January — August 2013

Worn Made in England

The collarless jacket (above) has no collar. But, with deficiency comes benefit: nothing at neck makes for a light top-layer on warm days, and an easy-going mid-layer the rest of the time. The blazer below, meanwhile, is similarly light, and combines cotton-drill with a tessellating onion-pattern, quilted up in Lancashire.

The linen suit comprises a three-button blazer — lightly structured, a mixture of patch-pockets and pipe-pockets, and a three-button cuff — and narrow trousers with a notch-back waistband. Both are made with mid-weight, natural-coloured linen from a mill in Lancashire; good, thick linen, which gets better with age.

The navy mac is made from weather-proof Ventile cotton — defining invention of the brainboxes of the Shirley Institute of Manchester in the 1930s — and has a detachable brushed-cotton liner. Useful, then, in rain and shine, and in weather from nought to thirty — and therefore just the ticket for a typical spring morning.

The hooded seam jacket, like the mac above, is made from Ventile — and is therefore as rain- and wind-proof as natural fabrics gets. It is shorter than the Ventile mac, but makes up for it with a detachable peaked hood with two-button chin-guard, and a collar which may itself be fastened (button-hole visible below).

The jacket here is reversible. It is, in effect, two, relaxed and lightly structured, jackets stitched together, with mid-blue herringbone linen on one side, and lighter blue on the other. The dark side, seen here, has a button-through chest pocket and concealed side-seam pockets; the lighter side has A4 and mid-hip pockets.

The shirt here — made of Cumbrian cotton-oxford — has a Kelly collar: a collar with rounded points and a button-loop fastening. Fastening the collar brings the two collar points together — with the bottom section pulled together and the top bulging out. The effect you end up with isn’t dissimilar to when wearing a tie-pin.

The herringbone cotton cardigan is hand-framed by a family-run knitwear maker in the south-west. Hand-looming means that garment is knitted, slowly and meticulously, on a human-sized contraption by a human-sized human — rather than with the industrial and mechanised knitting methods of the day.

The two-tone seam overshirt, as its name suggests, is made from two colours of cloth — a narrow herringbone linen from Ireland. Top half and sleeves are a weave of ecru and navy; the bottom half light blue and navy. The seam, which runs across the chest of the overshirt, conceals a pocket, on the left-hand side as worn.

The three-button wool blazer is made from a light-weight wool-tweed, woven in County Donegal by a father-and-son mill. The cloth is a 1+1 weave of two alternating colours on the warp and one on the weft. The blazer itself has soft shoulders, narrow arms, and a buggy lining. On the right side as worn (above) there is a button-loop pipe-pocket, and on the left, at chest, sits a small stitch-through pocket.

Worn erstwhile

    • March — September 2021
      The debuts of the duster, the smock, the DB, and the knitted t-shirt make a mockery of the notion that less (clothing) is more in the warmer weeks of the year.
    • October 2020 — February 2021
      Many old-stagers from autumns and winters past — the duffle coat, the balmacaan, the peacoat, and the donkey jacket — made returns in refined form.
    • April — September 2020
      From the poolside (the popover) to the coast (the boatneck) via the railroad (the engineer) — the only way to travel (literally) during a pandemic lockdown.
    • September 2019 — March 2020
      The tielocken and peacoat found their feet in new heavy woollens from the south and north respectively, while the balaclava, gansey and cooks jacket made their debut.
    • March — August 2019
      The return of cotton airweave from east Lancashire, and a cloth from North Yorkshire that really puts the local into locally made two-ply tropical worsted.
    • November 2018 — February 2019
      The tielocken and parka joined the trench in the big-coats-with-belts aisle, while the bal returned in tweed from a mill whose loom was built by the local coffin-maker.
    • August — October 2018
      Weatherproof ripstop and tropical worsted, the debut of the field coat, and a cavalcade of cotton knits were the talk of the workshop in the warmer parts of 2018.
    • October 2017 — July 2018
      Heavyweight outerwear galore — with the old guard of trench coat, peacoat, duffle coat, and balmacaan, joined by the topcoat, donkey jacket, and flight jacket.
    • July — September 2017
      New textures for what are quaintly called the warmer months of the year — like a two-ply birdseye, replicating cloth of the 1920s, and a Flyweight flavour of Ventile.
    • September 2016 — June 2017
      Angora, peccary leather, melton, cotton and linen with some wool mixed in, even some blanketing — a melting of materials for an unusually warm end to the year.
    • April — August 2016
      Texture, let it be known, is a quality tricky to come by in the warmer months, here in the British Isles. But look — hopsacks, tuck-stitches, and herringbones galore.
    • September 2015 — March 2016
      The heavy Donegal tweed balmacaan made its debut, as did the heavy duffle coat and, indeed, the heavy fur-felt hat. Lots of heavy things, then, for the colder months.
    • March — August 2015
      New linens came to the forefront: linen from the south coast of Ireland; linen hand-woven in the Outer Hebrides; linen knitted into crewnecks and cardigans.
    • September 2014 — February 2015
      Cloth development came thick and fast: yarn-dyed Ventile at the start of the period, and tweed made with organic and heritage fleece in the Inner Hebrides at the close.
    • January — August 2014
      Along came the SB1 jacket in hand-woven indigo cotton, the link-stitch crewneck and cardigan, the porkpie Ventile cotton hat, and a brace of cottons from Lancashire.
    • September — December 2013
      The cotton-twill trench coat rounded the year off, but before that came the peacoat and SB3 in Donegal's finest, as well as lambswool knitwear both heavy and light.
    • January — August 2013
      The first half of the year began with the three-button Tetris tweed blazer and concluded with an assortment of corduroy and cotton numbers — plus some shorts.
    • August — December 2012
      Heavyweight tuck-stitch jumpers, the wool-tweed peacoat made with the one-man-mill, and the debut of both the reversible jacket and the Ventile mac.
    • December 2011 — June 2012
      Early spring was met by the British Millerain dry-wax and cashmere mac, and kept busy with the linen suit, new tour jacket, and two-button neat jacket.
    • August — November 2011
      The last few months of 2011 witnessed the release of the chalkstripe-wool seam overshirt, the hopsack tweed neat jacket, and the birdseye wool-cashmere blazer.
    • February — May 2011
      Spring and early summer saw linen semi-cutaway shirts, the horizontal cord blazer, panama stowaway overshirts, and the cycle-friendly brushed cotton tour jacket.
    • September 2010 — January 2011
      The work jacket made a first appearance in French navy cotton-twill and charcoal wool-cashmere. And, on the knitwear front, Shetland Isle moss-stitch jumpers.
    • May — August 2010
      Five mostly interchangeable garments were made over the middle months of the year: two semi-cutaway shirts, two cotton-drill trousers, and a corduroy overshirt.