This is my first fitting on the bespoke leather jacket being made by Davide Taub of Gieves & Hawkes.


I already have a suit pattern at Gieves, having had a travel blazer made there a couple of years ago, and Davide has since altered that, so he was familiar with my shape. He created this model for the leather jacket using that pattern and his original design, in a waste piece of cloth.





Compared to an off-the-peg jacket, you immediately notice the close fit around the armhole. A regular jacket would never have this – even those few made by hand never cut it close because they need to cope with a variety of sizes.


Design-wise, we decided to keep it very simple. There were a few bells and whistles on Davide’s original design – such as an extended waistband – that we quickly dropped.


If you have never designed a piece like this, it’s incredibly hard to get these things right. How long should the waistband be? How should it fasten? Should it fold back? How will it work in the leather? The only realistic options are either to copy an existing model exactly, or go without. We decided to go without.




The original design also considered adjustors on the waist, but I wanted to forego those to demonstrate that, being bespoke, they were not needed. We also couldn’t quite decide on the placement of the pockets, so left those off. I would never use exterior pockets on a jacket as short as this, and inside there will be exactly the right pockets to hold all my things.

Given this minimal look, we quickly realised the importance of the collar and the seam lines running down the front and across the back. These seams had originally been placed by Davide to run into the seams of the sleeves. We kept this on the back, but decided to run the front seams a little further forward, to create a slimmer look.


The collar had originally been quite long and pointed, taking its cue from a shirt collar. We quickly trimmed that back – you can see it has been folded under and pinned. A shorter and wider collar went with the design better and looked more contemporary.


So many things to think about, on such a simple piece.


Photography: Luke Carby
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Anonymous

Davide is an absolute genius. I’m confident the jacket will turn out great.

Anonymous

I want one.

Anonymous

Dear Mr Crompton,

What a dashing garment Gieves&Hawkes are realising for you! I follow your blog with great interest and wonder if you could advise me where to find a black linen suit – off-peg, I am afraid…

Thank you very much indeed in advance and kind regards, Nick

Jeff H

God damn that thing is going to be awesome.

Anonymous

May I ask the cost of this project ?

Anonymous

This looks utterly fantastic and I’m incredibly jealous. The fit is beautiful and I love the minimalism – real proof that less is more. If I was having my dream leather jacket made, I’d have it exactly as minimal as this. What is it about designers that makes them ruin their leather jackets with so much silly design flourishes, like patches and tears and a multitude of pockets?

Anonymous

“The original design also considered adjustors on the waist, but I wanted to forego those to demonstrate that, being bespoke, they were not needed.”

This prompted a thought. How adjustable will this jacket be as you get older and, as sadly usually seems to come with advancing years, a bit heavier?

I know that many of the major Savile Row houses talk about how they make their clothes with significant, and now I can’t remember the correct term, … inlays(?). In any event I’m referring to the extra cloth that is left around the seams so that many decades of use can be had from a garment because, when it was originally cut, allowance was made for it to be let out as the wearer’s weight changed.

Does the extra weight of the leather make it more of a challenge to leave the same size inlays (or whatever the correct term is) for future adjustments or is it not an issue? Given the extra durability of leather it would seem particularly useful for a jacket such as this to be able to expand with you if you do gain a few extra pounds over the next few decades.

– Julian

Jason Wise

Hi Simon, Sorry this is off topic but I took your advice a while back on bespoke suits and have never looked back (every penny I have is spent on my suits) I just wanted to know if you know anything about Suit Supply (as a cheaper option) which is located at the end of savile row?

Oliver Bailey

A simple, high quality RTW leather jacket is nigh on impossible to source. I bought a Belstaff blouson several years ago, but the fit wasn’t quite right. The quality was also questionable. I sold it on eBay and have since been looking (online or opportunistically in store) for a dark brown / chocolate coloured blouson, with a collar, no pockets and minimal detailing. Sadly, most manufacturers choose to adorn their items with unnecessary details. Especially the fashion houses. It has become apparent to me, that bespoke is the only way to go. I think 4.5k on an article of clothing that is not only an male essential, but will most likely last a lifetime, is a small price to pay. Simon, this project has pretty much nailed the look I was going for and has made my life easier as a result, many thanks and keep up the excellent work.

Keith

I’m sure Davide knows what he’s doing, but I would caution against notably high armholes for a leather jacket. In my opinion, part of the appeal of a nice, thick leather moto jacket is the fact that the thick leather has natural structure, and this lends itself rather well to having an extended shoulder and extra room for the lats! I’m not sure I’m explaining myself rather well, but the image I’m seeing in my head from the rear of a leather jacket with narrow armholes just doesn’t fit with the cropped nature of the jacket, as well as the slightly extended shoulders that such a jacket should have.

This is all relatively speaking of course, I’m not saying that the armholes should be as low as RTW. Just keep in mind that some of the stylistic details of leather jackets are not necessarily due to the failings of RTW.

Anonymous

I think that jacket has 4.3k $ worth.

Anonymous

You can go to Tokyo and buy a REAL McCOY’S G-1 leather jacket for that money.

bill haines

Dear Mr. Crompton, Can you recommend a great tailor in Los Angeles? Thank you. PS Have you heard of Enzo Caruso?