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Archive for the ‘Non-Leather Jackets’ Category

Portland’s Bridge & Burn recently released their S/S 11 collection, and amongst a very solid range of outerwear options, there’s a whole slew of mid-weight jackets in olive and khaki.

Considering I’m pretty well obsessed with both shades this spring, I view this as a very welcome development. Any one of the picks here would be a great addition to the wardrobe for the next few months (for me, or for you—take your pick).

The prices are worthy of note, as well. Everything here is between $145 and $175. Not bad at all.

Well played to the line’s designer and good friend of the blog, Erik Prowell. Another great collection.

Click on through to Bridge & Burn’s online shop to pick something up for yourself. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the new line of shirting (lots of summer plaids), as well as the fantastic lineup of goods for the ladies.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Bridge & Burn)

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I want this for spring. Lightweight 65/35 Japanese cotton/nylon blend. Unlined, with a storm flap and a detachable hood. And that medium tan color is perfect for the season—just the thing to tackle those April showers with a bit of levity.

Simple. Useful.How can you go wrong?

Well done to Our Legacy on this one.

Available at Oi Polloi for £220. Works out to around $353, depending on exchange rates.

UPDATE: Also available at Four Horsemen for $325 CAD. Thanks to Free / Man for the find.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Oi Polloi)

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I recently had the distinct pleasure of stopping by the Schott NYC factory for a tour. It was on a Saturday, so the factory itself wasn’t in action. Nevertheless, the place absolutely hummed with energy. Lots of things midway through production, massive amounts of equipment, and a general feeling of “this is where good things get done” pervaded the place. It was a rare, fantastic thing to get to experience, and my most sincere thanks go out to all the folks at Schott for it.

To give a little bit of context: the series starts with a couple shots of the factory from near the main entrance. From there, it’s through the storage area for all the hides and and a good portion of the raw materials, then on to the production floor. I was moving from back to front, which is (not coincidentally) pretty much how Schott’s wares themselves move through the production process. Hides are cut by hand in the far corner, and final steps like topstitching and affixing rivets happen at the very front. The result is some of the best American-made outerwear you can do yourself the favor of picking up.

I’ve got a few shots here, and a slideshow of nearly 100 shots below. For the full experience, just take a leap over to Flickr and watch in glorious full screen mode (where you can see, in detail, the limitations of my photography skills).

For measuring hides

This guy makes fringe

The shearling machine

And the shearling

For cutting hides

Since everything starts inside out, this spike is used to get hard to reach areas like corners right side out for the final touches

And how do they keep it all in order, you wonder? With this powerhouse machine right here

Again, thanks to all the fine people at Schott for letting me come out and grab some shots of the home of a great American brand.

—Jonathan

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Robert Geller’s winter offerings have hit the shelves (at least the digital ones) at Vancouver’s Roden Gray, and this subtlely two-toned melton wool peacoat immediately caught my eye.

There’s not a lot that needs to be said about this one other than noting that it’s designed in NYC, made in Japan, and a pretty damn handsome twist on the cold weather staple. Also, despite the label, it’s actually attainable (if not exactly economical) at $368 CAD.

If you’re shopping for (or are) a peacoat fan that’s already covered the basics, it’s a solid option. Hell, it’s such an understated tweak and such a classic shape that you could probably skip the standard issue fare and use this as the go-to if you’re so inclined.

—Jonathan

(Image courtesy of Roden Gray)

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When I first heard about the Americana-gasm of the Levi’s x Pendleton collaboration that hit stores this past Tuesday, I was pretty damn excited. Levi’s recent work with Filson proved (to me at least) that the jeans mega-brand is more than capable of playing nice with others and creating some interesting tweaks on designs using key elements from both parties. Crucially, it also illustrated the fact that Levi’s-proper (not just imprints like LVC) can still make a well-constructed product with quality materials once those dollars tick a bit higher.

That last point is probably the most important to me, as I’ve run into my fair share of issues with fabrics in the main line. It’s especially pertinent because two of the three pieces of actual men’s apparel (there’s also a blanket but I don’t really count that) are takes on the iconic trucker jacket, which I’ve always loved but never purchased due to questionable textiles and sometimes-shoddy construction. But a group of goods made in the US? All featuring Pendleton’s virgin wool in an exclusive jacquard print (using blues, golds, and a bit of red to recall denim, contrast stitching, and red selvage in well-worn jeans) and one with denim from Cone Mills? Salvation at long last! At least, that was the initial reaction.

I was partly right. The rigid Work Shirt ain’t half bad, and the wool-yoked Western Trucker did not fail to impress. The Blanket Lined Trucker though? Not my my cup of tea, not really on par with the other pieces, and pretty disappointing overall.

Let’s break it down one by one.

The Good: The Work Shirt ($118)

Done in a rigid, deep indigo denim with a subtle greycast, it’s a pretty solid example of the breed. The fabric is suitably heavy duty, and the cut is trim in spirit but sized up enough that it can function as an overshirt. In terms of details you’ve got two button-through chest pockets, a box pleat at the back, a tab collar, thick wooden buttons, and of course the iconic red tab on the chest. And then there’s the Pendleton portion: paneling on the back yoke and on the back of the forearms. Nothing flashy, and it works well.

