This Caliendo hopsack blazer was completed earlier in the year and is now fast becoming the most useful item in my wardrobe.
Just like the Solito cashmere blazer I had made for Autumn/Winter last year, it is thrown on with everything: with a shirt and silk tie for more formal occasions, with a polo shirt as here for less formal ones, and with a thin crew-neck sweater when the temperature drops. (Anderson & Sheppard for cashmere, John Smedley for harder-finished merino.)
I’d recommend this type of blazer for anyone – bespoke or ready-to-wear – as a staple of a modern wardrobe that needs to look smart, but rarely makes use of a suit.
Lightweight hopsack is particularly nice for a jacket like this because it is so breathable, due its loose weave (see image below!). Yet it retains enough body to not lose its shape, unlike most other summer cloths. (It is usually not hard-wearing enough for trousers, which is why fresco is preferred.)
I have worn the jacket regularly for the past two months and – although it has been conscientiously hung and brushed – it has not been pressed. It has done well under those conditions: a few wrinkles here and there, but fewer than most other lightweights.
(As a side note, I generally prefer to show clothes in such a state, rather than pressed and primmed to within an inch of their life. Clothes just don’t look like that.)
Elia Caliendo is probably my favourite Neapolitan tailor – he has previously made me a tan summer jacket, my Permanent Style tweed, and my Harris tweed. Together with the Solito cashmere, it’s a nice little capsule wardrobe of jackets.
Elia has done a good job here, with fine finishing on the seams, lining and swelled edges. The buttonholes aren’t as delicate as any other tailor outside Naples, but they’re good for a Neapolitan.
The only area Elia sometimes has issues is the vents, which can be cut a little short and without enough overlap, allowing them to open completely at the bottom. This is an issue here as well, and one we’ll correct later in the year. I do like his tendency towards narrow, straight lapels on DBs however.
Brown horn buttons, Simonnot-Godard handkerchief and my green cotton trousers from Calvo de Mora. The hopsack is a Loro Piana jacketing, 230g.
The polo shirt is from Luca Avitabile – a collaboration that we’ll have more news on soon.
Simon. Nice jacket. Nice idea. But look at those lapels. They look very puckered. That can’t be just the photo. Why have that stitching ???
As ever it is partly the photography. The chest is smoother than that too. But you do get some puckering on hopsack with hand sewing like those swelled edges. Personally I like it as an effect, but I know what you mean – it certainly makes the whole thing look less smooth and formal.
Love the material and colour but the pocket square is lifting the lapel due to the very close proximity.
Is the lapel a smidgeon too wide or is that just Neapolitan design?
The lapel is relatively wide but actually its straightness – the lack of any belly to it – makes it appear less so I think. Very different to my Anderson & Sheppard DBs, which aren’t as wide at the point but have much more belly
My favourite item you have had made, so far.
Perhaps darker buttons would be more versatile, but still.
My favourite outfit includes a DB in navy like that (Dover model from Boglioli), well worn indigo jeans (to make contrast) and tan wholecuts. Depending on the situation I wear either a sunspel t-shirt or a shirt.
You mention you’d recommend a blazer like this in RTW .
Would you care to mention any names / brands ?
Not in a specifically Neapolitan style, but Ede & Ranenscroft and Boglioli do double breasted versions, while Gieves and Richard James have single breasted
I wish you’d made this post about 4 months ago.
I’ve just taken delivery of a navy single breasted hopsack blazer with patch pockets and similar buttons etc. I did feel a little concerned about the fabric after it had been recommended by the tailor that it was a little too smooth/ too much sheen and unfortunately its somewhat true.
Wish i’d stuck to my guns and looked at other fabrics as this looks a bit more casual which is what I was trying to achieve.
Sounds nice Jack, even if it is a bit more formal than you wanted.
I’m always stuck between posting pieces that are suitable to the season and those that should be commissioned bespoke for the next season. I’ll have my Sexton flannel suit next week – which is perhaps something to commission for Autumn/Winter! It is of course a split between bespoke and RTW
As polo shirts were mentioned (I presume this refers to the long sleeved versions), it would be appreciated with recommendations not only on bespoke but also RTW items. Excellent idea with a long sleeved polo shirt underneath a casual jacket, but it seems hard to come by with collars good enough for the purpose.
I agree. The plan is to offer these RTW, but I would also recommend them bespoke from the same shirtmaker (Luca Avitabile)
May I inquire when (and perhaps where, if not on your blog) the RTW polo shirts will be offered? They seem like a very good idea at the present moment.
They should be available on Monday!
Apparently the swing tickets are late…. Now launching July 10th. The shirts are all made already though, so you can get them immediately.
Great. And the will be ordered through you or through LA?
Through me, at least to start with
I spent a fair while looking for long sleeve polos with good collars. In the end I setttled on Kent Wang: they have worn well and a reasonable price so worth the hassle of shipping over from the US to England. They also do a MTM service of sorts (minimum 3 shirt order) although I haven’t tried this out. The Armoury also do nice polos but a step up in price.
Ours have a nice colour, cut, and buttons – and importantly have a great grade of cotton. Cut long, to be worn definitively as a tucked-in shirt
Excellent jacket Simon. Is it completely unlined? Are the shoulders unpadded as well?
Not completely unlined – lining across the top of the back. And thin padding in the shoulders
A very nice addition Simon. Excellent for Spring/Summer it also looks as if it will match to a wide variety of trousers (and social situations). In comparing materials would Fresco (in blue) have given any advantages or is the Hopsack slightly stiffer and hence more suitable for the DB cut? You mention the jacket becoming a favourite. It would be good to get more of your thoughts on this; we all have favourites but it’s interesting to know why… (style, fit, colour etc., generally it might also be how it makes us feel; comfortable, smart, relaxed etc.) . With the many great items in your wardrobe which are your ‘go to’ items to wear and why… also which commissioned items, though fine in quality and cut, have not been worn so much.
Thanks Stephen, good call.
Fresco would have actually have been stiffer, but it varies between cloths.
