The H&M Mauritz Archive Collection is surprisingly good

Yesterday was an odd day. We’re currently in Bergen, and apart from being a delightful town, it offers some decent opportunities for shopping. I’ve previously written about the shops I consider good in Bergen, such as T-Michael, Lot 333, Twisted and Tilsammans. Today I visited the emporium I normally only trudge through, eyes down, when trailing WellDressedGirlfriend, or picking up socks and t-shirts for my sons. We’re talking H&M, Hennes & Mauritz, the huge Swedish purveyor of clothes I never usually consider buying.

To my eyes H&M is all about massive amounts of cheap fashion and cheeky copies of whatever is currently popular, or even the reproduction of the odd modern icon such as their “Cameraman“. As I discovered though, even H&M wasn’t always the emporium of cheap garments it is today, they have a past going back to 1968. As the story goes the founder of H&M bought the Stockholm menswear shop Mauritz Widforss in 1968 and combined it with his existing Hennes shop next door. The menswear store specialised in outdoor and hunting apparel, and for a short time the new Hennes & Mauritz shop sold the outdoor wear that was still in stock, and hence the outdoors look became H&M’s first men’s style.

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I know my regular readers are at this point rolling their eyes and wondering what the heck is up, but bear with me just a little longer. What I discovered yesterday (oh, I’ll admit, I’m telling a lie, it was WellDressedGirlfriend that pointed it out to me), was a window full of “Mauritz Archive Collection 1968-2013”. Now, anyone into heritage inspired clothing can’t fail to feel the hook of “archive collection”, and I was compelled to take a look. It was either that or browse various social media on a poor mobile connection for 20 minutes, so it was hardly a taxing decision, right?

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I’ll admit, I was pleasantly surprised. To be honest, more than surprised. The models in the window display actually looked good. Not universally good, as not every piece was really good, but sufficient to warrant going inside and having a closer look. For me, the following are the stand out pieces of the collection, and I’m serious about these being worth a look. Trust me on this.

woolblazer

The grey wool jacket (or blazer, if you like) is a fine jacket in 100% wool Yorkshire tweed woven by Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd. Nice detailing, with interesting pockets and half lined in chambray. If I hadn’t already got a lovely grey Harris Tweed Bakers jacket, I’d have gone for this. I still fancy it.

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tweedtrousers

The grey wool trousers are again in 100% wool Yorkshire tweed, with five pockets, including a front ticket pocket and back pockets with flap and button. A button fly and contrast details on the legs. Oh, and buttons for braces are already fitted. A steal at the price.

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woolcardigan

The green wool cardigan is 100% Shetland Wool, really thick, with nice big buttons, proper pockets and a throat latch. Chunky knit and really warm. Good strengthening around the button holes and well made flaps on the pockets.

waxjacket

The green waxed jacket is pretty much what you’d expect from a green waxed jacket, in British Millerain fabric, with a thick orange cotton lining. Plenty of pockets and it seems well constructed. In these days of “made in Britain” focus, this may actually be as made in Britain as offerings from Barbour, but with more honesty of where it’s produced and a third of the price. 

overshirt

The orange wool over-shirt is merino lambs wool, again by Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd. Nicely made, in a tweedy orange material with both breast pockets and side pocket. A decent cut and good fit.

I’ve not mentioned any prices here, suffice to say that while they are a little higher than H&M usually charge, they are also a lot lower than items I normally mention. Oddly, the UK pricing is almost half of the Norwegian pricing, so UK buyers are really getting some stone-cold bargains.

For the rest of the Mauritz Archive Collection, have a look here [Sorry, link no longer works]. Available in only select H&M shops (only 2 in Norway, as I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon one of them!) and online. I was obviously late to the party, as stocks are already quite depleted.

Addition: It looks like the Mauritz Archive Collection link has been taken down now, but the remaining items are still available within their categories, i.e. use links as follows:

[Sorry, all the links appear to have been removed now]

 

10 Responses to “The H&M Mauritz Archive Collection is surprisingly good”

  1. markjhollingsworth

    Great post – superb images. I must confess (now in my early 50s) I like H&M. It is one of those stores you need to search through, and every now and then you find great quality items – I do though emphasize the need to search! These vintage items look wonderful.
    Thanks
    Mark

    Reply
  2. Scratch

    Great items tbh & Moon tweed is good gear – this being said, it’s more or less totally sold out here in the UK and at £79.99 for that grey wool jacket, I’m not surprised at all.
    The only thing I would question would be exactly how long it would last I suppose. I’m not familiar with H&M but suspect it’s price points means that somethings got to give & after a wash or two it’s stuff starts to disintergrate.

    Reply
    • Well Dressed Dad

      Well, I tend to never wash stuff like this, and if I did it would be on a gentle wool wash in any case, so I’m not too concerned about it falling apart. Maybe if they were to go into heavy rotation I would be more concerned, but then again, as you point out, it is excellent value for money. This may go against the rule of spending more on better garments though. Tough call!

      Reply
  3. stan

    Tried the trousers on. Unlined therefore itchy and too narrow at the bottom for someone my age. 30 years of cycling resulting in calves that don’t fit. Looked a bit like an old Rudolph Nureyev getting ready for a hiking ballet.

    Reply
    • Well Dressed Dad

      They are slim fitting, yes. As I cycle all year I prefer this style (and my girlfriend also prefers this lookwise). I’m hoping itchiness will abate further, but found that it quite quickly was ok. 100% woo comes at a cost! Did you try any of the other pieces?

      Reply
      • stan

        Tried the yellow trousers, very comfy but again too tight on the calves. Bought the red and green check shirt though. Love it. Thanks for the tip off. No tweed jackets left though. Although have an old grey wool Swedish army jacket I got off eBay some years ago. You’ve probably seen them. Pockets on the back. I love it.

      • Well Dressed Dad

        Good you got something at least! I got wool trousers, green wool cardigan, orangey wool shirt and the button tee. Would have liked the tweed jacket as well, but I had to pace myself.

  4. Matt Jones

    According to H&M online, where as you say, most of this range is now sold out, the Mauritz Archive is available in 7 stores in London. I duly trundled out this weekend and had to visit all three Oxford St stores as well as Westfield and Kensington High St before I could find the Moon tweed jacket in a 40″ chest – last one in the shop. Also bought the yellow wool overshirt, which is a good cut but fairly loosely fitting (would have liked to try the small but could only find the medium). Then got rather carried away and also bought the green/orange shirt, the chambray shirt and the wool jumper, which aren’t as tricky to find. Good luck to anyone who fancies this stuff – it’s already starting to turn up on eBay at three times the in-store price…

    Reply
    • Well Dressed Dad

      Good catch, Matt! Only two shops in Norway had it, but the shop I visited had a lot of all three jackets in stock. Not surprising it’s being resold as it was remarkably good value! How do you like the tweed jacket?

      Reply
    • Well Dressed Dad

      Just stopped by the H&M on Colon Road in Valencia they had a lot of stock. No wool trousers that I could see, but everything else. Including the wooly hats. Probably not of any use to anyone…

      Reply

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