Field jacket in cavalry twill in olive drab

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£460.00 — ex VAT

Field jacket, made in London, with mid-weight (11oz) cotton cavalry twill from Lancashire, mottled horn buttons from the West Midlands, and leather lacing from a tannery in Derbyshire.

Sizing

The jacket fits true to size, and thus the wooden chap here, who has a chest of 40, wears size M.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 29½ 29¾ 30 30¼ 30½
Sleeve from centre-back 33½ 33 34½ 34 35½

Caring

The field jacket is mostly cotton, yes, but several aspects are not. The leather drawstring, for example, and the horn buttons. Thus it is best to wash it only by hand, in lukewarm water, and to avoid the washing machine at all costs. Dry-cleaning is the second-best option.

A four-button jacket, this, with a stand collar, six pockets, and a drawstring waist. In simple terms, that's that. But this is a jacket with surprises aplenty up its sleeve (and side-body and shoulder). There's a drawstring, for starters, which is hidden at the front below two large, floating chest pockets.
The drawstring is leather, and emerges in the front sections of the interior of the jacket. It is loosened or tightened with the aid of a sliding knot. It doesn't have to be tightened, of course, in which case the body drapes untrammelled, or it may be tightened to its zenith, pulling in the waist section no end.
The collar fastens with a single button. It (the collar) is cut to sit away from the neck at the front, just a little, so never rubbing beards up the wrong way, and unlike such collars sometimes do, it never sits convex or collapses on itself. Instead, it is always round, skimming the sides of the neck and the nape at the back.
There's what's known as a patrol pleat or action back round the rear, permitting greater range of forward movement thanks to the extra cloth it hides from view. Also hidden from view, concealed beneath two layers of cloth, is a panel of elastic mesh, so the jacket snaps back into shape post-stretch.
The field jacket has a secret. It doesn't have an armhole. Instead, due to a most unusual method of assembly, it has a very adventurous body seam, which runs along where the armhole seam would ordinarily be found. And, rather than looping around the pit, this seam makes a b-line for the body ...
... where it is interrupted by a chest pocket. This has a bellows construction, held to the body only at the top: hanging freely and doing what gravity tells it when the wearer bends over. It is bisected by a pleat, which in a pleasing flourish of alignment, runs atop the above-mentioned vertical body seam.
Lift up the chest pockets and what do you see? The outline of the drawstring channel, of course! Because the chest pockets are attached to the body only at their top edge, pulling the drawstring tight has no effect on their form or function.
Every pocket and pocket flap on the field jacket is strengthened at points of stress with stout and sturdy bar-tacks.
Four buttons adorn the front — although when fastened, three of them are concealed from view by virtue of the fly. The buttons are horn, are pretty large, and have a matte finish. Being as they are made with natural horn, each is different from one to the next, as if spotted and streaked alpha-keratin snowflakes.
The cuffs fasten with a button. There's one at the default level of tightness, and one an inch further around the sleeve for additional wrist-grip.
The jacket has an in-breast pocket — an internal chest pocket, that is, of the jetted variety — on both the left and right sides.
The jacket is fully lined — both the back of the body and the sleeves — with a slinky satin, making donning and undonning it a breeze, and helping to reduce friction with whatever is worn underneath.
Cavalry twill is a strong, durable, mid-weight cotton, rooted in military attire, and characterised by a two-ply twill that lends it a clean and formal drape. This, coupled with the fine, long-staple yarn from which it is woven makes for cloth smart and crisp when new, soft with time, but yet breathable to boot.

Makers of

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 supplied 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 borne 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 made in Birmingham."

So they say

I've never seen something like it, and I'm loving the pockets. I walk to work with a backpack oftentimes in the Dublin wind and rain. This piece fulfils that utilitarian function, and satisfies my aesthetic cravings at the same time: the geeky construction — patrol pleat! No shoulder seam! Floating pockets with bellows! — and the materials used.

Enthusiastic feedback from Ireland, regarding a field jacket in cotton airweave bought in November of 2018.