The Bad: The Blanket Lined Trucker ($178)

Considering the fact that there’s a complimentary women’s version, it seems that the Blanket Lined Trucker is supposed to be the shining jewel of the collection. And the Pendleton vest lining, which buttons in and out with some particularly handsome painted buttons, is pretty damn nice. It’s soft, fitted, and warm. But the jacket itself isn’t anything special. The denim itself felt somewhat overprocessed and insubstantial, and the look overall is just “meh.” It’s not a total failing, but it’s not a winner. I suppose you can’t win ’em all…

The Winner: The Western Trucker

But some can be a winner.  And in this bunch, it’s definitely the Western Trucker. Made of rigid Cone denim and featuring Pendletone panels on the yoke and lining the cuffs, it’s a very solid combination on the textile front. The quality of the wool is a given at this point, but it was really nice to see Levi’s step up the game on the denim. Heavy and rigid without being artificially stiff, it feels like it’ll wear like iron. Add the tried and true trucker styling to the mix and that’s really all you need.

As you can see, the Western Trucker wasn’t shot in a Levi’s store like the other two pieces. I decided to pick one up for myself after checking it out, so that backdrop is my apartment.

Whether I’m going to wind up keeping it, though, is another matter. The reason being, it’s kinda tough to work wool jacquard paneling on outerwear into my wardrobe mix, even when it’s a solid and relatively understated one. Despite that tredipidation, it’s still in my place. So we’ll see where that one lands…

All the pieces (as well as the unmentioned-here blanket) are available online through Levi’s and Pendleton’s sites, and in Levi’s stores.

—Jonathan

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It’s pretty clear at this point that Bridge & Burn is a label that I’m quite fond of, so I’ll spare you any long winded meditations in favor of putting out the word (albeit a little late) that they have three new coats available for winter.

My personal favorite is the Major Major (the first image in this post), an update of a style from last spring that’s been reworked in a heavy wool with a quilted satin lining. With the hood, shirttail inspired scooped hem, and slightly off-kilter pocket formation, it caught my eye when it first hit in the original cotton iteration. Seeing it reworked in a more winter-ready version is a welcome development.

There’s also the Berthoud, a longer jacket with five front pockets and a black/red checked lining. Featuring a covert cuff system with ribbed, knitted cuffs tucked inside the sleeve, it looks mighty toasty.

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But the Berthoud isn’t the absolute toastiest. That honor falls to the Fraser, a heavy duty interpretation of a vintage Sweedish military piece, according to friend of the blog/Bridge & Burn owner and designer Erik Prowell. So: straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Even though I haven’t worn it, I’m going to take him at his word when he says it’s the warmest of the bunch.

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All three are currently available online, and prices hit at a pretty-darn-reasonable $250-$290.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of Bridge & Burn)

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I’m a big fan of work jackets in theory, but in practice I’ve often hit a stumbling block when it comes to this particular style of outerwear. A lot of the work jackets on my radar tend to stay very true to the name. They’re designed for real work, or at least they take their cues from that heritage. And that tends to translate to boxy, roomy fits (for ease of movement and layering), and super-heavy duty materials (for durability).

While this is fantastic for folks who are actually doing hard work in their jackets (I’m thinking chopping wood-style, sweat of your brow type stuff here), it’s kind of unnecessary for the folks that aren’t. And with my urban-dwelling, office-job-working lifestyle…well, I ain’t exactly chopping much wood.

S.E.H Kelly‘s take on the work jacket, though, is something that I could actually wear without verging into workwear-poseur territory. It’s slimmed down and dressed up a bit in either charcoal gray wool/cashmere or French navy cotton twill. The sort of piece that’s not really meant for hard labor, and would probably be more at home with “gentleman’s chores.” Tasks like minding the study, refilling the brandy snifters, waxing philosophical. That sort of thing.

Ok, not that sort of thing exactly. But hoofing it through the city on your way to the office on a brisk autumn day? I think it’d hold up to that sort of work quite nicely.

True to the brand’s philosophy, both the charcoal and navy versions of the jacket are made in England with components sourced from the British Isles. They feature a turn-down point collar, as well as double patch pockets on the exterior with fold-over detailing and wool melton lining. There’s also an interior patch pocket with a pencil slot. As a devoted user of the interior pockets on jackets (my phone usually lives there throughout the Fall/Winter), this is a massive bonus in my book.

The French navy iteration is made from heavyweight cotton twill from a family-run mill in Lancashire and has black Corozo buttons, while the Charcoal take is a 95/5 flecked wool/cashmere blend from Cotswolds with buttons made from tortoiseshell English horn.

I honestly can’t pick a favorite.

Both are available from S.E.H Kelly’s online shop. The French navy cotton twill is £230, and the charcoal wool/cashmere will run you £310.

If you’ve got studies to mind and snifters to fill–and even if you don’t–it’s as good a time as any to get to work.

—Jonathan

(Images courtesy of S.E.H Kelly)

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