The visit of tailors W. W. Chan to San Francisco this week meant another opportunity to go tweed shopping. Merchant W. Bill has a lovely book of hairy Donegal in a 14 ounce/420 gram weight that is about as good as a man can find. Of course, it does have an extra mark-up or two built in compared to the prices in Ireland.
Donegal comes as a plain weave, a twill or a herringbone and typically has slubs of color randomly woven into the pattern. The tan, in the photo at the top, makes a fine odd jacket that is a perfect foil for leather buttons, and the black and white (it resolves to gray from a distance) an excellent casual city suit. In navy blue (not shown), it makes up as an interesting odd jacket that works like a blazer.
W. Bill is also the principal source for tattersall plaids, the stuff that originated as horse blankets at London's Tattersall horse auction in the nineteenth century. It is also 14/15 ounce (420/450 gram) cloth for winter wear, and its best use is probably for odd vests. The blue on white check would work nicely under a blazer if only the climate here made vest-wearing practical more than one or two days a year.
Chan's departure brings the autumn's visiting season to a close, leaving us an interregnum until January when the London tailors will have their items ready for fitting.