No pattern feels quite so autumnal as buffalo check. Although Paul Bunyan wore his in red, I prefer mine reimagined in colors like cobalt blue, as seen above, and paired with luxe elements like leather and fur. Somehow, until recently, I didn’t know the name for this pattern. I suppose I thought it was just a large-scale gingham. But once I went down the Google rabbit hole in search of information about this bold, beloved pattern, I discovered much more than its name.
You know the original Hudson’s Bay point blankets? The ones knocked off by Pendleton and currently enjoying a moment in the interior design spotlight? Well, those blankets were brought to the New World in the 18th and 19th centuries to trade with Native Americans for fur pelts. The natives, and traders, fashioned the thick wool blankets into coats designed to protect them from the cold, wet Canadian winters.
Fast forward a few years, and Hudson’s Bay Company decides to make a lighter-weight version of their sought-after blankets. This thinner version was printed with red and black stripes to form the buffalo check. Many men in the Northwest opted to wear jackets made from the buffalo check blankets, and they spread across the country with the logging industry; this is where we get the image of Paul Bunyan in a buffalo check flannel. And, after my history lesson, I feel my choice of fur stole was not only sartorially sound, it was (somewhat) inspired by history?