What’s almost a century old, hails from Milan, and looks just as at home in the pub as in the cockpit of a fighter plane? The answer is, of course, the Valstar A-1 bomber jacket, or ‘Valstarino.’ It’s no secret that here at Drake’s we lean towards a tailored look: it would not be unusual to find us in sport coats and tailored trousers for much of the working week. However, man cannot live on tailoring alone, and the importance of the perfect weekend jacket cannot be overstated.
Based on the original A-1 flight jacket worn by US Air Force pilots in the 1920s, the Valstarino is built for utility and performance. However, unlike the military-issue jacket it is based on (which was cut from a stiff sheepskin leather) Valstar made its name with an iteration cut from a soft, buttery suede, meaning it is built for comfort, too. And it’s this sense of utility, along with a relaxed air that makes it such a useful jacket.
Valstar also have a talent for combining classic styling with modern performance fabrics. For our exclusive collaboration with the brand, we opted for a crisp, tightly woven blend of cotton and nylon - a weatherproof alternative to the classic suede version, undeniably handy for a temperamental British climate. For a personal touch we have added a lining printed with one of our archival designs, hitherto only found on our fine silk ties.
The Valstarino is one of those invaluable items of clothing that makes dressing simple. Just select a favourite pair of denim and a crisp button-down, or some tailored linen trousers and a polo, and the Valstar will sit effortlessly on top, completing the look - whether you’re going for a drink, or off to pilot that fighter plane.