the early 1990s, a former Landlubber Co. salesman decided to revive the bell bottom look from a generation earlier and bought licensing rights to the Landlubber label. He manufactured them in Greensboro, North Carolina, but the business didn’t last long. A third launch took place in 2004, but from what I can find, it doesn’t seem to have survived either.

It appears that the Hoffman family in Boston still own rights to the label and there is still a very visible remnant, right in my own neighborhood, of how popular these jeans were.

Sign dating from the 1970s on the back of a building in Central Square, Cambridge. I remember aspiring to Landlubbers in the 1970s, but didn't own any. Until now, that is.

Once again, I'm putting a call out for your 'label love' posts. Send me a link to a recent post that shows your favorite vintage clothing labels (for garments you actually own) by December 16. Or if you don't have a blog, you can just email me the photos and your text. I’ll post a ‘round up’ with photos and a link to your post next week.

References (2)

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Reader Comments (9)

I love that denim dress on you, the blue tights and metallic clogs are a fabulous touch and the label is gorgeous. Thanks for introducing us to a brand I've never heard of, the ad is wonderful, I'd have sent my dollar to have a copy adorn my bedroom walls if I had a time machine to transport me back to the 1970s!
Jon's picked up one of those army kit bags for a few pence at a jumble sale in the summer, I'd be tempted to recreate the advert if it wasn't so cold outside! xxx

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVix

This is awesome! I just found a pair of Landlubber bell bottoms and loved the label so much! And the jeans are cute as fuck too. The history is fascinating; I'll be sure to link to your post when I list them in my shop. (Sadly, they're way too small for me). Thank you for posting!

December 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterViolet Folklore

That's such a cool history, and I love that that sign is still kicking. I like your idea of label love - I got rid of so much stuff when I moved overseas but will take a look to see what's still in my closet. One of my fave Canadian vintage handbag makers is John Hort - all handbags were handmade and the label is cool - but sadly I (accidentally) left all of my John Hort bags in Canada!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrunge Queen

Love the dress so much! I had a very similar one from Landlubber in the mid 70s - my college years. And I love the Design Research tee too. That was a great find!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie

That denim frock ROCKS! Perfect shape and stlye. You look fabulous,and I suspect you'll get loads of wear out of it! I haven't heard of that brand before...
I just saw your email, and funnily enough I just found a fab labelled forck on Friday, and went back on Saturday to get it, as I was being oddly indecisive at the time! Will emaill through a couple of pix!

December 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelga

Another cute dress - I'd not heard of the brand, but I do have a denim dress that's very similar in style x

I have this same jacket... yes jacket, I bought mine in the late seventies and everyone wore them as long jean jackets not as dresses. Getting ready to give mine to a friend who lost hers years ago. Mine has been sitting in a trunk for thirty years and still looks great even though I wore it a lot. Very heavy denim, well made. Hate to part with it but my friend will wear it and treasure treasure it.

October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I had that exact Land Lubber jacket (that's how it was marketed in ny) in the 70s and wore it out! We'd all have a goody brand comb in our pockets and buffalo shoes on our feet. Thanks for the memory!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJavagirl65

I worked at M. Hoffman and company .. Manufacturer of Landlubber jeans.. In the 1960's...and 1970's. I was there for over 10 years....a great place to work ...very family oriented...loved working there .....met my husband there! ....we are still together....Loved their jeans and overcoats...

January 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kimball

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