Great jacket! I am very interested in that polo shiet – will it perhaps be something that will become available as RTW?
That’s the plan, yes
Approximately when will the polos be available you think? I am looking at the Wang ones a previous poster mentioned, but would like to compare them to your offer before splurging.
It should be a week or two
Very nice! What is the weight of the cloth? You had mentioned lightweight hopsack usually not hard wearing enough for trousers. Will heavier weight hopsack durable enough for trousers ? I am thinking to order a hopsack suit, but I bit worry can it last long.
The weight is in there – 230g. Heavier hopsacks will be better, yes, but do get a particularly heavy weight for a suit
Question: what are the general “properties” of hopsack? Would you characterise it as “summer cloth”? How does it compare with linen and fresco, in terms of “coolness” and pros/cons? I heard linen is the coolest but the wrinkliest, and that fresco is of the two the more ‘formal’ because it’s wrinkle-resistant. Where does hopsack fall for these criteria? Would it ever be advisable to commission a suit in hopsack for business wear, or better (always) to opt for fresco (for summer business suits)?
I wouldn’t have a suit in a lightweight hopsack. Generally it will be between linen and fresco for coolness and wrinkles, but a lot depends on the weight and obviously the make of the jacket
Very nice, Simon. Proof that relaxed dress needn’t be scruffy!
Great post. But I also have a question about the bits either side of the summer, spring autumn and early winter. When a coat may not be required but a shirt and sweater won’t cut it. What would say is the most versatile.
I was looking at having a patch pocket flannel blazer made as I thought this could work with chinos, jeans and of course matching flannel trousers if I was to also have them made at the same time.
I was thinking Thom Sweeney MTM as their bock is modern and when less structures fairly informal. (They did a de constructed flannel blazer in their look book a few years ago)
Or should I be looking at something else?. The way I’m looking at it at the moment is I get a nice slightly informal (due to the construction) flannel suit with a jacket I can actually wear with nice chinos (RL PL and incotex) and even smart jeans.
Hey Adam. It’s a good idea and I like the Thom Sweeney block. Personally though I’ve never found flannel works as an odd jacket. It’s still too similar to a suit for me – better something like a cashmere or a Donegal. If you do go for it, make sure it’s as unstructured as possible, and try and have buttons with some contrast as well
Lovely. Where were the photos taken?
Behind St Bride’s Church
Lovely jacket Simon – I’ve always been slightly wary of a DB for more casual wear but this shows how it can be done. Who makes the fabric?
@Jack, I was slightly confused by your comment; are you saying you wish you’d gone for a different, more casual fabric than hopsack, or that you’d gone for a more casual cut?
Loro Piana, summer jacketings
Great cut, cloth and general look! One of my favorite projects you have presented us, so far!
In your opinion would it work with gilt buttons, with same patina?
You say that this navy hopsack is a Loro Piana jacketing 230g. Could you be more specific and provide the exact reference? My tailor just can find 270g…
It could do, yes, though obviously that makes it far less conservative.
Unfortunately most mills, and particularly Loro Piana and Zegna, change their collections regularly. So there’s a good chance the precise cloth is no longer available.
Its the actual fabric itself. Whilst it is hopsack it has a very smooth/ untextured finish and as a consequence a bit of a sheen to it. As a consequence it looks much more like business suiting despite the casual/ unstructured cut.
This is a lovely blazer indeed! You are right about the width of the lapels. Most importantly, this type of DB can easily be dressed up or down.
Light hopsack is surely a nice fabric for Summer. But I would like to know what you think of light blend fabrics also used for Summer jackets such as wool, silk and linen, and others you surely know. Are they hard wearing as pure linien or wool?
Pure wools will usually be harder wearing, but most depends on weight. Those mixes are fine, though obviously the more silk or cashmere in them the less hard wearing they will be
what trousers ( other than cotton chinos/ trousers) would be ideal for an hopsack jacket? I was thinking about fresco trousers, but they are very hard to find rtw. I was thinking about pale grey linen trousers. Do linen trousers risk of looking like suit trousers?
Linen’s fine in that respect, and go for something as heavy as possible as you can get away with it in trousers easily. Try cream or dark green
I prefer light gray because I already own a pair of cream cotton trousers and I want to differentiate.
I commissioned a single breasted, navy hopsack jacket I would like to show you. Can I send you an email?
As always an excellent post Simon, once again you have chosen a thought provoking mixture of colours, textures and style. I while ago I had Huntsman make me Navy DB blazer and though it is a very versatile piece it is heavy in weight so only suitable during the Autumn/Winter mounths. I am thinking about a summer blazer to be ready for wearing Spring/Summer ’16 so your piece is well timed from my point of view at least. My question is about the colour and style, I had already ruled out DB given I am unable to carry off the “buttons undone” look some get away with, I also though the extra cloth across the abdomen would be too cosy or uncomfortable in warmer weather. As you know I live in the UK so when I say “warmer” I speak in relative terms. Given we have had a reasonable spring and to sounds like you have been wearing your Caliendo as your “go to” casual coat for a few weeks, do you ever feel a SB would have been more versatile or are you able to commentate by changing fabrics you pair with it on any given day. Also in terms of colour what alternatives did you consider when commissioning this piece? Many thanks in advance and keep up the great work… Ken
The material is certainly ok in weight for the English spring and summer. It’s so light that the DB doesn’t make much difference in that regard.
Style wise, it is always less versatile that an SB, particularly if you prefer to never wear it open. If that is a concern, I would go with an SB instead.
As to other colours, a lighter grey could work quite well – otherwise it would be browns or greens, but I do feel you need some textural variation to make those work. I would have them in lightweight cashmeres therefore, as my Caraceni jacket.
Hope that helps.
Not my cup of tea, nice material & a super shade of blue but not so keen on the DB style & lapels, I always feel with a DB jacket you are obliged to wear it buttoned up as it flaps about unbuttoned and looks a tad ungainly.
