Flight jacket in sail-canvas / heavy melton in camel

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Flight jacket, made in London, with wool overcoating from Somerset, cotton sail-canvas from Scotland, a lining of melton from West Yorkshire, and horn buttons from the Midlands.


Go up a size. This is designed to be a close-fitting jacket, drawn in at the waist. This, plus the fact that this particular version is made with very heavy cloth means up is the only way to go. Thus, while the mannequin has a 38 chest, he is wearing M. Follow his example.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 25½ 25¾ 26 26¼ 26½
Sleeve from   centre-back 33¼       33¾       34¼       34¾       35¼      
The flight jacket is a short jacket, with side-entry pockets, and with a hem band that gives the jacket a shape that is pulled in at the bottom, bomber-style. It has a large, wind-shielding collar, with rounded corners, which is cut to sit cleanly when down, and hug the neck and stand proudly when up.
One other facet of the collar is the throat-latch, which runs across the neck at the top of the front. It may be buttoned across (see left) but also buttoned back on itself (see top). This is, of course, up the wearer. They may even, indeed, choose not to button the throat-latch at all — just let it hang loose.
It has a front of six buttons — all horn, and dark, matte, and tortoiseshell in colour. The lowest one, as on, say, old waistcoats, is strictly for decorative purposes: don't be overly ambitious and try to fasten it, lest you do yourself a mischief. Besides, the pleated body means you get enough shape without needing it.
For each of the front buttons, there is a little backing button. These protect the stitching of the front buttons and perform a minor anchoring job, as well. Dark, matte, and horn, these, too.
The sleeves are a standard sort of width, but they taper at the elbow and fasten snugly around the wrist with a cuff that folds in on itself, courtesy of a gusset, some pleats, and an arrow-tipped tab.
The jacket has side-entry pockets, which are tucked out of sight in the side-seams of the body. The aforementioned seams are pitched forwards, so the pockets are in just the right place to plunge hands a moment's notice. Also visible here at the pleats that taper the body of the jacket into the hem.
The jacket has a saddle shoulder. This type of construction combines the sharp lines of a typical inset sleeve with a very soft drape over the shoulder. It is more commonly seen on knitwear; nobody can recall ever seeing it on a cut-and-sewn jacket. One to file in the "simple to look at but devilish to make" box.
The jacket has two pockets on the inside — one, as you might predict, on each side. They are disproportionately large compared to the rest of the jacket, and being as they are each covered with a large flap, they invite the storage of belongings, so freeing up the exterior pockets for hands and hands only.
The jacket is half-lined with melton — a hard-wearing material, full of character and gnarled grey yarn — from a mill in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire. It is a fine outer cloth in its own right, but here is happy to play backup to its even thicker, heavier, and slightly smarter older brother.
The heavy camel cloth, up close. It is woven with worsted-spun yarn, and so has a wonderful lustre about it. No plain duffle cloth or heavy melton, this. It is also very heavily milled: those fine strands of yarn are coaxed together, making an already thick cloth denser and denser and, yes, denser still.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", has a chest just north of 38", and is wearing a size S. It is a squeeze, however — boy is this cloth ever thick — and he'd be better off with an 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 woven in Somerset by one of the most illustrious names in British textiles. It is a mill which has woven for the great and good for two centuries and, in particular, has long had a thumb in the pie of military cloth — putting in the largest order for textiles, no less, during the Second World War.
The wool lining 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 here in Birmingham."

So they say

The flight jacket arrived yesterday in resplendent glory wrapped in the box. It is perfect. I swim, and need the shoulder size. The length of the jacket is longer than designed, but it works well — especially as a rain jacket. Thank you again, I look forward to the next purchase.

The first person ever to buy a flight jacket — one made with the Flyweight quality of Ventile — in June 2017.

The flight jacket is a pleasure to wear thus far. The cut, colour, and craftsmanship are, respectively, sharp, saturated, and sturdy. I look forward to giving it more than the recent weak west-coast winter weather to brave up to.

So said a chap who purchased the flight jacket in a melton / sail-canvas combination in November of 2017.

The flight jacket fits wonderfully. Absolutely thrilled. It sends shivers down my spine (in the best way possible) and I can't wait for warmer weather so I can start wearing it.

This gentleman bought the flight jacket in weatherproof ripstop in sand in February 2018.