Feather and Oar's creative director, Travis Pranger and operations director, JD Elquist.
Image: Kirby Ellis
Over the river and through the woods and down I5 to Tacoma is Feather and Oar, a vintage menswear boutique that trades in refurbished and as-is style pieces. Think old school Ralph Lauren meets Filson—a perfect combination of prep, classic man, and the Pacific Northwest. Here's more with co-owner JD Elquist in the historical Triangle District.

WWW: What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Elquist: Teen Daze, "The Harvest;" it's slow, moody, and beautiful. 

What was your first job? How does it compare to your job now?
My first retail job was while I was in high school in Sacramento. I  was on the "impact team" at Abercrombie Kids. I can't say I miss those late nights with school the next morning or the whole new-goods-made-to-look-worn approach. Compared to working for a corporate retail company what I do now is like night and day. I wake up every morning and do what I love.

What’s your favorite thing in the store right now? Why?
I would say our entire Gust Collection. It is the wardrobe of one man who was born in Tacoma in 1920. The collection is roughly 300 pieces ranging from the 1950s into the 1970s. The collection is made up of made-to-measure suits, overcoats, casual wear, and haberdasheries. Its eclectic and wonderful, you can really get a sense of this man's style through this cllection. 

It's very rare you get one man's wardrobe in its entirety. Along with the clothing we know this man's personal history and know that he bought 90 percent of his wardrobe in Tacoma. It's paying respect to him and the menswear history of our city.

Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
My favorite pieces in my wardrobe were found in little thrift stores in little towns. So when I am not at the store or shopping for the store, I enjoy hunting through goods in unsuspecting areas.

What do you love about your store’s neighborhood?
First there are the historic structures. Buildings that were intregal structures to the history of our city really lay an amazing foundation for us. The other key aspect is the relationships we have with people who live and work in our neighborhood. My favorite bars, restaurants, and places to hang out are owned by friends and within walking distance of the shop. Its an incredible community.

What nearby, coffee shops and restaurants do you recommend?
If I was going to build an early morning into late afternoon for someone visiting our neighborhood it would look something like this: Start by having weekend breakfast at Puget Sound Pizza. From there I would grab a coffee to go from Morgan at Amocat and walk down to Broadway, cruising the wonderful variety of clothing and antique stores. I would take time to cruise the crazy maze of wonderful little shops inside Sanford and Sons. Make sure to check out Dion at Gallery of Ambition and Charli at Charli Alana Vintage. As the afternoon comes, I would make your way up to Feather and Oar and of course pay us a visit. After you get your menswear fix, we would send you to lunch at Stink, owned by our dear friend Kris—we recommend "The Turkey." After a late lunch, cruise Dwelling and Giraffe for you home decor needs. Then after all that shopping and eating, a late afternoon cocktail from our friends at The Mix.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
Before we rented and renovated our building, our location use to issue bail bonds so the awning outside read, "Bail Bonds." When we opened the store we covered the awning with a temporary sign using adhesive strips. One morning in the rain and wind, our sign came down and "Bail Bonds" was exposed again. We are currently in the process of replacing the whole awning, however having a bail bonds sign has called for a pretty interesting mix of folks. They are always a little confused when they walk in, so I greet them with, "I can't give you bail but I can make you look good for that hearing."

  

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