Dégagé, perhaps. But yes, I know what you mean
Most attractive, Simon. Right now I live in Southern California where summer is just too blinking hot for any jacket, unless one never leaves the air conditioning. However, Portland, OR has a climate quite similar to the UK and you are convincing me that I need a hopsack jacket to wear after I move there. Nicely done.
Hi 1 Old Bear, do mind me asking what you do with all your detritus – keys, pen, wallet, cell phone, etc? Perhaps your wife comes in handy!?
Pants pockets for most. Shirt pocket for the pen (I refuse to buy any shirt that lacks on to hold pen and reading glasses). I wish I could give them to my wife but she passed away this last December. Evenings are the worst . . .
I’m so sorry to hear about your wife. Do forgive me. The problem for us men is that we don’t carry a handbag. Carrying everything in our trouser pockets (if no jkt) is less than ideal isn’t it? It spoils the clean lines and can potentially wear out the pockets. It’s also a nuisance, if you’re seated, to retrieve those things. I find a suitable jkt shades me from the hot sun. Still, I live in London – not Sth California!
As always, an excellent article. I’m looking to have a jacket made in the Neapolitan style. My intention is to wear it with jeans and chinos. Therefore, I need a fabric that has some texture. Unfortunately, a lot of the hopsack fabrics are either too light for my taste (I’m in the North of England) or the choice of colours is rather limited. From what I’ve seen they tend to be blues and greys. Are there any other fabrics you could recommend? My ideal would be something in either green or brown. I suppose a lighter Tweed would be an option. However, I’m not too keen on Tweed as its a bit “rural” for my taste.
You could try a Donegal tweed – often much cleaner and less hairier than a Harris. Or a cashmere, indeed Donegal cashmere like my Calvo de Mora jacket. Or look up my brown Rubinacci cashmere
I think a Donegal tweed is probably the only option for me. It would give me the texture and choice of colours. I’ve steered clear of cashmere as I’ve always thought of it as being not as hard wearing as other fabrics.
I might be wrong but I think Vitale barberis canonico has a brown hopsack
Great cloth and colour, but I do struggle to see how a DB can be worn informally, or just ‘thrown on’, I think they’re just intrinsically formal apparel. I love your website, and your commitment to craft and quality, but find once you stray out of the formal, the styling can sometimes get a bit dubious. Smart casual is probably the most useful – and difficult – style to pull off well. More on it would be very interesting.
Thanks Chris. One thing about smart casual is how broad a spectrum it is. I throw this on at work, when I am always wearing chinos, flannels or other semi-formal trousers. It works with any of those, given its colour and styling. But the Neapolitan make helps a lot. Have you worn a Neapolitan DB jacket?
You are right of course Chris, however there is casual and there is “casual”, I would imagine a good number of those who consume Simon’s site would invariably wear a coat/jacket of some sort in public unless they happen to be on the beach…
I think that a DB in such a wonderful cloth can never match an SB in the same cloth as a casual coat for the simple reason that you really have to wear it buttoned, whereas an SB in casual mode can comfortably be worn open or buttoned.
VBC hopsack, mentioned above, is quite a lovely cloth, and it comes in a variety of colours which would all lend themselves to a coat of this type.
There’s no technical reason why a DB is more formal than a SB. Is a peaked lapel physically more formal than a notched one? No. It’s just a different shape! So, the only factor is cultural habits. Tradition vs modernity.
Is a patch pocket more casual than a jetted flap pocket? Yes, but God knows why. Cultural habits again? Town vs country maybe.
I’m not keen on DBs with patch pkts, slant pkts or out tkt pkts. Nor SBs with peaked lapels. I’m a traditionalist!
However, I like Simon’s take on a DB in the context that he’s wearing it. He’s making it informal with the pkts, buttons, construction and the other clothes that are worn with it. He’s bent the rules.
Isn’t it just about the coat being buttoned or not? An unbuttoned SB looks fine, but an unbuttoned DB just doesn’t: there is too much cloth flapping about.
Nick, I’d certainly never wear a DB unbuttoned myself. Too messy as you say. Some do, of course. Maybe it suits them! If you like to wear your coat open, it’s got to be an SB obviously. I don’t think Simon is saying that such a jkt has to be a DB. He’s just giving us a nice example of an outfit for a certain situation. I think!
Indeed Mac. I do wear DBs open occasionally though. It takes a little contrivance – like having your hands in the pockets, or in the pockets of the trousers to gather the jacket behind at least one of them – but it can definitely work. And of course I’d rarely wear an SB undone either, except when sitting
Yes, fully agree Simon, and even more louche if the jigger is attached.
Dear Simon, Excuse myself for writting to you for the first time, My name is Hiro Yamaguchi based in Tokyo Japan, I love your Jacket very much, the cut works really well as it looks classic as well as modern.
My recomendation is to get that type of Jacket made up with a mohair blended hop-sack summer jacketing cloth provided by William Halstead which has very crispy handle but absolutely a beautiful cloth to wear in Summer although it is only my preference!! I really enjoy your blog here in Japan.
Regards Hiro Yamaguchi
Thanks Hiro. I know the cloth, it’s very nice. The crispness makes it more formal of course, but it would make up beautifully
Two additional questions:
1. When you commission a suit or a blazer (jacket) like this one, is the length an issue you care about? As to length, do you make a distinction between suits’ jackets and blazers (jackets)?
2. If you ever happened to wear this blazer with black shoes, how could look like the rest of your outfit? Obviously, I have in mind the highest scale of formality you could get with it?
Length is certainly a factor. The minimum is that the jacket has to cover the seat. I would often have Blazers a tiny bit shorter than suit jackets, but it is more determined by style than anything else (Neapolitan v English).
I wouldn’t ever wear this with black shoes, certainly not calf anyway. Perhaps black suede, but 99% brown in various shades to go with the trousers.
Slightly off topic. I recently bought some horn buttons and noticed on several of them that they have a straight line running from the centre to the edge. Is this common on horn buttons? It seems strange that the line appears on only some of the buttons.
