Flight jacket in cotton sail-cloth in nearly black

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Buying

£350.00 — ex VAT

Casual jacket with detachable collar, made in London, with heavy (13oz) weatherproof cotton sail-cloth from a mill in Northern Ireland, and with horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The flight jacket fits entirely true to size, but with the elastic in the hem (body) cut tight so that with time it will soften and relax. The mannequin here is as standard a 38 chest as ever there was, and is therefore wearing an S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 26¼ 26½ 26¾ 27 27¼
Sleeve from centre-back 34 34½ 35 35½ 36
The flight jacket is a short and casual jacket, with a front of five buttons. It has a collar — or does it? It does. But the collar can be removed, and as such, the flight jacket can be worn with a large, proud collar, tending towards the smarter end of the smartness spectrum, or as a no-collar bomber jacket.
There's a pocket on the inside of the jacket, on the right side as worn, which is purpose-built for storing the collar — which itself happily folds neatly in half — when it's not in use.
The collar buttons to the inside of the collar-stand, sitting snugly and running from front to front. You see these buttons if the collar is up ...
... but not, of course, when it is down. No — when down, the collar fits and feels exactly like a normal collar, albeit a collar that is cut to closely circumnavigate the back and sides of the neck, and then roll open smoothly — never crumpled, never limp nor concave — when it reaches the front.
The flight jacket has a front of five buttons, with two of them — at the top and bottom — on show for all to see at all times, and the other three fastening behind a fly and thus hidden when the jacket is done up. They're all of them unique, snowflake-like, and each with a beautiful marbling of light and dark streaks.
The pockets on the jacket are subtle: tucked into the side-seams and hard to see until put to use. That's no reflection on their sense of purpose, however, for they are deep, strong, and, with the seam on which they sit pitched forwards slightly, at excellent coordinates for the instinctive plunging-in of hands.
Bar-tacks abound on the flight jacket, strengthening all points of most wear and tear. On the jacket, though, such points are few: it is put together in a way such that the only points of stress are the mouths of the pockets, and lo — there the tacks stand.
The cuffs of the flight jacket are made with two layers of cloth sandwiching a layer of thick, hard-wearing elastic. They thus cling to the wrist — not so much to feel uncomfortable, or to whisk away one's wrist-watch every time the jacket is put on, but certainly tight enough to keep out the wind and rain.
The hem-band at the back of the jacket, too, is elasticated. When new, the tension is very high, which is future-proofing in the manner of, say, heavy leather shoes. As such, with time and wear, the tension will relent and it will hug perfectly the rump to which it been acquainted over the months preceding.
The jacket has a saddle shoulder, which is rather like a raglan: it drapes naturally over the shoulder in a soft, casual manner, untrammelled by seams. It is different from a raglan in its appearance, especially at the front, where its lines take on the look of a (smarter than a raglan) set-in sleeve.
The upper third of the jacket 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 jacket glides over it as rendered from Teflon.
The sail-cloth is a high-count canvas, with all the subtle bobbliness that that entails. It has a weatherproof finish and is densely woven, so is excellent in the rain. It is also hard-wearing, and is very much in the "gets better with age" category. Impressively rich, deep colour, too: well done, dye-works.