Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Regular readers already know that I like shirt jackets for casual wear. Unstructured coats in tweed, flannel, moleskin, drill or linen are comfortable, cover the waist and add the necessary pockets to an ensemble.
In this case, unstructured means that shirt jacket construction has no canvas or pads, and just enough lining to hang an interior pocket or two when that is necessary. Otherwise, it is simply a layer of cloth, and that simplicity is what gives an unstructured jacket its lightness and comfort.
Interestingly, the conventional jacket and the shirt jacket show some signs of merging. I saw a Brunello Cucinelli coat yesterday that was an example of where these things are going; a conventionally styled piece but unconstructed, with just a bit of buggy lining and a two piece collar. That is a better make in many ways for warm weather than a conventional odd jacket and of course it is considerably less expensive than an odd jacket to put together.
Now I am too cheap to spend $3,000 on a designer safari jacket that was made to fit someone with a better figure than mine in the first place, so I am approaching this unconstructed jacket thing from two directions. Joe Hemrajani has a new hand tailoring operation in Hong Kong that he says is Oxxford quality, and they are making me a ghillie collared jacket with just a bit of lining from a length of 10 ounce/300 gram Loro Piana cashmere. And the good folks at Inis Meáin are also making me a coat in unlined Irish linen, as worn by the young lady in the photo.
I will report on them when they arrive in February.