They often do, particularly dark ones.
The variation between the buttons is also natural. They are real horns after all, not blocks of plastic.
Hi Simon, no I’ve never worn a Neapolitan DB, and to be honest, have never really worn a DB of any kind. I personally find them just a little too ‘full’ on the material side of things, i.e. there seems to be too much of it, and it feels more like a coat than a jacket. I do think this jacket is beautifully cut, and looks good on you, just not my own taste for casual wear – different strokes and all that.
Keep up the good work!
Absolutely. Thanks Chris
I’m Alfonso, from Salerno (Italy), 25 years old. I follow you for a long time, I have doubts about what buttons I have to get for my last blazer. It is an holland&sherry wool&mohair dark blue but not midnight. We can say I can wear it 4seasons. It has 3 patch pockets, “rullino” shoulders with few “rullino”, 3-to-2 buttons (Napoli style), peak lapels (11 cm), and 1 arm button. What button can go with it? Ancient silver ones? I can imagine only this type, can you suggest me others? I will not go for gold button. It is not my style.
Interesting question. It will depend a lot on your personal taste. Metals are the first option normally – gilt, silver or brass. All can be nice, though as you point out vintage ones can be a lot nicer as they have that personal, patinated look straight away.
Other options worth considering are mother of pearl (I’d go with a dark shade rather than white) or simply pale horn. The latter is less suited particularly to a blazer and therefore I’d only go with it if nothing else works for you.
I’ve been admiring this jacket since you posted the images. May I ask whether it is a navy blue hopsack or another shade of blue? Seems a bit lighter than navy to me, but that might be the images or just my particular kind of screen.
Thanks Sigurd. It’s just navy blue
Hi Simon. Just wondering, is the jacket completely unstructured? No canvas or interlining of any kind?
No, as with pretty much all bespoke Neapolitan jackets it has both canvas and shoulder padding, just very light
Thanks. In terms of weight, would a 320 g hopsack be less suited for summer wear, do you think, even if it is unlined (I’m thinking single breasted)? And if there is a slight sheen in the (navy) hopsack, would that make it more formal? Looking at this particular jacket of yours for several months now, it seems to be the ultimate go-to jacket!
320 should be fine, but yes a sheen would be more formal
Hello. I have a offtopic question. Im planning to order my first bespoke navy herringbone sportcoat. Woud you recommend peak lapel notch lapel? And second question is: woud it look good with double stiching on the lapels like your db blazer in hoppsack? or woud that be to informal on a navy sportcoat for 4-season use. Kind regards
Peak lapel depends on a bunch of things, but is essentially a style thing (so personal and subject to change). If it’s your first one, I’d go for notch as it’s safer
I noticed that you mostly use Solindo and Caliendo for casual jackets. What do you think about using a tailor from Naples for a business or dinner suit? Or you have used them and written about them but I missed out on the post.
I haven’t, no. It can be very stylish as a suit or dinner jacket, but they are more casual and I prefer the sharp English look
is a white dress shirt seen through an unlined hopsack or fresco jacket? Is a dark canvas a must for a navy jacket, because a normal canvas can be seen through?
No, on most hopsacks a normal canvas should be fine
Hi Simon, do you have references of this wonderful fabric? Thank you.
No, but all hopsacks are pretty much alike. As long as it’s a summer weight and navy, I wouldn’t worry about picking one in particular
Are you happy with the choice of structure for this jacket? I am commissiong a single breasted jacket in a similar fabric, but was thinking to have it full (light) canvassed and fully lined. Do you have any thoughts on this? Would you strongly recommend your style in stead? I am thinking to use it almost all year around at the office – this is actually my first navy sports coat, and is therefore also going to be my standard navy sports coat until I commission a navy cashmere one as well somewhere down the road.
This has a full canvas, though not fully lined. Full looking might be better for year round wear, yes
Aha, so then the see through-parts of the jacket in the one picture is the parts of the jacket without canvas. Thanks – fully canvassed and fully lined it is!
Without lining, yes
Yes, obviously without lining, but there isn’t any canvass either in the see trough-parts? Or is the canvass itself also pretty translucent so that there actually is canvass? Normally (and I guess always) the canvas doesn’t cover the whole front.
You only have canvas in the front of the jacket, narrowing down as it runs down the jacket. The dark bits you can see in the front are the canvas, covered by lining.
I am planning to commission a jacket like this in navy hopsack, but probably not DB. What kind of lining would you recommend for a summer jacket in hopsack? I am thinking quarter lined but are not really sure.
Quarter lined would be really nice, just make sure the hopsack isn’t too open in weave to show a lot of white shirt through it.
And I generally prefer matching linings or something dark and subtle, eg dark green. Bright linings are quickly regretted.
What are current prices for Elia?
Is he cheaper if one visits in Naples? If so, by how much?
Last time i paid, 3500 pounds for a suit. And no, no cheaper I’m afraid
Hi Simon, i am looking for a smart navy sport jacket or blazer that I could wear in the warmer months, spring, summer and autumn while pairing with my worsted wool suit trousers and perhaps cream chinos. What would be the most versatile fabric in your opinion that will pair well with the aforementioned trousers? Also would you suggest a sport jacket or blazer?
Thank you so much for your time!
Hi. If you want it for warmer months, I’d suggest hopsack, as shown in this post. Be careful with worsted suit trousers though – many are likely to be too smart or sleek to work as odd trousers.
What kind of tie would you wear with a navy hopsack jacket? I’m guessing grenadine is not the best given similar textures.
Good point. No, it probably wouldn’t be good, but most other options should be fine – depends on how formal you want to be
Semi formal leaning towards casual. Let’s say navy hopsack jacket made in the Neapolitan style with flat front mid grey crispaire trousers. Any suggestions? I’m not too keen on printed silk ties.
This is what the levels of formality are for!
Sounds like you’re aiming for around 3.4, in which case I would suggest a knitted silk, or perhaps a lightweight wool.
