The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by writer & photographer Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 44; The Rough Lapel: Jacket Sir? Vol 1

What felt like a complete heart break was when I pulled on my favourite wool blend unstructured sports coat to notice that there was a pinkish stain on the shoulder of all places and then heading down the arm.  It could be only one thing, red wine.  So I guess I was talking with my hands with my jacket close by, I only notice when someone else spills on me.  Trips to cleaners and then trying to clean myself did nothing, so the time had come to discard the jacket, a sad time.  But something did ignite within me, the idea that now I needed a replacement.

You would think that the now destroyed jacket was something of great wonder and beauty, costing thousands, it was not any of these, but I liked it.  It was high street and in my price range at the time I was buying.  I thought that it would be best to just replace like for like, I thought wrong and the hunt was on, a hunt I was failing at every turn.  Apparently I was out of fashion and style once I wanted a similar style and colour.  I started looking at similar shops but all I found was over stylised badly made rubbish.  I moved higher up in the ready to wear world, finding some things but nothing in stock or in my size or quite what I felt I wanted.

There was only one thing for it, Bespoke, to have cloth options and get it made to fit me, but also where to start and how much money would I need.  No £250 jackets in this world.

Thankfully for me I have been in the world of classic style and fashion for some time and read and have met various people on my travels and had some thoughts on where to start.  I was not just a google search baby of the bespoke world.  But to delve into this world with more than just a fleeting interest opens up so much.

From styles to cloth, mentality and history come in among a very long list of items.  Even some terms I have now learnt that I had never thought about, like the Gorge, the space between the two sides of the jacket at the front.  From Saville Row to Spitalfields is a journey of styles, and money.  Now when you are looking at starting in the thousands I knew Saville Row was not for me, plus I like my classic with a fat dollop of modern, something I felt was missing from the places I looked at and researched.  So where can I go? That would give me the service and the quality I am looking for, without that price tag.

Thankfully a friend of mine had a suit made recently and then went back for more, so with a recommendation I tagged along after helping my friend realise he wanted to get a jacket made too.

Continued in the next issue.......