Two for one
Friday, October 12th, 2012
There are no sales here. Not a scribbled red marker or stock-clearance-effort-disguised-as-something-else in sight. The value of a garment — what goes into its make and constituent parts — is the value of a garment. This does not change with time. But there’s one loophole: the squeezing of more than one garment into the same space-time coordinates — which is more or less what the reversible jacket does.
Think of it as two four-button jackets with more than just the thread holding them together in common. Both are made from complementary shades of wool-tweed; complementary because both are dyed with the same dye in the same mill, using the same yarn which is spun and woven in the same way, and which starts as the same recently shorn fleece from the same sheep. The resultant cloth is dry, hard-wearing, and up close a far more complexly coloured cloth than might be assumed from distance.
The jacket’s buttons have much in common too. They’re closely related breeds of the same species of tortoiseshell-coloured horn buttons, with dark matte on the dark side and light matte on the light. Both are from the same maker — a button factory in England almost as old as the woollen mill. Enough to make you feel young just thinking about it.
One upshot of the reversible’s two-fold use of a cloth of not-inconsiderable heft is that it is steadying and warm. Another upshot is pockets. Hidden side-seam slouch pockets, chest pockets with pen compartments, button-through A4 pockets — the jacket is in many ways the wearable equivalent of a shelving unit; and a shelving unit made to last at that, skilfully assembled as it is by one of the best outerwear factories in the country.