Your Desert Island Jacket

Pictured is Andrew Bridier of Castaway Clothing, snapped at the menswear trade shows earlier this week here in New York. He’s wearing and holding two tartan jackets made for Castaway by the Hardwick factory in Tennessee.

The words “castaway” and “jacket” set one to speculating.

So if you were a castaway on a desert island, what jacket would you want to wear for the rest of your life? Navy blazer? Herringbone sportcoat? A tartan like this might lift your spirits in your dire situation. Kind of a go-to-hell thing, which is probably where you’d feel like you were, even if the island was paradise. I leave it to you whether or not you have a companion in this scenario to note how nice you look with your beard and suntan. — CC

29 Comments on "Your Desert Island Jacket"

  1. Henry Contestwinner | January 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm |

    A safari jacket might be the most practical thing to wear if castaway.

  2. I’ll second that, Mr. Contestwinner. I’ve been trying to score an old Willis & Geiger for the longest time on eBay. No luck, yet.

  3. Your chances of being rescued by a passing yacht would be increased if you were wearing a navy blazer and white linen trousers.

  4. Mitchell S. | January 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm |

    You have to love Castaway Clothing, they are the undisputed king of wacky clothing. Their website has pages and pages of embroidered and “go to hell” pants. I am thinking of getting some khakis with embroidered spouting whales for the summer.

  5. @Dave Snow

    Just scored Austin Reed double breasted navy blazer in what I can best describe as a summer weight, burlap like wool. Two buttons on the sleeves. Slightest padding in the shoulders. Patch pockets with no flaps and standard breast pocket. No vents, side or center. Fits like tailored. Less than the price of a coffee at Charbucks.

    Pair with white OCBD and Nantucket red shorts. Just shaved two month old salt and pepper beard so tan and rugged good looks will have to suffice.



  6. Double breasted navy blazer.

  7. I have a doeskin blue blazer from Ralph Lauren I’d bring along. It’d bring a touch of civilization to the island as I attempt to craft leak-proof martini glasses out of bamboo. Plus I could detach the brass buttons and use their sun-reflecting capabilities to signal approaching rescue aircraft.

  8. whiskeydent | January 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm |


    Holland & Holland and Orvis make (or have made) alternatives. The former is very expensive.

    And ’80s Banana Republic — before they sold — made some pretty good safari jackets too. There are some other long-gone brands out there, so you might consider widening your search.

    Good luck! I’m wearing a thrifted safari shirt as I type this.

  9. Prince of Wales sportcoat for me. Wearing one tonight for the Richard event at JP.

  10. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority manufactures a very nice poplin Safari Jacket. They sell them in the US under the brand “Tag Safari,” so named because the jackets come adorned with a facsimile of the tags used to mark lions as legal kills for tourist hunters.

    Sounds like something you people would be into.

  11. Mitchell S. | January 24, 2018 at 6:21 pm |

    This question is pointless and futile. I imagine that anyone trapped on a desert island could care less what type of jacket they are wearing . Food and proper footwear would be at the top of my list of priorities. “Gilligans Island” aside, fashion would be the furthest thing on anyone’s mind on a desert island.

    Probably a linen safari shirt with a lot of pockets would be the most practical garment to wear. Linen is many times more durable than cotton.

  12. whiskeydent, thanks for the tip. I’ve seen a few old BR ones from time to time on eBay, never pulled the trigger, though.

    Joel, thanks for the tip. Next time I’m in Zimbabwe I’ll be sure to pick one up and bag a nice rhino in your honor.

  13. Joel

    Is this the jacket you were commenting about? If so, how is the quality of the jacket. It appears to be a real bargain.

  14. H,

    That’s the one. I think, for the price, it’s a great value. Some will complain about the fabric weight, but it’s poplin and meant for the heat. Otherwise, it’s sturdy and has lot’s of pockets. Don’t know if the recent coup has impacted availability.


    I do hope you have the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe.

  15. When I think island, I think tropical. I then think Seersucker. Full suit would be ideal.

  16. Joel

    Thank you.

  17. sacksuit
    The ” burlap like wool” would be “hopsack”.

  18. Lots of glen checks, but there’s only one true Prince of Wales tweed. Cream and brown complimented by a navy. I like a larger version.

  19. I highly recommend Victoria Falls. If you’re worried about the troubles in Zimbabwe, you can stay across the river in Zambia.

    You can hike all around the falls to get a wide variety of angles for stupendous pictures. You can also fly over them in a small plane or have cocktails in a natural pool by the edge. However you see them, you’ll be stunned.

    In ’97, a much younger me rafted the Zambezi through numerous Class 4-6 rapids and later watched my then-girlfriend leap from the world’s highest fixed bungee jump. Good times.

  20. No, I think Zimbabwe is definitely the place for Gerlando to go on vacation. They will love him there.

  21. Charlottesville | January 25, 2018 at 12:47 pm |

    As I recall, there was a fad for safari jackets when I was around 14 or so, at least in my corner of the world. I have no idea why (perhaps something we saw on TV?), but I know that I had one in a creamy tan. If I were limited to a single sport coat, I would probably go with a navy blazer for almost anywhere else, but on a desert island the safari jacket would be more practical.

  22. I was speaking metaphorically, of course….

  23. Charlottesville | January 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm |

    CC – Now you tell me after I went and bought a new safari jacket! At least I had not yet pulled the trigger on a pith helmet.

  24. Here it is. Prince of Wales. The real deal. See the “Cloth of Kings” ad:

  25. Henry Contestwinner | January 26, 2018 at 4:46 pm |

    As it turns out, I have the Zimbabwe-made safari jacket in khaki. At the time I bought it, they were selling them on eBay; nice to see they have their own website now.

    It’s a good-looking, well-made jacket. It’s great for warm weather casual wear.

    As much as would I love to wear one, I just can’t see myself in a pith helmet. Too costumey, even for me.

    CC, what is this “metaphorically” you speak of?

  26. Thanks again, whiskeydent, too bad it is far too big for me to wear. I’ll continue to look intermittently, I haven’t lost hope!

    Joel, if that is your real name, you’re quite the sleuth.

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