Unless money for you is no object, acquiring clothing probably involves some degree of compromise, it’s just a question of how much.
The old adage about buying the best you can afford, and making long-term investments in your wardrobe, is sound advice. But even if you scrimp and save there’s still a limit on how much each of us is willing to spend on something. And so compromise is a matter of degree. The frugal may be willing to accept a mere 50% of their ideal if they can get a bargain, while others are willing to spend more to get something closer to 90% of their Holy Grail.
And so in the spirit of nothing being perfect I present a tweed jacket that might just be flying under your radar: the Lightweight Highland Light Tweed Sportcoat from Orvis, which is priced at a mere $375. Depending on what your priorities are, the jacket may be worth looking into.
Our own Millennial Fogey DCG spied it online several weeks ago. Orvis does not carry it at the Fifth Avenue retail store here in New York, so I reached out to the company for the kinds of details not available in the online description. The PR department dispatched a sample over to inspect, and here’s what I can tell you.
First off, the three-button jacket, which comes in three patterns, is made in Portugal. It runs roomy, and as a thin man I would need to size down from a 40 to a 38, and of course no one makes a 38 long anymore, so there’s one compromise right there. The jacket features an undarted chest, though there is a side dart under the armpit. The photos online make it look like the lapel is a tad on the narrow side, which intrigued me, but in fact it is the industry standard of 3.5. The shoulder is squared off and padded, and the quality seems more than fair for the price.
In summary, this is an option for a guy who wants something new and made overseas rather than something used but made in America, and who finds the $375 price affordable. A guy who values an undarted chest with structured shoulder over a natural shoulder with a darted chest, and who wants a three-button with patch pockets, but without a patch breast pocket (a personal dealbreaker I come across often), and who doesn’t require a lapel any narrower or wider than standard.
So there you go. As always, find what works best for you. — CC