The name of this jacket is a dead giveaway: the DB is a double-breasted jacket of the tailored variety, made in true and proper fashion but with a very easy-going appearance. It has little structure, you see, so is soft and relaxed; a world away from the traditional, structured, barrel-chested dinner DB.
While the DB has a collar and lapel of entirely down the middle size and proportion, it has a short little notch, which is to all intents and purposes closed, since the adjacent edges of the collar and lapel run flush to each other. So fond of one other are they that they end at the same lateral point, as well.
The jacket has a front of four buttons, all of them horn, of which two are functional, to fasten the jacket, and two vestigial of times past, when jacket symmetry was not only preferable but a legal obligation. There's a jigger button on the inside, too, to hold the underside of the jacket in check when it is fastened.
The pockets on the front of the jacket are nothing if not large. They have reinforced patches, too, redolent of certain outerwears from the world of workwear, and a reminder that this is a jacket for life, for which a prematurely worn-through pocket whether thanks to car keys or screwdrivers simply will not do.
There aren't many places on a DB jacket that need bar-tacks, but the corners of the aforementioned pockets have them at either side of the entrance. Little else lends peace of mind like a stubby, solid little tack, after all.
The cuffs are, suffice to say, working (as in "working cuffs") and fasten with two buttons. Visible also here is a vent, of which there are two — one on each side ("double vented", as the phrase goes). And then handiwork, visible below-right, in the form of a chain-stitch to support the stalk of a boutonnière.
There's just the one in-breast pocket on the DB jacket. It's on the left side as worn.
The upper third of the DB is lined with a slinky satin, which makes sliding the thing off and on an exercise in frictionless grace. The sleeves, likewise, are lined with the same material. No matter the coarseness of the shirt or sweater worn underneath, then: the DB will glide over it as rendered from Teflon.
This is a middleweight cord, but with fairly narrow wales. It is a very soft cloth, particularly its interior, but — cord being a traditional working cloth — is exceptionally hard-wearing. And, despite being soft and warm on cooler days, it is eminently breathable, and so really rather good all year round.
The jacket is made at an outerwear factory in London: the best, many agree, in the capital. The jacket is cut by the hands of a cutter with some 30 years in the trade, and sewn by one of four seamsters whose meticulousness and pursuit of perfection would be caricature were the end results not always so good.
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 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."