22 March 2011

The Urban Squire: Quilted Jacket Revival

The urban squire

by David Hayes

FT.com, 18 March 2011

There is a new breed of smart young man around London’s Square Mile. He’s identifiable via his perfectly turned-out suit, pristine shirt and tie, polished brogues and briefcase, all topped off with a coat more suited for a weekend trudging through a muddy field than the short walk from Monument Underground station to the office.

You know the kind of thing; those quilted nylon jackets in navy, mud brown or olive green with their neat corduroy collars and brass popper fastenings – jackets, that not so very long ago, were the sole preserve of Sloane Rangers
Just when did the country look – and in particular that essential signifier of 1980s Sloane Ranger style, the quilted jacket – get so cool? “‘Heritage’ became a strong theme in men’s wear a few seasons ago and is still going strong this spring,” says Sam Lobban, a buyer of contemporary brands at Selfridges. “We have seen a desire for products and brands that evoke quality, tradition and integrity – brands such as Barbour, Lavenham and Hunter. These successful ‘heritage’ brands are also the ones that have tweaked their products to accommodate the more fashion-focused markets. Lavenham in particular has done this extremely well and has found itself at the forefront of the trend.”
“It’s shower-proof and warm but not too bulky on the train for my daily commute,” says one Suffolk-based City broker of his Lavenham quilted jacket. “The brand name caught my eye in Selfridges as Lavenham village is not far from where I live. And it looks a whole lot smarter for the office than my old North Face anorak.”
“There is a real feeling of British euphoria building, with the success of The King’s Speech and the global excitement for the royal wedding. The timing was right to make a piece that would reflect the Lotus brand’s particularly British history, and the quilted jacket felt like a perfect fit.”


© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd.


Vesuvian Woman said...

...And there are people like me that have hoped (for the last 20 years) that those jackets would get a much-needed makeover. Yes, it is understood that they are "country" wear but, did they ever have to be so boxy? They're the Volvo of jackets and even Volvo got a sleeker new finish! In the city, practicality is appreciated and offered polsh.

Vernon said...

These jackets have been around for decades with people in and around thoroughbred racing. Owners, trainers and exercise boys and girls can be seen wearing them at Aqueduct, Belmont, Pimlico and all the point to point and hunt races in the country.

Always very practical because they are warm yet light in weight.

A Super Dilettante said...

The quilted jackets used to so delicious when "Henrys" and "Carolines" wear them in the 80s. They are not delicious anymore as they become so common and so many imitations are much about. Everyone (including the footballers) now wears them.

Bruce said...

Been wearing these for ever. Not so sure I approve of them becoming "fashion". One doesn't want to give off the wrong impression.

Hotesses Lyon said...

This collection is fantastic! I agree, the truly great designers aren't in the spotlight with the so called fashionistas .I can't see any guy looking good in these jackets. They completely hide the male form. I almost feel like they should be smuggling board swords. Love the jackets.
Hotesses accueil Lyon