Ha! You’ve covered the exact outfit I’ve got in mind. Thanks, I’ll book mark the page.
I would like to now if worsted yarn is used for hopsack construction (and in general other open-weave constructions like fresco etc). From what I saw the hopsack-constructed blazer yarns look dry and stiff, totally the opposite of the fuzzy and warm look obtained with non-worsted yarns. However I often saw in your comments that you are making a distinction when speaking about worsted wool and hopsack. Is it a shortcut used to clearly separate the formal look obtained with worsted wool and the more casual look obtained with worsted wool in a hopsack construction, or am I mistaken in assuming that hopsack are constructed using worsted wool ?
Keep up the good work,
Good point – and it’s the shortcut. Hopsack uses worsted yarn usually (though of course it doesn’t have to – it’s just a weave in the end)
Thank you for the clarification, Simon !
At 8oz this must be the lightest cloth you have ever commissioned. Does it crease easily?
Well, most lightweight jackets are 8/9 ounce so not too different. And no, it doesn’t crease easily – it’s the aim of hopsack to be breathable yet solid enough not to crease and wrinkle
Hi Simon, what is your take on “skin fusing” used occasionally in fully canvassed jackets? It seems to be quite common in lighter weight fabrics to make tailoring a bit easier. But surely there would be a risk of delamination? I’m looking for a summer weight blazer (your hopsack blazer looks good to me).
Is it the issue of; for fabric weights X gsm, it can be done without skin fusing. So I might as well get a (summer) weight > X gsm and negate the extra insulating and stuffy layer of fusing, have an improved drape and durability (?)
I’m looking for a fabric for a navy DB blazer that will be worn almost the whole year around (but perhaps not the warmest summer days). It will be worn quite regulary so the fabric will have to be durable (and of course prefarably ”last a lifetime”).
I was thinking about a heavier hopsack, but I’m really not sure… Any suggestions?
Heavier hopsack would be good, yes. Anything with a little more texture. Cashmere too of course
Do you think it would be a good idea to have a summer hopsack jacket completely unstructured? I know bespoke tailoring merits shaping, but just curious as to what your opinion is on unstructured sport jackets.
I think there’s definitely a case for having less structure in the summer with lightweight jackets, but I would always have some canvas at the least through body and shoulder. Even if there’s no padding. My Ettore de Cesare one is like that
I have just commissioned a hopsack/fresco (310g) jacket in navy blue. At this stage, as it is the first jacket I have had made from this Neapolitan tailor, I have just had measurements taken. I opted for a half lining rather than full lining. However, I now wonder whether, given the relatively short summers in the UK, whether a full lining might not be more useful and also help to preserve the shape and line of the jacket? What are your thoughts?
I don’t think you’ll find it will make a big difference to the breathability in the UK, or to the line with something like hopsack (something softer like cashmere would be more of a concern). So I’d probably stick with it
Hi Simon – what are you thoughts on swelled edges? When are they appropriate?
Does the Hopsack blazer have sleeve lining or front living?
Do you have any photos of it and the finish of the edges?
Sleeve lining, yes, self lining in the front. No, I don’t I’m afraid
You mention your Solito cashmere as the autumn/winter version of this Hopsack summer blazer – nice twins there. If you were to pick only one navy/midnight blazer fabric to cover most of the year except perhaps for the hottest days of summer, could you name one? Think your Swiss army knife blazer. I thought I had found it in a Fox basket weave, but it turned out too delicate for extensive wear and is really a seasonal spring/summer cloth. Now I’m looking for another, less delicate one to go with flannels but also with cottons, and perhaps (though less) with linens. Fox have a 11/12 oz Hopsack that they also offer as a RTW blazer now, and a Fine Serge of the same weight. Both are blazer classics as I understand. I imagine you may have already seen both fabrics live. Any thoughts on those or other suggestions? Thanks a lot, Simon!
I think a heavyish hopsack is probably the closest you’ll come – ideally a bit more than that 11/12 oz, but that would still be good.
It would be too smart from some cottons and linens, but still very versatile. Don’t spend too much time trying to find the jacket that goes with everything – it doesn’t exist!
I am an avid reader of yours. It has been extremely helpful in building up my closet as a student starting work-life.
I have a question. I am about to commission a double-breasted blazer, but I am struggling with the choice of fabrics. I don’t want the solid (dark) navy my tailor offers, but rather something with a bit of texture. I am not sure what the rules for blazers are, and so I would like your suggestion to understand them, and hence know how to break them.
Generally most classic blazers would be blue, but frankly you can do it on anything as long as it suits your purpose – eg how smart you want to be. A bit more texture is fine
HI Simon, Could I ask about the suit, if I tailoring a wool/mohair jacket in dark navy (with a hopsack fabric) could I go suit with the hopsack fabric? Or I couldn’t? ( it’s for a wedding and business ). Additionally, the hopsack fabric can only use for jacket? Thank you in advance!
Yes, in general I wouldn’t use hopsack for the trousers – unless it was particularly heavy or robust
I stumbled upon a chocolate brown H&S hopsack jacket on the Anthology’s instagram. The bunch is called Crystal springs, which was just launched. The hopsacks in the bunch are a combination of silk, linen, and wool and seems to shed much of the wrinkling you see so much with linen. I would describe it as a more understated and less flashy version of the Italian wool/silk/linen blends that tend to have that distinct linen/silk fleckle and rough texture.
I’ve been looking for something that can cope with 70-80 degree Fahrenheit 3 season weather in the Bay Area, California that is business appropriate and this new bunch seems to be an amazing option.
Can you recommend which merchant/ mill has some plain navy hopsack in slightly heavier weights (eg. 280-350 grams)?
I tried to go through the websites for fabrics but they do not specifically categorised their fabric as hopsack.
I think Fox does if I recall correctly
Unfortunately I have checked on Fox website and it’s no longer available. Any other ones that you know of?
Appreciate for your response Simon.
No, sorry Chris
Fox does in 11oz and 15/16oz (which I own and I can really recommend for fall winter).
