Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Gasp of Summer

And what a nice one it has been weather-wise. Cool, dry, relatively sunny. At least in my area.

As summer slowly draws to a close the warm weather inventory rapidly goes on sale at every clothing store across the country in an attempt to make room for the incoming winter wear. It's a good time for us cheapskates.

Enter Macy's. Like any good business, they're trying to get rid of their old items. Items like this sports coat fromTasso Elba. Oddly enough, while I purchased mine online for $38 a week or two ago the same jacket is now $50 (originally $195, so still a good deal).

So, why this sports coat? Because of its vintage-inspired style.
It's 100% linen and is therefore guaranteed to wrinkle like any good summer piece should. And not just wrinkle in a chaotic manner but rather in a way that tells the wearer and observer alike that the jacket has been lovingly lived in, so it has the character of a well-trusted old dog: it's concrete, classic, comforting.

click photos to enlarge
The patch pockets are a classic summery touch to any jacket. You'll note that my jacket is different from the one found at the link I provided above in that my lacks pocket flaps. I assure you it did have them at one time, at least until I removed them. I thought the flaps gave it more of a '70s feel than a '30s one. Now the gusseted patch pockets can be fully seen in all of their glory.

But it is not the front of the jacket that is special. Plenty of other humdrum jackets look like this one from the front. It is the back that is special, catches the eye. Not even the wonderful lapel roll can match the back of the jacket.
Yes, that's a belted back with a center gusset. In a modern jacket. Mind you, it's not perfect. The armholes are, as expected, incredibly low and the belt is about 1/2" too low (no big deal, though). Not perfect indeed, but much further from hopeless than it is from perfect. Actually, this is about as close to a real vintage belted back, center gusseted, patch pocketed linen sports coat that most of us can get at that price. Unless you're a leprican carrying a rabbit's foot while chewing on a four-leaf-clover, but I digress...
Probably the best part about this jacket is the center gusset itself. At rest with arms down at your side the gusset is flat and closed as shown in the photo above. But raise your arms and a whole new world reveals itself as the gusset opens up, allowing for a greater range of movement:
The center gusset along with the belted back, bi-swing back, pleated back, knife back, etc. were all fairly common features found on suit jackets and sports coats of the mid- to late 1930s.
There are three colors to choose from though the 'natural' color is the most vintage for a summer sports coat. Great texture and subtle color variations in the linen, too.

Hopefully if you order one of these jackets there'll be enough warm weather for you to wear it as summer takes its last gasp.


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