I’ve been looking to add a light brown summer sportcoat to my wardrobe for a while now. Inspired by pictures from the Sartorialist, Articles of Style, Styleforum’s NOBD, and more, I felt that this addition would be a way to experiment with some seasonal tailored clothing that would still be versatile and play well with my other pieces. I didn’t want something too tan or orange – not like those khaki cotton suits you see everywhere – but a true dusty brown. I wanted a lot of texture, too; basically, something with the color and texture of a burlap sack (but a touch more refined). A wool/linen hopsack was what I was after, I decided. This Eidos piece at No Man Walks Alone was perfect, but a bit more than I wanted to invest in a seriously seasonal piece.
Then Suitsupply released their S/S 2015 Jort collection, and I knew I had to try this number out.
Suitsupply’s premium line has taken many names – La Spalla, Hartford, and Jort come to mind – but the Jort collection seems a bit different. Although the upgraded specs seem about the same across the board (upgraded fabrics and trimmings, full canvas construction, more handwork), Jort is different in that it is a collection all its own, apparently inspired by Suitsupply’s own Jort Kelder. The collection first launched last fall, and its second iteration has quite a few tasteful pieces that hover around 150-200% of the main line’s pricing. That’s a notable jump, especially since all the garments still hail from China (as far as I know). So what are the technical differences?
Besides offering designs that are a bit more aesthetically pleasing (to me), there are some specifics that put the Jort above the main line. For instance, when comparing the Jort blazer featured here ($600) to a typical Havana blazer ($400), there are the following modifications:
- Full canvas construction
- Hand-stitched collar and pleated shoulder
- Hand-stitched horn buttons
- Upgraded fabric choices
Are these upgrades worth the 50% upcharge? That’s hard to say. Most – if not all – of these details are not the type of things that are inherently obvious, so they will most likely only be appreciated by folks that are really into this stuff. None of these will really change the outward experience of wearing this jacket, at least not to most people. That said, I think the overall effect of these upgrades – along with the fabric and design choices – make for a piece that is more appealing than what the main line offers. For myself, the extra $200 was worth it to get exactly what I wanted. Whether it’s worth it for the general population is harder to say. Either way, it’s clear that the Jort line is being marketed toward the younger menswear nerd that is interested in the details of high-end tailored clothing but can’t swallow the four-figure price tag.
In terms of sizing and design details, this Jort blazer is similar to Suitsupply’s Havana – the dimensions are comparable, and both feature notch lapels, two patch packets, double vents, and quarter lining. There are some subtle differences, though. Here’s what I noticed (note that I only have experience with two Suitsupply blazers – one from 2013 – so these differences are not definitive):
- Jort has wider lapels (~3.75″ vs ~3″)
- Jort is a bit longer (about 1/2″ on mine)
- Jort has slightly shorter sleeves
- Jort has a bit more space in the chest
- Jort has a notably lower button stance
All of these changes work well for me with the exception of the shorter sleeves (Suitsupply’s use of functioning buttons on all sleeves is an unfortunate choice in my opinion, as it makes changing sleeve length difficult to impossible). All told, the fit works quite well for me. I went true-to-size (36R, same as with my Havana) and the result is a slim, but well-fitting jacket. The longer jacket length, lowered button stance, and wider lapels make this jacket feel quite mature and classic, even with the nipped waist and trim overall fit.
As for the fabric, it’s exactly what I was looking for. It’s an E. Thomas blend of silk, linen, and wool in a 54/27/19 mix. The fabric breathes quite well and has a wonderful texture. It also wrinkles less than a purely linen blazer, due to the addition of some wool. The large-gage hopsack provides some great visual complexity and was a natural choice for a jacket of this style. The horn buttons, while not as nice as others I’ve gotten on jackets, are a very appreciated upgrade too (I’m a big fan of horn buttons, as long time readers may recall).
The jacket is minimally lined with a standard cupro lining, present only around the shoulder blades, sleeves, and down through the front of the jacket. The full canvas can be seen behind the lining in the front panel, and as you’d expect it extends all the way down to the bottom.
The final consensus? This is a great jacket. As far as I know, this is probably the best you could do before taking the leap to more expensive brands like Eidos or Ring Jacket (both are strong value brands, but at a different price point than Suitsupply). The details that make this jacket special will not be appreciated by everyone, though, so I wouldn’t get this jacket just for the sake of getting something “premium.” If the design speaks to you, you like the upgraded details, and you can deal with the upcharge, it will make a great addition to your collection.