There is also a classic Hardy Minnis 370g perfect for 3 seasons.
There is also a hopsack in Mesh Blazer bunch by Holland & Sherry (13oz).
Hi Simon – great post.
What do you think about this hopsack fabric by Fox? Do you think this could be a good option, unlined perhaps, for an all-season casual patch pocket jacket?
Yes, that would work well
Hi Simon, I love this, but I assume because the material is so lightweight and see-through that you can only really wear with a dark shirt? I ask because I would typically stick to a white or pale blue shirt but am thinking this is going to show up through the open weave?
No it should be fine, any colour of shirt
I have a question regarding this particular color you chose for the jacket. It seems on the photographs, that the navy has a tinge of purple to it, is that right? Now I have acquired my first navy jacket (it is the open weave wool jacket from Drake’s). It seems to be the best possible starting point in terms of jackets. Now that Drake’s jacket has tinge of purple to it too, and I find that makes it a little harder to pair with other colors. For example my indigo scarf does not go very well with it. Also, when it comes to pairing the jacket with green trousers, the green needs to have a certain shade in order to work well with the jacket. Even with light blue oxford shirts, there’s some light blues that don’t work. Do you experience this too with purple tinged navy jackets oder coats? And do you have any advice in therms of pairing it with other colors?
To be honest, I’m not sure it does have a purple tinge – it’s a pretty straight dark-navy. I haven’t found it hard to combine with other colours as a result, though it’s definitely better with colder ones like white and grey, rather than warm browns or greens.
Would you have a recommendation for a heavy hopsack to make into a relaxed blazer ?
Thanks a lot!
Not a particular bunch and number, no, but they don’t vary that much between the mills, so don’t worry about not having one in particular. Just ask your tailor for their advice on one.
Thanks a lot!
Simon, could you tell me please about the buttons on the jacket, my guess is horn, is there a particular color and finish, any advice on where to purchase quality horn buttons.
Hi Cliff – they’re polished horn, though actually since I’ve replaced them with matte horn, which I prefer.
You can source most from Bernstein and Banleys – post here.
Simon, thanks appreciate it.
Simon, about to embark on having a navy hopsack jacket made in NYC, thanks for the answer on buttons earlier. Could you let me know what color you decided for your lining please, looks like you did the sleeves and across the back.
I did, and just did matching navy
So far I’ve only had linen jackets for summer (inspired in part by permanent style). I’m looking to get a similar summer navy jacket to be used mainly in the evening but I’m a bit unsure about hopsack. I’m quite a fan of fresco for suiting. It seems to wrinkle very little when travelling (or packing it like you showed in one of your videos) and when it does it quickly goes back to normal. It’s also very light and breathable.
My worry is that it will look too much like a suit jacket, rather than a standalone blazer / sport jacket. I wonder if choosing a small check or similar subtle pattern could help in this regard. Or will having patch pockets be enough?
I would avoid fresco – it’s designed as a suiting alongside hopsack designed as a jacket, often in the same bunch. Go with hopsack
Ok, thanks Simon. It’s all a bit confusing because as you mentioned hopsack is just a weave. Hudderfield’s fine worsteds hopsack is under english or italian suiting. The classification is not that important, I just want the jacket to appear as half of a suit if possible. Thanks again.
You’re right, absolutely. But most of the time it is made up as more of a jacket I terms of openness and texture
Would a 330g hopsack be too heavy for summer? I’ve seen a few form dormeuil but those under 300 tend to be mixed with silk for example.
No that would be fine, at least certainly in the UK
Mr Crompton, I was wondering if you coud tell me l, may a summer navy blazer made out from blended wool and polyester (it seems to be worsted) and which has brass buttons be paired with a medium blue jean? Thank you very much in advance.
Perhaps, but it will mostly depend on the cut – how structured and square
The color looks slightly lighter than true navy?
The difference between hopsack and mesh is that hopsack is smoother, right? Is mesh a subcategory of hopsack?
They’re just slightly different weaves, not a subcategory of each other. Hopsack is often smoother, but it’s a tiny difference.
I’d say mine is true navy – the light may just make it look lighter. If you’re in doubt, go for the darker navy.
I am contemplating on having a classic navy blazer commissioned and I am keen on the hopsack fabric, partially lined. I know the fabric is associated with warmer climates but would you say the blazer could be worn in three seasons. I am based in London. Is there a particular weight range you would recommend for hopsack blazers.
Yes, it could probably be worn in three seasons, if you layer it in colder seasons for example.
I’d look for a hopsack around 11oz in that case, if possible
Thank you for you response regarding the hopsack blazer, another follow up question is would you recommend a navy or midnight blue? Also from your experience which fabric supplier provides the ideal hopsack fabric, Holland and Sherry maybe?
Dark navy – not something that looks the same as black, which midnight blue should.
Hopsacks don’t vary much between makers. Just look for a colour and weight you like
I’m looking for sport coat / blazer for daily communication, located in tropical area, considering lightweight , comfort and durability, currently choosing between cotton and hopsack. Could you help me with some advises, does hopsack wear out easily?
No, hopsack shouldn’t wear out easily. I think the biggest difference between those two is that hopsack will be much smarter than cotton. Hopsack is more office wear, cotton not.
Hi Simon. How come with hopsack it is only spoken/written about in a navy color? I am just curious. Does it not look as good in other colors? Would a hopsack jacket look good in different shades of brown? Or other colors?
Good point. It can look good in other colours, yes, but generally looks best in navy. A very dark brown would be nice
Hi Simon, is this the Loro N690050?
I will very much like to get the same fabric as yours.
I can’t recall Daz, but bear in mind this jacket was made a long time ago and cloths change every 1-3 years usually.
Just focus on the weight and the colour, not the mill or the code.
This is a beautiful jacket, Simon.
Whilst I appreciate there will always be an inherent difference between English and Neopolitan made garments, is there an English tailor whom you’d recommend to make something similar?
