January — August 2014

The navy-blue mac, this time around, is made from the most stealthy and stoic and shower-proof of all known cottons: military-grade Ventile. The same material the British Antarctic Survey use to make tents, in fact. It is tremendously hard-wearing and durable, but at the same time, light, comfortable, and breathable.

Made with mid-weight linen from the north-west leading purveyor of such, the linen jacket — in natural and dark-navy — is a three-buttoned number, with large patch-pockets and, here and there, the occasional jet pocket. It is slim of fit, half of lining, and is worn here with a blue linen shirt and two-sided pocket-square.

The olive-green cardigan is made from super-soft cotton — super-soft being the operative word. The cotton is knitted as a link-stitch, with stitch-columns running down, at quarter-inch intervals, over a plain-stitch base-layer. It is worn here with an oatmeal linen Kelly collar shirt, and some dark-green corduroy trousers.

This here is the fourth iteration of the tour jacket — made in earth-green and dark-green Ventile cotton (seen below). Like previous versions, it has umpteen cycle-friendly facets: large envelope bellows-pockets, a turn-down collar of warm cord, and an internal strap for it to be hitched over the back and worn on the shoulder.

The porkpie hat is made in Ireland, from Ventile cotton, and is an invention at the very opposite end to the chocolate-teapot on the usefulness spectrum. Its under-brim is lined with corduroy, meaning that, while the upper-cloth lets rain roll right off — and the scalp to breath — nothing ends up dripping onto the face.

Linen — not only woven in Northern Ireland, but washed and softened to within an inch of its life over there, too — makes for an incomparably cooling summer shirt. Here, for instance, is the Kelly collar shirt in a oatmeal-coloured version of said cloth, worn with proper trousers in a rather heftier cotton-twill.

The airweave-cotton SB1 and the heather-cotton button-down shirt are both made with cloth woven by a mill in North Lancashire with a predilection of late for the weaving of a military-replica cloth. Both of the cottons here, then, are on the one hand very crisp and lightweight, and on the other, record-breakingly durable.

The Kelly collar shirt is back in brushed wool-cotton of pyjama-grade cotton from Lancashire. Above it is worn with proper trousers — heavyweight cotton-twill with lap-seams and reinforced seat and all-round traditional trouser heftiness — and a link-stitch cotton jumper of the fully fashioned, expertly hand-framed variety.

If the prospect of an SB1, made from rope-dyed indigo hand-woven in London, on looms built a century ago to weave tweed, seems improbable — that is because it is. Though, from a distance, the cloth resembles denim, on closer inspection it proves nothing like it all, being terrifically soft in the handle and drape departments.

The colour-masters of the East Midlands dye-house, so the boast goes, can make over two-thousands different shades of orange. Luckily, they also do navy blue — the colour of the raglan shirt (right) which is made in raw calico-cotton in London, garment-dyed in the Midlands, and sent back down the other way for buttoning.

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.