Cooks jacket in wool canvas and moleskin in nearly black

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£330.00 — ex VAT

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


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.

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 33¼ 33¾ 34¼ 34¾ 35¼
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 cooks jacket is this. It is a faithful reproduction of a "workwear worsted" — a category of cloth which a century was go-to for uniform and factory attire (before losing favour to cotton). It is made with coarse worsted yarn, and thus has a dry handle, an elegant drape, and high tensile strength.
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.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 11½ stone, a shade over 38 in the chest, and is wearing the cooks jacket in size M.

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 off 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 made in Birmingham."

So they say

The jacket arrived, and it is great. You’re right, it is a very nice, subtle colour. The fit is great, pretty close over the shoulders, but the half-raglan construction makes it work.

So spoke a man in Denmark, who purchased the cooks jacket in February 2020.