My instinct says Gieves & Hawkes, Michael Browne or Whitcomb & Shaftesbury might all be good options, but I’m happy to be told otherwise.
I think it depends what you mean by similar Ravi – similar in what ways? Because as you say, Neapolitan make and cut is very different, and those three tailors all make different styles again.
Fair point, Simon.
I think I mean similar in terms of cut and finish. In other words, something that will look more casual than a typical English jacket (which presumably means patch pockets and only minimal shoulder padding and canvassing) and can be worn in summer/warm climates (which presumably means unlined at the front).
On second thought, Michael is probably a bit too stylised for something like this, so perhaps Davide or Whitcomb might be more appropriate.
Davide would be more similar to Michael, so of these I’d recommend Whitcomb. But I still wouldn’t say it would be that similar in terms of cut to a Neapolitan like this. It would still be a fairly typical English jacket – the structure can vary, but the cut doesn’t really
Hi Simon, does Holland and Sherry or anyone, do nice navy hopsack cloth like yours?
Yes they do. Look at the Holland & Sherry ‘mesh’
Much appreciated, Simon.
I’ve returned to this a few times because it is such an attractive way to cross the smart/smart casual divide. I am a little concerned that hopsack would not be hardwearing enough for me. What difference in effect and look would you think I’d get using fresco for the same style jacket?
Fresco looks rather smarter – I wouldn’t recommend it for a jacket. It’s really designed as a suiting.
If you’re worried about how hard hopsack would wear, I’d suggest just getting it one level up in weight.
So sorry I realise I didn’t thank you. I have gone for a Spring Ram which I hope will have the more casual look and being heavier will be hard-wearing as you suggest. I have just ordered a pair of off the peg high twist trousers in English made cloth from Berg and Berg so will see how it all works when I get my second fitting next month.
Nice, good to know Ian. Let me know how it all turns out.
Hi Simon. I will be making an order for a navy hopsack jacket. I have a meeting with Sartoria Vergallo this week. I will also order light grey crispaire trousers. I am going for a semi-formal, smart casual look. What kind of neckties go with this outfit? Brighter colored printed silk ties, knitted silk ties, shantung ties?
I am also thinking of getting a pair of Irish linen trousers in a khaki or beige color. Would the same ties work with the linen trousers and navy hopsack jacket? Or does the linen trousers make the outfit a lot more casual, so better without neckties?
And sorry just one more question. It is my first time to order a summer specific jacket, so I am not sure about what type of canvas and lining to choose. Could you provide some suggestions?
Thanks in advance for your help!
Sounds like you’ve made some great choices.
To be honest almost any colour and material of tie could work with that first combination. I struggle to think of any that wouldn’t, from bright prints to woollen knits, and everything in between.
You might want to be more casual with the linen trousers, yes, but even then most ties would work. Just fewer of the smartest ones perhaps (dark, silk, simple patterns).
A lightweight canvas should be good, but you can be led by the tailor there. And whether to have a lining or not kind of depends on how important it is for this to be very cool for you – how much you’ll wear it in hot weather.
You can see some more on linings here.
Hello! Do you have any good hopsack weaves recommendation in navy?
i am looking something Matte and casual jacket
The one I used here was a Loro Piana hopsack, and I’ve also used a Holland & Sherry mesh, which was very similar – on this jacket.
Hopsacks don’t really vary much, so there’s no need to get a specific cloth recommendation. Just look at those two or a similar bunch, and make sure you get the darkest navy. Then a weight around 8-10oz, presuming you want something lightweight for Summer.
I hope that’s what you were after
Thanks for the reply,
May I ask do you find the Holland and Sherry mesh jacket closer to the black colour? Is yours in navy or midnight? Thank you
Bear in mind that colours can change a little when books get refreshed, but mine was the midnight. That’s the classic smart colour, a dark navy
Are the shoulders spalla camicia (i.e. like shirts) ? It’s hard to tell from the pictures.
Yes they are
Hi Simon, I wonder what is the lapel width around 4.5″? There’s no Neapolitan DB jacket in the style breakdown to compare with.
Sorry, you mean is this width 4.5 inches? It’s in storage but I can try and check
Hi yes, that’s what I meant sorry. I understand it might be difficult to check until summer. I’m ordering a similar jacket soon (so it can be ready by spring), hence me asking at the moment. This will be the first such DB so I don’t think my SB are a good guide and I like the look of this one (and our sizing is similar)
OK, I’ll try to get it to check next time I’m getting stuff Noel
Great, thanks Simon!
How does the tailor fix the vent issue. It seems like there wouldn’t be enough cloth since there are no inlays at the point where there is supposed to be overlap.
There is often inlay on the underside flap, from the side of the jacket. That can be extended a little. Also, if the hips and waist are let out a little bit, the vent hangs straighter which helps too. But you can’t change it radically
Hi Simon, I am considering making a wool jacket that can be worn around between March through mid-October in the UK. Since early March, I have enjoyed wearing a 10oz wool jacket, but I am not sure whether this would be still suitable for autumn.
I am not keen on the fabric, and I thought it would be great to hear your suggestions for the jacket’s weight and type of fabric.
That kind of wool is what I’d suggest first. Are you saying you don’t like it as a quality, or that you don’t like the particular pattern/quality
Sorry, I meant what kind of fabric weight would you suggest. I am considering choosing between slightly heavier or lighter weight than I currently wears.
I see. I wouldn’t go much lighter than what you have. But you could go for a hopsack as shown here, or a wool/silk/linen, and either way even at 9/10 oz it would be very cool
In general, in what temps hopsack can work (unlined to quarter lined)? 30-40C?
Do you think 100% Alpaca by Piacenza, fully canvassed and quarter lined in 300g will be too warm?
It’s hard to be precise Henry, as people are happy on different things, but yes hopsack is one of the few things that could deal with those temperatures, and if it is that hot you probably don’t want Piacenza alpaca, even if it is fairly light
Why did you decide on lighter contrasting buttons here but darker matching ones in your Caraceni Navy DB?
