Engineer jacket in cotton canvas in laurel green

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Buying

£370.00

Work jacket without a collar, made in London, with a medium-weight (10oz) cotton canvas from Lancashire, and with dark horn buttons — removable ones — from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The engineer jacket fits true to size, and thus the calico and wooden man here, who is as standard a 38 as ever there was, wears size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 26¾ 27 27¼ 27½ 27¾
Sleeve from   centre-back 33¼       33¾       34¼       34¾       35¼      
A medium-length work jacket is what this is, in a nutshell, with its most notable feature being the one thing it doesn't have — namely a collar. Rather, the jacket has an open, curved front — which is what you see on old engineer and railroad-type jackets — and a thick placket panel that runs down both sides.
The buttons are horn, and are dark in colour and matte in finish. Being as they're only a step or two from nature, each one is different, in terms of shade and marking. Those at the front are attached through eyelets and a metal ring — "butcher's buttons", sometimes they are called — and are thus removable.
There's a seam that runs across the chest of the engineer jacket, from the placket, into which are tucked two pockets of handily-sized-for-wallets-and-mobiles dimensions. The storage credentials of these pockets are augmented by the pleat which runs perpendicularly from the cross-chest seam.
That pleat, mentioned above, when it reaches the lower half of the jacket, is also the starting point for the large main pockets, which sit at hip-height. Large is the operative word: these pockets wrap around the sides of the jacket, stopping at the seam at the rear, which rests approximately at kidney coordinates.
Curious here is that that seam at the back, where the pocket stops, is also the shoulder seam. It runs up, see, over and around the shoulder. That's how the sleeve is attached. It is a type of "grown-on" sleeve — an arcane genre, where the sleeve, rather than a separate piece, is a seamless extension of the body.
The jacket thus has very soft shoulders, with a shape similar to a one-piece raglan sleeve. The only difference is that there's a seam running over and around the shoulder, following a track similar to what you'd see on the (usually) dropped shoulder on an old-fashioned engineer's jacket.
A lining runs halfway down the inside of the engineer jacket, in two great sweeping curved panels. The rest of the jacket on the inside, meanwhile, is neatly finished with cotton binding (apart from the front panel of the jacket, that is, which is actually fully lined, or rather "fully faced", speaking technically).
With things rather eventful on the outside of the jacket, there are just a couple of simple, jetted pockets on the inside. One is at chest height, on the left side as worn, and the other is a little lower and wider, and is stationed on the opposite side.
The cloth is cotton — a classic canvas weave — of middling weight. It is brushed on both sides, and as such, is very agreeable indeed on skin: soft, warm, and inviting. The brushed finish also gives the cloth a subtle nap, which make it softer on the eye, and thus the jacket has an easy "worn-in" look right from the get-go.

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 woven by a mill in east Lancashire: in a region of the country which was once red-brick cotton-mill chimneys as far as the eye could see. More or less the last of its kind, the mill has forgotten more about cotton than most will ever know — a fact born out by the quality of its work.
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."