Pyjama top in linen burlap in dark olive

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Buying

£290.00

Light, four button shirt-jacket, made in London, with heavy (15oz) linen burlap from Northern Ireland, and horn buttons from the Midlands.

Sizing

This version of the pyjama top fits a little larger than the marked size. Linen is programmed at the atomic level to kick away from the body, and thus anything made with linen fits large. If between sizes — even slightly — then be sure to go down rather than up. The mannequin here is a standard 38, but therefore wears size XS.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 28¾ 29 29¼ 29½ 29¾
Sleeve from   centre-back 33¼       33¾       34¼       34¾       35¼      

Caring

Linen is never the most stable fibre, so the shirt here should be washed only in cool water — i.e. at no more than 20ºc — either by hand or in a machine, and never exposed to tumble-drying.

The pyjama top isn't really for bedtime. Rather, it is a light, unstructured jacket, with some of the trappings of an old-fashioned pyjama top. It has an open collar, which falls low, and is suited well to being worn in a louche and laid-back manner — over a t-shirt, say, or light shirt — ideally in spring and summer.
A curious type of collar, this — previously found only on uniform jackets in the middling second half of the last century. It is asymmetric, in that one side — the under-side when fastened — has a small notch where the curve of the collar begins, enabling things to sit nice and flush when fastened.
This is a half-raglan sleeve — halfway between a set-in sleeve and a full raglan — and is what gives the pyjama top its blend of soft shoulder, like a full raglan, but with less smart and sporty lines. The sleeves are lined with a slinky satin to allow arms to slide in and out without friction.
There is a split at the end of the sleeves, which facilitates the rolling up of sleeves. Again — the pyjama top is a resolutely relaxed affair, and outwardly encourages such gestures when the going gets warm.
A large patch pocket with turn-down detail is stationed at the chest of the pyjama top. It is deep, the pocket, and positioned quite low at the chest so the treasures stashed within may be very readily retrieved. The turn-down detail, meanwhile, rolls over on itself and is held down with bar-tacks.
The buttons on the top are large, solid horn — dark in colour and matte in finish — and each is a little different from one to the next. They are in that regard as if alpha-keratin snowflakes — such is the beauty of being a product of a high-grade natural material, rather than, say, a plastic replica.
The top is made with linen burlap. Cloth of real character, this, rich with slub and bobble and a slightly perceptible fuzziness. While heavy, it is breathable, and held up to light shows an open airiness in its structure. It is a washed, so out goes natural starchiness and in comes a soft handle and pliancy.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 38 in the chest, weighs about 11 stone, and is here wearing the pyjama top in size S.
It's the same jacket, in merino-cotton oxford, but a different colour.
The gentleman is the same, the jacket is the same, but the cloth from which it is made — and thus, arguably, the jacket, come to think of it — is not the same. It is, rather, heavy linen burlap, giving a particularly beefy and bulky look.

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 woven by a linen mill, a few miles south of Belfast in Northern Ireland. The mill was built at the end of the 1800s, back when Belfast was "Linenopolis". That it's one of the last mills still standing in the area is testament to its exemplary work in the weaving, dying, and finishing of luxury-grade linen.
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."