Ivy In Unexpected Places: Club Monaco’s Updated Sack Jackets

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Those in search of a happy medium between the colorful exuberance of Neo-Prep and the stoicism of full-cut traditionalism might find encouragement in Club Monaco’s new line of undarted sportcoats, designed and presented with both youthfulness and restraint.

Released within the brand’s domestically-produced capsule collection, Club Monaco’s sack jackets bring the 3/2 roll and the two-button cuff to unexpected territory, the American mall. Described as having a “heritage-inspired look” and a “modern slim fit,” the sportcoats will no doubt catch the ire of those who consider the heritage movement a commoditization of tradition into fashion. Though the coats feature a dartless front, 3/2 roll, flapped patch pockets and hook vent, they are cut with the trim, cropped fit that has, for the last decade, been characteristic of attempts to bring a younger customer to tailored clothing.

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Critics of the updated silhouette may have their say, but Club Monaco’s sack jackets could indicate a positive direction for Ivy League clothing in the mainstream, both in marketing and design.

First, with prices starting at $575 for wool and $750 for 100% cashmere, these are USA-made, entry-level pieces that are affordable for young men.

Second, the conservative lapel width could signify the end of the anorexia epidemic that has been plaguing lapels and neckties.

Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, Club Monaco has found a way to market heritage-inspired clothing with neither overbearing woodsiness nor collegiate fetishism.

This look, a simple houndstooth jacket paired with dark jeans and a striped oxford, appears austere compared to images of bearded men chopping wood in three-piece suits and fresh-faced oarsmen sporting crested blazers with sweatpants. In terms of presentation as well as value, the Club Monaco sportcoats are more in line with what Ivy has always been for young men: unpretentious, quality clothing at accessible prices. β€” ZACHARY DELUCA

25 Comments on "Ivy In Unexpected Places: Club Monaco’s Updated Sack Jackets"

  1. Seems to be a nice effort by Club Monacco. Unfortunately, these jackets are a bit too cropped for my liking. I prefer my seat to be covered by my jacket. On another note, the offering of Rancourt is nice to see. I just purchased their camp moc and easily my best pick up of 2013. Happy New Year all.

  2. Cranky Yankee | January 10, 2014 at 11:07 am |

    This looks like the current Brooks Cambridge cut. Too slim and too short. It’s a three button sack with training wheels.

  3. Just an inch or two longer, and it could be okay. (That’s what she said?)

  4. Southwick.

    Good for them for not attempting a ridiculous mark-up. They’re making some $ on the jackets and suits but it’s not Cable Car level. It would be hard to find off the rack Southwick clothing for less.

  5. I agree with madaket. Their market–young, urban, hip, thin–doesn’t include me.

  6. Now if only the trouser rise will reverse its hasty southward retreat, we may all get a night of untroubled sleep.

  7. Personally, I love it. I agree with C. Ray that the low-rise trouser trend is still abhorrent, but I don’t mind the cut of these jackets at all.

  8. The fit is better than Own Make redux, tried CM Harris tweed on and was a little stylistically slim but fit well (length too) while for Own make had to size up for shoulders while extra fabric flapped around my midsection. Definitely a positive development, form their taste for undarted sacks while they’re young!

  9. ironchefsakai | January 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

    Isn’t Club Monaco owned by RL?

  10. I didn’t know Zach Attack was writing on here, word up!

  11. The price is staggeringly fair. Too many retailers mark up four or more times the wholesale price. They are not.

    If they offered sizes that grown-up men wear, it would be interesting to see where it leads as a brand. As it is, there’s is a narrow market. Seems to fit in well with the world-revolves-around-Brooklyn thing happening nowadays.

    Oh, well.

  12. Quite a difference on the waists of the jacket alone and the one on the model. Should either be tapered or hang straight, but not buckle out.

  13. I cannot wait for the short jacket trend to end, and I’m probably about as old as their model. The first RTW maker to combine a slimmer silhouette with a jacket length that covers one’s bottom will have me from the word go. Thank goodness for the plethora of vintage options.

  14. I recognize at least two of the jacket cloths from the Southwick box. The brown and blue houndstooth was made in Scotland; ditto, of course, for the blue Glen check Harris Tweed.

  15. I want to see that model attempt to get his hand in one of those jacket pockets. Short guys should buy these up before the “high water jacket” trend ends. πŸ˜‰

  16. To confirm an earlier question, yes: Club Monaco is a subsidiary of Polo Ralph Lauren.

  17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_Monaco

    “It is now owned and operated by Polo Ralph Lauren, which acquired Club Monaco in 1999. Polo has allowed Club Monaco to exist as an independent entity within the group and has downplayed its ownership of the brand.”

  18. Good for them. We should be cheering anybody who has good taste, a willingness to invest and work hard, and make use of American manufacturing. If they ever decide to stock a 46 Long/Tall, I’m in.

  19. Roy R. Platt | January 11, 2014 at 11:50 am |

    The part about the “3/2 roll” called “3 button silhouette” on Club Monaco’s website is confusing. I only see two buttons in the pictures. Has anyone either seen the actual product or seen a third button in any of the pictures?

  20. Ironchefsakai | January 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm |

    I’m a short guy, so the cropping doesn’t really bother me–I just switch to an R from an S and I’m golden.

    The price seems fair, but I still can’t afford it. Brooks Brothers on sale is (unfortunately?) more affordable.

  21. I think the trend will pass. I predict a return of 80s-inspired Preppy among the mainstream, complete with penny loafers and normal looking suits and bold ties and tweeds and pants that aren’t short and tapered. The P.J. O’ Rourke take on the look.

  22. Richard Meyer | January 13, 2014 at 7:39 am |

    Jacket and sleeves too short, pants rise much too short. Belt should not show below buttoned jacket. Grow up!

  23. Believeland | January 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm |

    I think I can confirm these are Southwick, btw.

    Compare the Harris tweed pattern on this Club Monaco jacket to the ‘Midnight Check Harris’ that Epaulet is selling from Southwick’s Harris tweed selections

    Club Monaco: http://www.clubmonaco.com/product/index.jsp?productId=23070166&cp=12243591.12280931.12882800&ab=ln_men_shops_madeintheu.s.a.

    Epaulet: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0184/4436/products/98615_1024x1024.jpg?v=1389690976

    TL;DR I’m a tweed detective

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