Last weekend Richard Press and I swung by Designer Forum, one of the smaller market shows, to visit with Crittenden Rawlings. Critt, as he’s known by his friends and colleagues, is a menswear veteran who’s worked at Ralph Lauren, Norman Hilton, and Oxxford.
He’s currently producing an Ivy model sportcoat we’ve written about a few times. It’s sold at a number of independent menswear shops, largely in the South, and has done well with guys under 40. A couple of the latest fabrics for the jacket, including a check and classic gray herringbone, lie on the table in the photo above.
We started knocking ideas around, including offering an exclusive jacket here at Ivy-Style.com.
We’d start with Critt’s basic model (pictured below), but Richard and I would make a few tweaks. First off, neither one of us likes patch breast pockets. Next, Critt’s jackets are updated with darts, whereas we’d go undarted. The lapped seams and hook vent are already there. Sleeve buttons are negotiable; Richard is partial to the three buttons used at J. Press.
The trickiest part would be sourcing a fabric that would somehow exemplify the heyday, be plentiful enough so we could get more if the jacket is popular and requires a second production run, and yet not require a huge up-front commitment, as we have no idea how you guys would respond to it.
Critt thinks he can find some samples for us. Richard and I would argue endlessly over the selection (I’m partial to something with a vertical beaded overstripe, like in the sample above, which is very heyday and rarely seen today), Critt would make the pattern adjustments, and the Hardwick factory would make it.
I think that with an undarted chest but a lapel around 3 to 3.25 inches, the jacket would have broad appeal among the wide age range of Ivy Style readers. Best of all, it may very well be possible to offer this US-made, heyday-inspired jacket for under $450.
Keep in mind we’re merely at the brainstorm stage, though in a follow-up conversation Critt said he’d love to do it and believes it’s possible without unrealistic commitments and risk.
What we all thought should be the next step is that I should poll you guys. There are 50,000 of you: How many would dig something like this? — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD & RICHARD PRESS