Originally Posted by Chicagobred
Chan will be in town in December, and I'm interested in having a tweed sport coat made for myself, and I have a few questions. First, what would I be looking for in terms of fabric? Price is not really a concern here, I'm looking to buy quality. Should I be going for Harris Tweed, or is there a more refined choice that I should be looking at? What about Donegal (I'm not quite familiar with all of the terminology here either)? In terms of color, I'm looking for versatility primarily, so I guess a grayish or brownish color--I have enough navy jackets already. Suggestions for specific fabrics that Chan keeps in stock would be very much appreciated.
As for construction, I'm probably going to get a two button, notch-lapel with a patch pocket. I have an unlined jacket Chan that fits me very well, so I'm considering ordering this sport coat unlined as well. Considering that I will probably wearing an undershirt, dress shirt, and probably a sweater while I'm wearing this jacket, would the lining still be necessary? In the coldest New York weather, I'll probably be wearing an overcoat.
I really appreciate the advice of a seasoned Chan customer. Thank you for the help!
Well, the first thing I would do would be to decide what fabric weight you want. Tweeds can be had in weights from about 360 grams to 700 grams and more although I don't know whether Patrick regularly has swatch books containing tweeds heavier than 560 grams, which is the heaviest I have bought from them. (I have seven tweed jackets from Chan.)
I would suggest you go to the Harrison's of Edinburgh website and look at the collections of tweeds under the Porter & Harding brand. If you see something you really like, just jot down the number. Whether or not Patrick has the swatch book with him, he can easily give you a price if you know the fabric number, and you can proceed with the measuring and ordering as usual.
As to the various tweeds, I would suggest you pass on the Harris tweeds unless you really like their rough, rustic, "hairy monster" appearance. Shetland tweeds are very nice in the lighter weights. I like Donegal tweeds in any fabric weight. Among heavier fabrics, I like my jacket made from P&H Hartwist tweed very much. It is the aforementioned 560 gram fabric.
Aside from Porter & Harding (Harrison's), W. Bill tweeds have been mentioned. For some odd reason, Chan charged way more for W. Bill tweeds than for competitive tweeds in past years, but I believe they have rectified this practice of late. John G. Hardy tweeds are probably good. I have no experience with them, but I am very fond of a jacket made from their Worsted Alsport (a sort of faux tweed).
Whatever jacket you decide on, get it lined. Unlined jackets are for summer wear. As to patch pockets, remember that they increase your apparent width, especially with a bulky fabric like tweed. If you are very lean, this may be fine. Otherwise, you might prefer welted pockets.