New Spring/Summer Jackets From Crittenden

It’s market week here in New York, and yesterday I stopped by the small menswear trade show at the Park Lane Hotel, where Crittenden Rawlings was showing. I previously wrote about him in January; Rawlings is a menswear veteran who’s worked for Norman Hilton and Ralph Lauren, and who has brought out a new Ivy-styled sportcoat sold at a select number of independent menswear retailers. I hope to have more photos and info on those jackets when they go into production in a couple of months.

This time Rawlings (or Critt, as he’s known by friends and associates) was showing new fabrications for next spring/summer. I usually don’t like unconstructed jackets, but despite minimal lining these jackets felt solidly tailored while remaining light as a feather. This dark madras was my favorite:

They were made by Hardwick in Tennessee, which Rawlings calls the only mid-priced suit factory to survive the NAFTA trade agreement of 1994, which was especially hard on apparel manufacturing. He added that the uproar among certain politicians over Ralph Lauren’s Chinese-made Olympic uniforms struck him as disingenuous, since it was politicians who killed off domestic apparel manufacturing in the first place.

The jackets feature French-faced construction, a butterfly yoke, and horn buttons — a detail larger trad clothiers could turn their attention to — and come with a suggested retail price of $395, very modest for any jacket, let alone one made in America. In addition to the three patch pockets, they come with natural shoulders and a hook vent, though orthodox trads will have to accept the presence of darts, a concession to contemporary taste.

Rawlings said J. Press liked the jackets very much and saw them as a candidate for a collection aimed at younger customers. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

23 Comments on "New Spring/Summer Jackets From Crittenden"

  1. Love the patch chest pocket and the patch and flaps. Patterns are perfectly matched. Very tasty jackets, old school.

  2. Boston Bean | July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    Both tasty and tasteful

  3. Yes, loved the Madras Jacket. Might want to rethink the lapels, but I can get that fixed

  4. I do wish he had gone full Ivy–dartless. Still, nice. I wish him every success. USA made, and a great price.

    I like the French facing-yoke lining construction for summer.

    Southwick offered the Miles model, which is undarted, yoke-lined, French-faced, and padless in the shoulders. Likely the most Ivy of all their models, including the Cambridge.

  5. SE
    No doubt dartless is pure Ivy, but on many with large chest and relatively small waist (no belly) they fit like a field coat, especially on young athletic types. Also, I’m not sure I ever saw a patch chest pocket on a Southwick standard product. They do make excellent suits, though I’m not familiar with the Miles model, but I am with the Cambridge.

    Southwick wasn’t started by Jewish tailors, Itailian, so maybe they can’t be counted as Ivy. 😉

  6. Urban Haute Bourgeois | July 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

    “Darted for younger tastes”. I ask merely for information: has any young fella ever said, “no, I am not buying that jacket because it doesn’t have darts?” Or “it’s just not suppressed in the waist enough”? Maybe they have. But I have this weird feeling that Trad clothiers really don’t have to worry about turning anyone off by refusing to dart jackets. Perhaps it’s only the Trads they turn off (“there are DOZENS of us!”) by darting the damned things.

  7. I’m with you. I actually had a line when I was writing the piece about how “or so the marketplace thinks” when it comes to darts being mandatory.

    Not sure why I cut it, but glad you made the point.

  8. Some great looks here. Hardwick makes nice clothing at great prices and all is made in the USA.

  9. Urban Haute Bourgeois
    ” has any young fella ever said, “no, I am not buying that jacket because it doesn’t have darts?” Or “it’s just not suppressed in the waist enough”? ” Yes and yes, besides it’s hard to find off the rack younger jackets or suits that aren’t darted.

    I’ve often wondered if J. Press darted off the rack jackets for Ivy League football players.

  10. It is always nice to learn about a new source for jackets. Especially those with a 3/2 roll and a reasonable price tag.

  11. Christian | July 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    Indeed, OCBD, there’s very little that fits that criteria.

  12. NaturalShoulder | July 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    The madras jacket looks great, especially at the price.

  13. Good to hear that Hardwick is still in business. Possibly in honor of their location, they used to run ads in Playboy in the 60s showing a barefoot hillbilly jug band wearing their blazers.

  14. “Rawlings said J. Press liked the jackets very much and saw them as a candidate for a collection aimed at younger customers.”
    Oh, he has no idea. These are going to go flying off J. Press’ sheleves.

  15. I’m quite young and thin, and I would absolutely love for manufacturers to make undarted jackets that would fit my 36r frame. I was hoping Brooks’ Cambridge fit would work, but it seems a bit short and the lapels rather skimpy.

    And I am VERY happy to hear they are using Hardwick’s.

  16. I’m with Dan. I wear a 34. It is impossible to find undarted jackets for my frame, and even then, it’s hard to find jackets in my size that aren’t tailored or made to measure.

  17. oobopshbam | July 25, 2012 at 12:19 am |

    I was under the impression when a jacket isn’t darted it isn’t suppressed, but after a chat with the tailor at work I learnt the suppression can be produced in how the pattern is cut. (Well I wasn’t to know) I don’t know if CC could ever ask Mr. Press, about this but J.Press seem to have a good amount of suppression in the way they cut their jackets, I’ve got a Donegal Mist Presstige and it fits like a glove. The shoulders are broad and the jacket comes in round the waist, I’d almost say it is perfect, no darts, or anything. Where as I find Brooks to be really full in the waist even if I size down. What the hell were J.Press doing that made their jackets fit so well? Especially considering I have a 12” drop.

  18. I, for one, liked the ending comment about the necktie dieing a slow death. however I’m still a bit unsure of its relevance. It seems to me, that the majority of these start ups, save a few like Vineyard Vines for example, are catering to the fashion crowd. A crowd that, as much as the majority of us don’t want to admit, we belong to. professionals are distancing themselves from neck wear more and more. sure the gents at the big law firms and the boys on Wall Street are still conservative in dress. but many whom i meet working in real estate, law, and medicine rarely if ever wear a tie. all i can say is that I for one, will never attend church without a jacket and tie, nor will I dine out at anyplace better than an olive garden in the same. the choice between man, and man-child is an easy one for me.

  19. I’ll put up with an employ that is a functional alcoholic, but the third time I have to tell him to wear a tie, he’s fired.

  20. employee…I need to read these before hitting “submit”

  21. I prefer polo shirts in men’s colors.

  22. p.s. You have toilet paper stuck to the back of your khakis.

  23. Philly Trad | August 19, 2012 at 2:37 am |

    @Giuseppe

    I believe that’s a gentleman’s handkerchief, appropriately carried in one’s back pocket.

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