Cooks jacket in worsted canvas / moleskin in nearly black

Shipping, worldwide, is always free of charge, orders are always dispatched within three working days, and prices are always the same.

Buying

£390.00

Fully reversible jacket, made in London, with one side sturdy (22oz) worsted canvas from West Yorkshire, and the other side mid-weight (12oz) moleskin from Lancashire — plus removable horn buttons from the Midlands.

Sizing

The jacket fits true to size, but being reversible and made with two substantial fabrics, is a bulky number. Thus, if between sizes — or for a more slimline look — for sure go down rather than up. The wooden chap here, for instance, is a 38 chest, but prefers a size XS in this instance.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 27½ 27¾ 28 28¼ 28½
Sleeve from   centre-back 33½       34       34½       35       35½      
Leaving aside the fact that the cooks jacket is a double-breasted jacket in the workwear style and suited well to all levels of culinary competence — the cooks jacket is fully reversible, and is thus effectively two jackets in one. One side is a canvas woven with smart worsted yarn; the other is moleskin.
The cooks jacket may be worn fully wrapped, as here, or half open, as above — or, indeed, neither, either, or both. Being as both materials here are quite firm and thick, the jacket always holds its own in this regard, and the front doesn't flop around but maintains its form no matter the chosen configuration.
The other thing with the cooks jacket is that, as well as being reversible, its buttons are removable and thus in their own way reversible, too. Pop them out, flip them over, wear half button-side-out and half ring-side-out — the choice is yours.
Buttons like this are sometimes called "butcher's buttons" — supposedly since, being removable, they can be set to one side when their jacket is boil-washed after a messy day at the chopping block. No illusions to such occupational hazards here: just a nod to one of the jolliest things about old workwear.
The cooks jacket has in-seam pockets on both sides of both sides — i.e. four pockets in total. They're deep, pleasing to plunge a hand into, and made with very hard-wearing military-grade cotton-linen. Strong enough, then, to withstand the sharper edges of one's personal effects, be one's keys or cleaver.
The pocket openings are strengthened with dutiful little bar-tacks.
One other novel aspect of the jacket is its construction. It is a hybrid of two types of sleeve: the smart lines of a traditional inset sleeve at the front, but, at the back, a raglan sleeve. This provides great freedom of movement in the upper body: rather more than a jacket of this nature ordinarily provides.
The cook jacket has plain sleeves — plain, that is, until they're rolled up. Then you get to showcase the cloth on the other side of the jacket. Moleskin, in this case, which is a complementary tone to the worsted canvas showing on the front.
One side of the jacket is this : a dense canvas, which most assume on first impressions to be cotton, but is in fact worsted. Fine, long-staple wool, in other words. Compared to cotton-canvas, then, it is harder-wearing, smarter, and springier (thus good for travelling on account of crease-resistance).
The other side of the jacket is moleskin — the wearing of which is one of life's quotidian pleasures, with a warmth and softness unmatched anywhere else in the cotton kingdom, married to an everyday rinse-wash-repeat readiness. It is tough, breathable, and practical for all months save summer.

Makers of

The jacket is made by an outerwear factory in north-east London. It is specialised skill, assembling jackets from thick and heavy cloth. The idea is to make something which truly lasts — all highly durable making techniques, heavy fusing, and turned seams — without the result being stiff or bulky.
The cloth is made by a cotton mill in Lancashire, in north-west England. Cottons have rolled of its line for nearly a century and a half. Industry-leading methods of weaving, dyeing, and finishing — unimproved in decades — along with steadfast adherence to quality, result in some truly first-rate cloth.
The melton wool hails from a mill founded in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire in the 1800s. Carding, blending, spinning, and weaving — it all happens on the same premises. This unique arrangement means that the fleece’s change into top-grade cloth could not be more tightly tuned.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons here in Birmingham."