Our Creative Director Michael Hill waxes rhapsodic on his favourite jacket of the season.
There isn’t much that can be said about a good sport coat that hasn’t already been said. Even a truly great jacket is, after all, just a jacket. But the right jacket can have a transformative effect on your wardrobe, offering a whole host of new potential combinations. At the very least, it can make your life ever so slightly easier, offering an effortless, stylish choice when dressing each morning.
A jacket like this – one you can really live in, for an entire season at a time – doesn’t present itself all that often. Everything about it must be right – the colour, the fabric, the fit. Such a garment is also a highly subjective thing. What may be one man’s sartorial saving grace may sit in the back of another’s wardrobe, gathering dust.
Our Creative Director, Michael Hill, has found his new perfect jacket, in the form of this season’s brown wool glen check. “A truly useful jacket has to be an absolute workhorse, something that will pair with almost everything,” Michael explains. “It may sound like something of a cliché, but our new glen check really is one of those terrific ‘all-rounder’ jackets. I wear mine with grey flannels, beige chinos, denim, cords. In fact I’m yet to find a pair of trousers it doesn’t look great with. And in terms of shirting, you aren’t limited to a solid colour cloth. A blue and white ticking stripe oxford worn with this will be a winning combination.”
And it’s not just what you can wear the jacket with, but when you can wear it. “The cloth is considerably lighter than a Harris tweed, say, but still has a robust handle and drapes beautifully. This means you needn’t wait until the bitter colds come to start wearing it. It’s a jacket that becomes useful in September, and really remains so right through until the spring.”
The cloth, woven in Donegal, looks rather subdued from a distance, but a closer look reveals a remarkable breadth of colours all coexisting within the fabric’s intricate weave. “Not just the usual earthy tones, but subtle flashes of burnt orange, forest green, rich purple and magenta, too. This bounty of colour makes for a very warm tone overall, something which will flatter nearly any complexion.”
When looking for a jacket that does everything, most men turn first to the navy blazer, which is, of course, a tremendously useful jacket. But if you want something with a bit more interest, then consider giving in to the glen check: “A traditional glen check can seem something of an intimidating prospect,” Michael admits. “It’s one of those jackets that can look a little stuffy or perhaps too ‘trad’ when hanging on the rail, but the minute you slip it on it all starts to make sense. Its elegant but never showy.”
As you can probably tell, we’re all rather fond of this jacket here at Drake’s – Michael especially. Allow him to leave you with one final thought on its charms: “The glen check is an inherently British design. It will always have that slightly regal, gentlemanly quality about it. When you combine that with a soft Italian construction the result is hard to beat. It encapsulates what we are always aiming towards, bringing British and Italian style together. In many ways this is the quintessential Drake’s jacket.”