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
But in a Ivy sack is EVER the dart/seam under the armpit ?
The undarted thing concerns only the front of coat.
I found this jacket about a month or so ago and ordered two. The quality was great and I enjoyed the details, but the 38R was too tight in the bottom, with the vent pulling open, and the 40R was too wide in the shoulders with a significant amount of pad hanging over the edge of my shoulders. Unfortunately, their dimensions don’t seem to accommodate the tall and athletic.
I was disappointed as the quality, selection, and price were great. I was also disappointed because the dimensions are the same as their Traveler’s Hopsack Blazer, so that’s another neat jacket at a fair price that I know won’t fit me. Apparently “good deals’ aren’t in my future.
“It runs roomy”.
That’s enough of a recommendation for me to order all three.
Stop slim-shaming, Monsieur Avoirdupois.
Kevin and Howlin in Dublin does MTM jacket, cheaper and better.
This is encouraging; thanks for posting. BTW, speaking of details Orvis doesn’t mention online, what is the fabric weight?
In the past I had to return badly made-in-China Orvis tailored clothing, mostly slacks and some of them not that inexpensive, more than once so I’d given up on them as a source for such things. And Orvis’ tweed sports coats are simply described as “imported” which I took to be code for made in C-word.
But recently I scored some English-fabric (Brisbane Moss) corduroy slacks (top of the line Supercords and lesser Bozeman models) from Orvis that are simply described as made in Europe. They turned out to not only have fantastic fabric but really nice Portuguese tailoring.
FWIW my (limited) experience with made-in-Portugal traditional attire has been quite favorable. I have several (older) Portuguese-made Barbour button down collar tattersall shirts that are excellent in both finish, details and material. I don’t think the Barbour sells now are made in Portugal.
Christ, for $375 I’ll wash my car in it.
Why are you against a triple patch pocket sport coat?
For the same reason you’re against bit loafers.
I’m against a top patch pocket for one simple reason: they’re smaller than regular pockets and thus hard to get a nice handkerchief into without creating a nasty bulge. God is in the details.
Oh, and loved the Monsieur Avoirdupois, Monsieur Christian!
Unfortunately, bulges are in fashion with low rise tight pants and short jackets. 😉
Mac, please tell me that wasn’t your sole reaction to my comment, otherwise I shall be extremely concerned for you.
I am surprised that the shoulders are structured, as the pictures make them look natural. I suppose that is the benefit to actually trying something on in person. I agree with Bags on the triple patch pocket. I find the breast pocket too smaller to fit a square comfortably without creating the large bulge.
The notch on the lapel looks dodgy. Too deep and low. Do they look that way in person?
I agree. The shape and location of the notch is way off.
Better than this:
Christian, the description says Scottish Highland tweed. Should assume then it is not Harris Tweed?
It’s boxed up, but yes as I recall there was no Harris Tweed label on the inside.
I think “Scottish Highland Tweed” is industryspeak for “Made in China.” 😉