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Safari Jacket Saga

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dopey, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    In need of a lightweight casual jacket that I could wear every day for days running with lots of pockets for wallet, passport, food, etc., I went looking for a Safari Jacket. Having waited for the last minute, my choices were pretty limited. I found a nice one at J.Press but the only one in my size was in navy. I wasn't thrilled with the color, but it looked to be nicely made, and in NY no less (with a stupid made in NY logo embroidered on the back), and would do the job.

    My wife hated it, saying the color made me look like I was wearing a lab coat, and wanted me to return it. I agonized over it for hours, searching the web for alternatives and found some really nicely made but pricey ones over at Lost Worlds. The problem is that I wouldn't have time to get it shipped to me, was uncertain about weight and sizing and while I was willing to drive to the mailing address in Queens if that was their warehouse, no one answered the phone or responded to emails so I had no idea if I could get there in the morning before heading to the office.

    Meanwhile, I struggled with the J.Press one, trying it on again and again. It had some features I liked and really nice construction around the belt, seams and underarms. I was even impressed with a hidden inside pocket that I hadn't noticed in the store. But its doom was sealed when I checked the outside pockets more closely. They are fakes!! The gusset on the top pockets don't open and neither do the bellows on the lower pockets!! This is actually amazing as the features are there and real, just non-working. The gusset up top is sewn shut and maybe a seam ripper would open it and maybe it wouldn't. The construction of the lower pockets were even more astounding. I don't know how to explain this, but it looks like the lower pockets have a thin inner pocket sewn into a bellows outer pocket. In other words, the bellows is there, but you just can't use it. A lot of work actually went into making something that useless. I assume the idea was to have the look of a Safari jacket but to keep you from stuffing things in the pockets to ruin the line (I sense the weird Misterman or Mordechai Richler touch here; probably to blame for the dumb "Made in NY" embroidery, too). Whoever designed this "feature" made my choice easy. Back it went this morning.

    I had no luck at Daffy's or Paul Stuart either (Brooks had nothing when I checked yesterday). The tiny travel outfitter on 44th is gone. But I found what I wanted at Orvis. They had a Filson's Safari Jacket, made in the USA of 6 oz. poplin that had pretty much everything I wanted. The belt was not as nicely detailed as the J.Press one (A+ for Press - the buckle buttons off for washing the rest of the jacket and adjusts in size) or the Lost Worlds model (based on the web only), but everything else seemed pretty good. And it gets bonus point for a nice zippered interior pocket.

    One thing that I found odd in this search is the sizing. I have a 39-40 inch chest but narrow shoulders. I typically start looking with Mediums. I needed a L at Press and an S in the Filson's. That makes no sense.

    Some images:
    Filson -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    J.Press:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]
    You look younger than I thought.

    That was a peregrination and a peroration worthy of David Bresch. Bravo.
     
  3. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    In need of a lightweight casual jacket that I could wear every day for days running with lots of pockets for wallet, passport, food, etc.

    You mean running around, right? If I see someone jogging in a safari jacket, I'm going to have to laugh. Edmorel, please post your picture. Thanks.
     
  4. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    . . . That was a peregrination and a peroration worthy of David Bresch. Bravo.
    I had to look up peroration. I am still not sure how to take your comment, but I suppose, unlike Bresch, I am comfortable not caring. But like Bresch, I will be perpetually unhappy about this purchase. I now know that nothing short of showing up at the Lost Worlds factory and having them make me one to size and spec. will satisfy me. But I also know that will never happen as my need for this one may be urgent, but it is also likely non-recurrent. I surely don't need two. So I will suffer with this not-quite perfect jacket and forever berate myself for not having started looking earlier.
     
  5. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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  6. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Edmorel, please post your picture. Thanks.


    I'm here to please.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You mean running around, right? If I see someone jogging in a safari jacket, I'm going to have to laugh. Edmorel, please post your picture. Thanks.
    Actually I meant a run of days. I've seen Ed's, but this Fedora Lounge post has some better pictures: [​IMG] [​IMG] I like the look, but I don't have time to get a helmet.
     
  8. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  9. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Actually I meant a run of days.

    I've seen Ed's, but this Fedora Lounge post has some better pictures:
    [​IMG]

    I like the look, but I don't have time to get a helmet.


    Given his natty attire and stature, I'd say he was ready to recolonize India.
     
  10. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Actually I meant a run of days.

    Phew!

    Fedora Lounge comes through again!

    Not exactly the same, but I saw another of those shirt jackets at CEGO yesterday. Looked nice. And then a cashmere shirt. [​IMG]
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nice to know about the funny pockets on the Press Pongee. They had a very rare XS last fall that fit me; I've been kicking myself ever since for not buying it. I kick no more.
     
  12. scruff

    scruff Senior member

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    Given his natty attire and stature, I'd say he was ready to recolonize India.

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  13. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nice to know about the funny pockets on the Press Pongee. They had a very rare XS last fall that fit me; I've been kicking myself ever since for not buying it. I kick no more.

    It is a real pity. The jacket is very well-made and nicely designed. I think I would have lived with the color since it was an otherwise practical jacket and the color doesn't really affect its usefulness. And my wife would have tired of complaining about it eventually.

    But I can't live with stupid non-functionality. The idiot designer should be shot for the pockets (and the bullet wounds filled with salt and vinegar for the dumb embroidered logo).

    There can't be many factories in NY that made it. Here's hoping shirtmaven will post and tell us the story, especially since the J.Crew hipster design crew are his buddies.
     
  14. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    In need of a lightweight casual jacket that I could wear every day for days running with lots of pockets
    Brioni makes a travel sport jacket in cotton drill which features around twenty pockets of various sizes. It used to be offered as RTW but now I believe it's MTM/MTO.
     
  15. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I know I've seen some nice Borrelli cotton safari jackets at the Shop the Finest warehouse. I almost got one about a year ago in navy herribone. I'd estimate that well less than half of the inventory there is not on the website, so it may be worth calling Ian and asking him if he as anything.
     
  16. LeonM

    LeonM Senior member

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    I tried on that J Press safari/ pongee coat in DC. They only had navy left, and that had to come from New York. The sizing was incredibly mean. I thought, therefore, it was a product aimed at the Japanese market. It was never going to work. I was gutted.

    I subsequently found one in Cordings. No belt. Made in Italy. Quite expensive, but quite cool.

    Leon
     
  17. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    When were you in DC?
     
  18. LeonM

    LeonM Senior member

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    Mid-April. For a week. Same time as the Pope. But i was there for a work conference.

    Leon
     
  19. interlocutor

    interlocutor Member

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    I tried one of those Press jackets on last year, and was enthusiastic about it until I noticed that d**n "Made in NY" logo. That was, for me, the deal breaker. I didn't get so far as examining the pockets that closely. It's a pity they've monkeyed that much with the design, because otherwise it's a pretty good safari jacket and they're getting hard to find, as you've chronicled. I kinda like the ones at Paul Stuart (who's the maker -- Valstar?), but I also want one just in cotton, not nylon or whatever theirs are, and with a belt not a drawstring. And 800 bucks is a little out of order for a light summer jacket, especially one agains which I already have objections. I'll have to go check out the place you got yours.

    As to the sizing of the J. Press clothes, I have to say I like them very much. Brooks is cut for guys a LOT bigger than I, so anything I look at there is much too baggy. I got a nice polo coat at Press a couple of years ago for a good price and it fits great.
     
  20. Soph

    Soph Senior member

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    I'm here to please.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     

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