This blog features Orvis products that our associates or our customers particularly enjoy or appreciate for their quality, utility, and comfort.

WWII-Inspired Jackets: A Hero Comes Home

Written by: Deb German

“Hey, Dad,” I wondered during one of our recent cyber chats: “Did Granddaddy ever wear one of these leather jackets during the war?” I was referring to the one in the photo up there. His enthusiastic response was, “Yes, Dad had a flight jacket very similar to the heavy-duty one shown here, furry collar and all!” With gathering excitement, my next question came right on the heels of the first: “Do you still have the jacket?” The cyber silence was killing me…

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Checkered Past: A Brief History of the Madras Plaid Shirt

Written by: Deb German

Coastal Patch Madras Shirt
Photo via orvis.com

Seen neatly tucked into pressed khaki trousers while darting across the campus green, the plaid cotton madras shirt enjoyed widespread American popularity in the 1960s as requisite garb for a post-WWII generation of preppy baby boomers. But as early as the 1930s cotton madras clothing began to emerge stateside as a status symbol: first popular among American tourists who could afford pricey Caribbean vacations during the Great Depression, the madras shirt was a palpable and overt sign of affluence worn on the backs of returning Ivy Leaguers. Today it remains a wardrobe staple for the resort- and country club-bound, as much as it is regarded as distinctly peasant class in its native India. Spanning some 5000 years, the story of the summery cotton plaid madras shirt is the province of paupers, artisans, and royalty alike…

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Forget the Tired Tie: Fresh Gift Ideas for Men on Father’s Day

Written by: Deb German

Fence Post Ducks
Photo via orvis.com

He’s expecting it, you know, the tell-tale flat rectangular box done up with a bow. He’ll be gracious about it—he loves anything that comes from you. But Father’s Day is your chance to celebrate the life of an important man, someone who helped form you: imagine the possibilities. This year, think outside the (tie) box. Discover fresh gift ideas for men and surprise him with something unexpected on Father’s Day…

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Sunbrella Savvy: Caring for Your Outdoor Cushions

Written by: Deb German

Can you hear the familiar Porgy and Bess refrain? Summertime, and the livin’ is easy—at long last we’ve arrived there: delicious, lengthening days, high sun at high noon, and sun-kissed life outdoors. And with that come life’s big messes: oily sunscreen residue, splatters from granddad’s secret smoked chicken marinade, maybe electric blue Popsicle drippings or a little splash of deep crimson Malbec on the outdoor seat cushions. Ella did not include those words in her lyrics, but they’re proof positive you’re enjoying life.

You already know the Sunbrella® outdoor cushions you use on your garden or patio furniture are resilient: they’re adventure-ready, fade-resistant, willingly take a beating in the weather, and they’re no match for the triple threat: mold, mildew, and moisture. It’s why you bought them in the first place. But even the world’s most nearly-perfect outdoor seat cushion needs a little help now and then. Pull up your wicker chair and pay attention. But before we travel too far down the cushion care and maintenance road, keep three things…

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Reflective Dog Collars (for dogs who run with crazy humans before sunrise, not that I know anybody who has ever done that)

Written by: Deb German


Reflective Collar
Photo via orvis.com

For many, many years I was that person. An insatiable long-distance runner, my day started at 5 a.m. with at least one dog, often two, occasionally three, outside, running. Did I think about our visibility to passing motorists in the early-morning darkness? Incessantly. When you are running with your leashed dog, you can clearly see Spot run. But it can be difficult for others to spot…

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Summer Hydration & Water Bowl Wisdom: Helping Your Dog Take the Heat

Written by: Deb German


Indoor/Outdoor Water Bowl
Photo via orvis.com

I can’t count the number of times I’ve observed any one of the big, silly dogs in my life abandon a game of fetch for a pass at the water bowl, dropping a slimy toy directly into the bowl itself, and then fishing it out to continue play. The day our “pack” grew to include a second dog, the first one—our house matron—made her displeasure known at the water bowl, jealously guarding it from the cheeky young interloper, and comically growling with her snout fully immersed. Who knew a dog could blow water bubbles? They may not be able to explain the finer points of hydration, but make no mistake: dogs completely…

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When to Wear Linen: Taking Summer’s Favorite Fabric Out of the Closet

Written by: Deb German

Growing up in the South during the 60s and 70s as I did meant adherence to long-cherished cultural norms; many gave way to more modern sensibilities during the social tumult of that era, and that’s mainly a good thing. But traditionalists stood resolute on others, to wit: you should never wear linen clothing (nor summer whites, eyelet, seersucker, plaid madras, or dirty bucks) before Memorial Day, nor after Labor Day. Period. I am sure there were agitators who dared provoke the fashion police back in the day, but most people honored tradition where fashion was concerned, and many do still. It’s a big ship that moves slowly, the American South.

Funny thing is, in the here and now—a time characterized more often than not by fashion anarchy—people still care about when and when not to wear linen, and not just way down south: a quick…

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Dog Tales in the House: Tips for Protecting Your Furniture from Fur and Other Fallout

Written by: Deb German


Dog Couch Protector
Photo via orvis.com

Should you allow your dog on the furniture? Maybe a better question is, Do you allow your dog on the furniture? As is the case with most of life’s conundrums, opinions are as varied as dogs and their people, but the extremes lie way out in the tails of a normal bell curve (yes, always, versus no, never). When dog experts weigh in, though, most keep the answer short and sweet: it’s up to you. You can assume a…

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Travel Clothing for Far-Flung Adventures

Written by: Sondra Wolfer

Travel, at its best, is a form of freedom. Whether you’re hopping in your car for a road trip or flying around the world, being someplace new invites you to step outside the everyday and leave the worries of the workaday world behind. When choosing women’s travel clothing be sure to opt for freedom-enhancing outfits. This way you’ll be wondering which stretch of white sand looks most enticing and not whether your clothes wrinkled en route.

Here’s how to bring your wardrobe up to speed with your wanderlust:

Keep it simple: The Paris Metro is complicated. Your clothing shouldn’t be. Travel shirts, pants and skirts that you can mix and match without much thought will help you focus on the important parts of your journey. Wending your way to revisit that charming café you happened upon earlier in your trip. Catching a sunset at the beach. Taking a morning hike to a hidden lake in the Rockies. Ideally, you should be able to bypass the hotel mirror without a glance because you knew you’d be looking good before you

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Dog Beds: Choosing the Best Nest for your Best Buddy

Written by: Sondra Wolfer


Deep Dish Dog Bed
Photo via orvis.com

Humans sleep about eight hours a day. It’s no wonder we’re so attentive to our beds. We take great care choosing a supportive mattress and the perfect comforters and pillows to create an inviting place to dive into at the end of a long day.

Dogs sleep between 12 to 14 hours each day and, just like us, they long…

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