A month ago or maybe more, Get Smart posted about a nicely-cut unconstructed cotton summer sportcoat that Target was selling for about $30. I think I found one better, both in terms of price and construction. Yesterday I went into a store called Kohl's. They're a big box strip mall store, and I'd never previously had occasion or inclination to enter one. But I broke my old blender and my mother told me their Sunday circular had a nice-looking KitchenAid one on sale. In addition to household appliances, they sell menswear. Almost all of it (as one would expect) is oversized mass market dross with "wrinkle free" everything and lots of petrochemical-fabric blends. However, I happened to spy some interesting unconstructed cotton field jacket/sportcoat hybrids under the brand Sonoma Life+Style. (I assume that's a house brand.) The medium is about a 52R in the body, 52L in the sleeves (or like a 52R overcoat), and 52S lengthwise. It fit me well. They're true three-button, hanging awkwardly if you attempt to roll the lapels to the middle button. Thoughtful details include a hooked center vent (more than I would expect at a $55 MSRP) and three functioning cuff buttons per sleeve. It has two BD-flap breast pockets and two simulated patch pockets (interior pockets anchored to the front with visible stitching along the trailing edge and button) also with buttondown flaps. While to some degree I feel like that fashionista chick who was quoted in the NYT as finding stuff at Wal-Mart, honestly from a design perspective I like this jacket better than the jackets pictured in the Engineering Garments catalog that Fok posted some weeks ago. I'm only comparing cut, mind, not quality of fabric or construction. Quality of the Kohls jacket probably sits at the D&G level, which is to say wear for a season, maybe two, then toss aside. It is definitely not as nice as the unconstructed cotton/flax sportcoats Saks offered under their label this season with the great concave 3-roll-2 lapels, side vents, and patch pockets, but the Saks one was also $400 to start, and had no sleeve buttons functional or otherwise! Overall it is not a bad jacket, unless perhaps you're a jacket snob rather than a jacket slut like I am. (FWIW, I was wearing a linen/wool/silk Isaia jacket, Loro Piana linen/cotton pants, and a Zegna Su Misura shirt when I picked up this jacket. I'll wear basically anything as long as I like it, it fits well, and can afford it. A rampant slut.) It's great for when you want to wear a light jacket but breaking out a Barbera or Jil Sander would be a bit much. But the best part is the current price: $5 plus tax. Yep, a wearable jacket for the price of a pint of decent beer at a pub. At the store I was in they had them in navy, tan, dark tan, and olive drab and in all sizes. (The one I bought was OD.) I think it's great that even dull mass market megabox stripmall stores have one or two wearable things now, but that something interesting didn't sell at an emporium of mediocrity does not shock me one bit.. As an aside, they also had OTC socks branded Jockey in navy and black. On clearance for $1.50/3-pk. They're cotton/oil blends, but I'm not a tenth as picky when it comes to socks as some are. Right color, not scratchy, don't fall down, I'm happy. I might stop in this place every once-in-a-while just to find socks when I need them.
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7/13/06 at 3:53pm