Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Blazers are among the most useful of jackets and a wardrobe should have one for each season. If a winter blazer is a 14 ounce/400 gram hopsack like the one from the other day, then its warmer weather equivalent is something like the 12 ounce/350 gram Finmeresco making up the shell of the double breasted jacket in the photograph. Now I will grant you that a couple of ounces does not sound like all that much difference, but Smith's Finmeresco breathes significantly better than hopsack and wears significantly cooler. Call it a 60 to 85 degree jacket (15 to 30 degrees C) where the hopsack is for up to 65 (18 C).
The shell in the photo is the standard state of a jacket for a W. W. Chan fitting when the firm is on tour. I have written in the past that the pieces of the coat are sewn together with basting thread and the canvas is attached but that is all. From looking at the garment on the customer, the tailor is able to corrrect egregious imperfections and note things like sleeves to rotate so the completed coat is significantly better than it would be without a fitting, even for a near-perfected pattern. And a shoulder did require rotation. Better now than later - if something needs adjustment the next time the coat is in San Francisco it will mean a three month delay and another $150 for shipping to Hong Kong.
The challenge with a fitting at this early stage is that there is no way to tell whether the firm will get the as yet undone details correct on the final coat, but the men at Chan are professionals after all and things have usually worked out so far or the relationship would not have endured. This particular jacket is slated for horn buttons instead of gilt and so will be considerably less flashy than the other. It is meant to be worn eight months of the year during the day and in the evening with gabardine or fresco trousers in cream, gray or tan, patterned shirts with white grounds, simple four in hand or bow ties and either lace-up bluchers, monks or slip-on shoes.