Tour jacket in midnight blue Ventile Ripstop

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Jacket, made in London, with padded and rain-proof Ventile cotton, navy cord from Lancashire, and real horn buttons from the West Midlands.


The jacket fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. There is a good amount of room in the body, intended for layering when the going gets cold — so if you wish for a narrower fit, then best go down one size.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 20
Sleeve length 24½ 25 25 25½ 25½
Back length 28 28 28½ 28½ 29
A five-button jacket, this, made from Ventile cotton. Ventile cotton is a rain-proof wonder-cloth, invented in Manchester in the 1940s. It is an untreated, very tightly woven cotton, which repels water in the most satisfying manner possible: the water just beads up and rolls off the cloth.
And not just any Ventile, this. No — this is Ventile Ripstop, which, if you look closely, has a grid-like super-structure running through it. This makes the cloth stronger, and as its name suggests, stops rips if snagged on barbed wire or bramble. This jacket, right here, is the first ever to use the cloth.
The jacket is so-called because it has umpteen features to make cycling / general getting-about easier. First: the curved back hem, which means you can lean forward — to handlebars, say — without giving up too much modesty. You can also see the first way of the two-way pockets (more on them further down).
Another feature in the movement-helping department is the "shooting shoulder". This is a gusset which means arms can be stretched up or forward more easily. It stretches in the actual sense, because running behind the back is a stretchy material that ensures the jacket snaps back into shape every time.
The jacket has large pockets at the front. To give them their full title, they are "two-way bellows envelope pockets". They are two-way in that they may be accessed from the top or side; they are bellows in their bag-like 3D structure, and they are envelope with their brass popper-secured opening (below-left).
On the inside, the jacket has a detachable shoulder strap. The strap buttons into the side-seams, on the inside, and loops through the back-neck. Like hunting jackets of yore, it means the jacket can be slung over the shoulders and worn on the back, like a backpack — in warm weather, say.
The jacket has a single chest pocket on the inside, covered, like the pockets on the outside, with a deep flap. It has a stitched pen, pencil, or scalpel section on one side.
Running up from the chest pocket are a succession of headphone loops, so wearers may connect mobile device to ear without wires trailing all over the place. Also visible here, as everywhere else, is the lining of the jacket: a lightweight cotton, slightly darker in colour to the midnight Ventile Ripstop.
The jacket is padded with ecologically-friendly wadding. It is a high-loft insulation similar to — and in some cases better than — feathers. It boasts terrific drying performance, but even when soaking wet it retains almost all its insulation prowess. It is very lightweight, and scores high in the wind-resistant stakes.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1" and is wearing a size S. His chest size is 38", and there are unconfirmed reports that he is 12 stone.

Makers of

The jacket is made by an outerwear factory in London. They are safe hands indeed when it comes to Ventile. Core-spun threads, double-felled seams, fine-diameter needles, and every other Ventile nicety — they know it all, having made such garments for military and civilians alike since the late 1980s.
Ventile was invented in Manchester in the 1930s. It is a high-performance cloth — being put to use over the years for all manner of high-octane and outdoor pursuits — but is simply an intensely tight weave of natural cotton. Water hits the cotton, cotton swells up, water has nowhere to go: easy.
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

Thank you for my new tour jacket, which has already proved its worth in the dreich weather we have been having up here in Edinburgh. The Ventile works a treat, as does the insulation, and it is perfect for windy, wet mornings.

This is what a gentleman who acquired the tour jacket in Ventile Ripstop reported in November 2015.

Received the tour jacket today, safe and sound. Fits perfectly and is lovely. I am well pleased. I just wanted to say a big "thank you" for all your help and for going out your way. I'll definitely be shopping with you again.

Kind words from a chap who bought the padded Ventile tour jacket in May 2015.