SB3 in cotton airweave in dark olive

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Unstructured three-button jacket, made in London, with a substantial (11oz) but breathable cotton from a mill in Lancashire, and with dark horn buttons from the Midlands.


The SB3 is a fairly casual and unstructured jacket, but it does have some shape to it — especially in the body. Thus, if between sizes — if only slightly between sizes — then it is recommended to go up a size. The mannequin here, for instance, is a standard 38 chest, and is wearing a size S. He would have no chance at all of squeezing his wooden figure into an XS.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17 17½ 18 18½ 19
Back length 28½ 28¾ 29 29¼ 29½
Sleeve from   centre-back 33       33½       34       34½       35      


The jacket here is cotton, true, but even the slightest shrinkage in washing will throw the shape out of balance and the balance out of shape. Thus it is best to dry-clean it — or to wash by hand, with lukewarm water, if wearers prefer to look rumpled and relaxed.

The SB3 is a three-button jacket — that's SB as in single-breasted, and 3 as in three. Funny thing is that despite the three buttons at the front, the break — where the lapel finishes — falls to the middle of those buttons. A "three-roll-two" this is called in tailoring circles, and it makes for an unusual but elegant enterprise.
The buttons on the jacket are horn, and are dark matte tortoiseshell in colour. Being as they are an entirely natural thing, each looks different to the next, varying in tone and hue and striatic markings.
Like the front of the jacket, there are three buttons at each cuff. The buttonholes here are open. It is a working cuff, in other words, but has no quarrel whatsoever with cuffs that cannot work or do not work.
At the front of the jacket are two large patch pockets, which are strengthened with bar-tacks at the top corners (below-left). Above one of these patches, on the right-side as worn, is a smaller glove pocket. There's a pocket of similar size at the lower chest, too, on the other side of the jacket (below-right).
Some hand-sewing here. The chain-stitch below the button-hole helps hold in place a boutonnière (a flower, for instance). The criss-cross ("duck") stitch, meanwhile, holds together the lapel and the collar so that, over time, one doesn't flap around independently of the other. Helpful little hidden handiwork.
The jacket has an in-breast pocket — in internal chest pocket, that is, of the jetted variety — on both the left and right sides.
The jacket has a buggy lining, across the upper back, of the same cloth, and the sleeves are lined with a smooth satin. The lower region of the body is unlined. This is a lightweight and travel-friendly jacket, after all. The seams, meanwhile, are finished cleanly and carefully with pale green cotton binding.
The airweave is a reproduction of a cotton favoured by the British Army in the middle portion of the last century. It is strong and hard-wearing, and made with long-staple cotton yarn for a clean drape and smart lustre. Has an open weave, too, for good heat-transfer and excellent ventilation.

As worn

Him, here, is 6'1" and just under 12 stone. He is as standard a 38 chest as ever there was, but is also quite broad of shoulder. He thus wears the jacket in size M, which all things considered is a good fit, albeit perhaps half a size too roomy in the body.

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 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."

So they say

I received the SB3 package in perfect order, and can't say how much I love the jacket. It fits perfectly. I like the cut and drape a lot. And it is gladly and surprisingly short. But, because of the the full cut, it can be worn with a bulky sweater underneath, which is just what I had hoped for.

So confided a gentleman about the Donegal tweed SB3 in May 2016.

Just wanted to let you know the SB3 in twill has arrived, and it is absolutely dashing — in an understated way.

Another acquire of an SB3 in Donegal tweed — defying seasonal norms in November of 2015.

I received my SB3 yesterday, and it by far exceeds my expectations. It's truly a fantastic piece of clothing.

Kind words from a gentleman who bought a cotton-drill version of the SB3 back in 2014.

I am very happy with the SB3 jacket. A somewhat "obscure object of desire" for me, perhaps, but I just had to have it. This desire now satisfied, I may not need to buy any new threads for a while, but when I do I'll look to you folks first.

His "object of desire" was the SB3 in a blue herringbone linen, acquired in May 2015.

Very pleased with my SB3 and thinking of buying another.

Encouraging words from a chap who bought a woollen SB3 in February of 2017.