A Perfect Fit: A Casual Jacket

Following on from last month’s tailors note - I want to talk specifically about the casual jacket in summer. It is the garment that takes a white t and jeans from James Dean to Serge Gainsbourg, and gives you that laissez-faire style usually reserved for French artists and writers.

Spiro of The Durrell's Leaning against his car

The Summer Casual Jacket (SCJ) is loose and soft, with a delicious drape across the back and shoulders. In search of this drape, many people opt for a size up from their norm. Which is fine, although if you have it made for you, you can keep the back neck and sleeves fitting beautifully which gives the look an elevation you won’t find with RTW.

The jacket is longer than a high street suit jacket, skimming the bum, hiding whatever you have carelessly stuffed into your back pockets. And speaking of pockets, it should have lots. Preferably big bucket, patch pockets on the outside and on the inside: one for a phone, one for sunglasses and a nice long one for your newspaper.


Monty Don from Gardener's World leaning against a tree



It is unlined, unstructured and uninhibiting. Where some blazers can feel restrictive, the SCJ should feel like wearing a shirt or even a cardigan. You can throw it over a t-shirt as the sun sets on a bbq but don’t expect it to smarten up the look. It is a subtle garment and should complement rather than ‘make’ your look.

Mike Leigh

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