Work jacket in cotton-linen hopsack in abyss blue

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£400.00 — ex VAT

Work jacket, made in London, with a robust (12oz) hopsack of cotton and linen from a mill in east Lancashire, and dark horn buttons — removable ones — from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The work jacket fits true to size, so the wooden person here, who is as standard a 40 chest as ever there has been, is happily wearing size M.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19½ 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½
Shoulder 18¾ 19¼ 19¾ 20¼ 20¾
Back length 27½ 27¾ 28 28¼ 28½
Sleeve from centre-back 34 34½ 35 35½ 36
The work jacket is a five-button number, fairly short and mostly straight in the body. It's an easy all-rounder. It has a collar of middling size, with gently rounded points, and which is cut such that it caresses the neck when up, but sits pleasingly proud and round when down. No sloppy concavity here.
The buttons are horn, and are dark in colour and matte in finish. Being as they're only a step or two from nature, each one is different, in terms of shade and marking. Those at the front are attached through eyelets and a metal ring — "butcher's buttons", sometimes they are called — and are thus removable.
The jacket has what looks like a classic set-in sleeve, such as you expect on a jacket of this type. But, on closer examination, it can be seen to be open at the armpit. This is entirely hidden with arms at ease but is, nevertheless, a truly cutting-edge-in-1890 source of ventilation for this doughty and durable work jacket.
The jacket has many pockets — some more obvious than others. The main pockets certainly are obvious, spanning as they do the entire front of the jacket. They're best thought of as buckets for all and every belonging — drop it in there, care and precision be darned — and the insouciant stuffing of the hand.
There is a chest pocket on the right. It is quite a large one, as such pockets go. With the main pockets mentioned above, it brings the pocket-count up to three.
The chest pocket is mirrored on the left by the stitching of an internal pocket (which, sandwiched between the inner layers, is accessible only by digging around, and is thus best thought of as two-thirds secret). All of these pockets are strengthened at points of wear / tear with tough little bar-tacks.
The fifth and final pocket on the jacket is on the inside, on the left side as worn. It is precisely the right dimensions and coordinates for the stuffing of mobiles and plastic cards. Taking this final pocket into account, pocketing is thought to cover about three-eighths of the work jacket's surface area.
There are side-adjusters towards the back of the jacket, at waist height, for adjusting the fit. Some like their work jackets boxy, some like some shape: the adjusters here do their best to satisfy all desires.
The sleeves are a standard sort of width, but they taper sharply at the elbow and fasten snugly around the wrist with gusset-type cuffs. They are lined with a slinky satin, which is unusual for a work jacket, but makes sliding in arms as easy as on an exquisitely tailored suit jacket.
The back of the work jacket is lined, just halfway down, with more hopsack. This double-layer of cloth, here and elsewhere, makes for a particularly sturdy jacket. It also keeps the internal workings of the jacket completely out of sight, thus ensuring its innards are just as prim as its outtards.
The cloth is equal parts cotton and linen, and is a heavy hopsack, redolent of traditional workwear material. It is strong and hard-wearing, but because of the high linen content, is cool to touch and more breathable than you'd expect. The linen throws out a slub every now and then, too, adding character.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 11½ stone, and as standard a 38 chest as you could ever hope to meet. The jacket he's wearing here, however, is a size M, because he is wearing a particularly thick shirt underneath.

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 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 borne 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 made in Birmingham."

So they say

I picked up the jacket yesterday. It is an absolutely stunning masterpiece! In particular, the ventilation is very neat.

A happy man in Germany, and his work jacket in heavy corduroy, in May 2020.

The jacket has just safely arrived and I am very pleased. It fits very well due to using your size chart, is of a substantial cord, and the quality of manufacture and design are self-evident. I will no doubt purchase other items in the future.

So spoke a man in the north-west, who purchased the work jacket in very heavy cord in September 2019.

Yet another beautiful (and functional) thing.

Feedback from a chap in London, who picked up the work jacket in heavy cord in October 2018.

As with my overshirt, I am very pleased with the work jacket, too. Your things are very distinctive, without being at all gimmicky, and are beautifully made. Thank you.

On the heels of an overshirt acquired one week earlier, this gent bought the jacket in melton in August 2017.

After a brief detention in a mountain-top post office, the [work] jacket has arrived and is unsurprisingly delightful.

This gent bought a rare thing indeed — the jacket in wool-angora — in September of 2016.