Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cut 'n Sew: Two Grey Jackets

It's no secret that grey is my favourite colour. Especially light grey. And my affinity for this colour runs the gamut of my wardrobe. From jeans, to sweaters, tracksuits, trousers, etc, grey is a surefire staple in my wardrobe. I'm also given to excess, so more than one of the same thing is not a problem to me. Moreover, I don't consider it frivolous at all. With this post I aim to compare two grey sports jackets I have in my closet. The one on the right is by a brand called Cricketeer. I have done so many internet searches and they have all been fruitless; there's just nothing on Cricketeer. The one on the left is by Canda or Canda 98. Any information on it was also unavailable. However, looking at both jackets with the naked eye, you would think they are identical, which is far from it.

I will start with the Cricketeer jacket. It's important to note that both these are sports jackets. The Cricketeer has been in my possession for about 4 years. When I first bought it, it fit really well. I was a gym rat back then, and my frame filled the whole jacket. Which is why I surmise that it is a size 42L. One thing is for sure, I have definitely come down a size and it just doesn't fit and feel right right anymore. It feels too long and not as taut on the shoulders as it used to be. It is made of 100% pure wool, which means that the yarn has been recycled from old garments and fibre residues. Indeed a closer look at the jacket reveals a somewhat 'incomplete' finish with a rough texture, itchy to the skin.

It features a single middle vent, something very characteristic of American tailoring.

The shoulder construction is almost natural. There is very little padding.

It has two closed patch pockets (with flaps) and a besom pocket and two darts ensured that the jacket had a tailored fit.

It is half-lined; it is however, quite a structured jacket for something half-lined.

Grey buttons with a dash of white colouring.

All the button holes are fairly neatly sewn. And even though they might have been machine sown they came out well done. The precision and aesthetic normally associated with a handsewn buttonhole is absent here, which is why I surmise it was machine sewn. It has served me well, especially in cold, chilly weather, however, it will be taking a back seat to the Canda jacket. For your information this jacket cost me R45 when I bought it in 2009.

I've only had this Canda jacket for 6 months, and it's been hanging in my wardrobe requiring a visit to the tailor, which will be in the next two weeks. I have been in the market for a jacket like this and I will elaborate as this part of the post unfolds. Firstly, however, I have a pair of light grey wool trousers that I wished could've been part of a suit. Well it wasn't until last December that I came across this jacket and didn't even think twice about buying it. Especially after fitting it on. It has a smooth texture and it's construction reveals it to be 98% new wool.

Unlike the Cricketeer the Canda has no vents; so I will be having a single vent inserted.

There is fairly more structured construction in the shoulders with very evident padding. This doesn't, however, give it a boxy fit. Just enough to give the jacket structure.

This is an open patch pocket jacket (no flaps), it also has two darts and a besom pocket. I'm inclined to think that jackets with three open patch pockets are either made to measure or custom. It's rare that a ready to wear jacket will have all three. I have, for quite some time, always wanted a patch pocket jacket with no flaps. It makes pocketing one's hands much more easier.

It is fully lined, however, there is no interlining which would evince whether the jacket is canvassed or fused.

The buttons are grey and dull, no wonder the top one is busted. I will definitely be changing them to something brown or tan. A much needed dash of colour. The button holes are very shabbily done definitely machine sown. The Canda is going to get more wear this winter and spring especially because the fit is more spot on. I surmise the size to be a 40S. I'm a regular guy but that little feature won't stop me from enjoying the wearing of this jacket. I also plan to wear it with the pair of wool trousers I mentioned earlier as a mismatched suit. The colour is slightly off but I will wear it that way. I paid a mere R150 for this jacket.

These are just a few things you should be looking out for when buying a sports jacket especially off the rack.



NCJack said...

Cricketeer is a US brand from the early 1960s to about the 1980s, if memory serves. It was a "better mid-level" brand, if that makes sense to you, and very popular for high school and college men. Would be found in college town men's stores, and better dept. stores and the like. Not sure if they made anything but sports coats.

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

That explains why I couldn't find anything on the net about it.

Thank you for sharing.

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