Because I was going for more of a blazer look, but that felt a little over the top on this jacket, which is a more luxe cloth and has a more dramatic style
I see thanks Simon. I have a similar hopsack jacket being made and wondered what sort of shade should the horn buttons be (I’m not a fan of brass buttons). Would you say the club blazer look is more summery and perhaps a bit more informal ?
Yes, I would. I’d go with something darker, certainly at first. You can always change it later if you want
Ok, so does that mean that if you were making this hopsack jacket again today you would choose darker buttons Simon ?
I would do, yes
I am meeting with Steven Hitchcock on Monday during his LA trunk show. Perhaps you could help me with my confusion.
I am still looking for a jacket and cloth that I can wear all year in California. Most of the cloth mentioned for this climate have been linen and cotton (hopsack?). It seems in order to benefit from the inherent properties of these cloths to go unlined and without a canvas? Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of getting a bespoke jacket?I assume the jacket would look best with a canvas and lining. I assume Steven would want to use canvas and lining to structure a sport coat. Any recommendations on the cloth of choice?
Yes, Steven would certainly want to use canvas, though he would suggest lining only in the front of the coat. This is what I would suggest in a bespoke jacket too.
There are plenty of wool materials for warmer climates, such as hopsack, or other materials like wool/silk/linen or wool/linen mixes. I’m sure Steven will have plenty of these to show you.
two inquiries about jackets that are self-lined in the front: I’ve always thought that this self-lining ends with side seams of jacket, not before (in order for canvas etc. to be unreachable). But with this jacket it seems ending well before. Is it different with DBs or standard with self-lined jackets you have encountered? Or is it variable, do you have any preference?
I’m thinking about having a DB jacket made from W. Bill shetland tweed herringbone with the front self-lined, for aesthetic purposes (lined sleeves, unlined back). Despite not being lightweight cloth (it’s not intended to be a summer jacket) I think that it should not be too thick to be impractical, what do you think, please?
It always has to cover the canvas, but usually the canvas doesn’t run all the way to the side seam all the way down. It also varies a little with makers – an English tailor might go further round with their canvas.
Whether it’s too thick with the tweed depends on how heavy and spongey it is. I’d worry a bit more about whether it would catch on the front, but maybe you’ve tried a partially lined jacket like that before?
I haven’t, Simon, but the cloth doesn’t have so much nap, I think friction wouldn’t be a problem. I worry more about warmth double cloth on DB may bring about. Maybe I should play it safe with the bemberg lining, after all.
Oh sorry, didn’t note it was a DB. Yes I would go with regular lining then
I know you have responded to various versions of this question countless times already. However, to me – and apparently also to many others – the idea of a three-way suit is probably just too tempting to let go.
I understand your general reply has been that one should not try to cover too much with one suit, or one will risk that it will do nothing very well. Specifically, I understand the problem will normally be either that the jacket will not work on its own due to lack of texture (as would be the case with most high twists, flannels, cavalry twill, etc.) or that the trousers will be too delicate (as would be the case with most cashmere). On that basis your advice seem to be that you think that three-way suits primarily can work in linnen and corduroy.
I have seen some other menswear sites (none of which are half as good as yours) advicing that navy hopsack is great for a suit where both trousers and jacket can also be worn separately. I have also noted that you have held that hopsack rarely makes for good trousers as the weave is often too open and therefore too delicate.
I appreciate that hopsack is only a weave and therefore can vary greatly based on what it is made of as well as tightness and weight. My question is whether you think that a heavier wool hopsack (as is typically included in suiting bunches as opposed to jacket bunches) could actually work quite well both as a suit and as an odd jacket. I was thinking of something like https://apparel.hollandandsherry.com/en/fabric/use/suits/6218056-city-of-london-navy-hopsack or https://apparel.hollandandsherry.com/en/fabric/use/suits/6519056-classic-worsted-navy-hopsack.
I guess there potentially are some qualifications that could be made here relating to the styling of the jacket as well as the particular tradition of the navy blazer often being made up in a relatively smooth material. I was thinking of something relatively casual with a neapolitan style shoulder, patch hip pockets and brown horn buttons.
The cloths linked to above are obviously not summery weights. However, do you still think that the openness of the weave could make them sufficiently airy to be suited during summer (in Scandinavia – so rarely more than 25 degrees centigrades)?
Would a jacket like this be too smart to be worn with jeans?
What a wonderful question. So nice when someone has read everything, understood everything, and suggests a very pertinent exception.
You are right, with some small qualifications.
In general, I give all the advice that you repeat here, because I want readers to avoid making expensive mistakes. Often they are spending more than they normally would on tailoring, and on something they can’t try on, and I don’t want them to waste their money.
But there will always be exceptions here and there.
A heavier hopsack is certainly one of them. Hopsacks vary, as you say, and a softer or more open one might make for trousers that don’t wear very well. But most of the time they should be fine – ie if they’re not getting very heavy wear.
The only real issue with a three-way hopsack suit is that the jacket will be quite smart. For a material to work as trousers, it is usually a little dense and sharp, as you understand. This means that the jacket will be too. Even if the jacket is in the casual make and style that you describe, it would not be something I would wear with jeans. It is more something to wear with traditional tailored trousers – the kind of clothing worn more for business, at least in the past.
Still, for you it might still be a good option. Perhaps a 3-way like this and then at some point, one in corduroy, would tick all boxes?
Let me know if you think this might be worth a full post at some point.
Thanks a lot for the comprehensive reply!
As I understand, you believe that even a more mid- to lightweight hopsack (such as for example the VBC hopsack at 280 g) may at least make a decent two-way suit: One can have a useful suit for as long as the trousers last (and they might last longer if the jacket is also worn separately). If and when the trousers are worn out, one will still have a useful odd jacket.
I guess that is an important reason for why the idea of a three way suit seems so attractive: As you pointed out in your reply, tailoring can be a relatively serious investment. Being able to use (ideally) both the jacket and the trousers separately is then a strategy to mitigate risk on that investment: If something happens to either part which makes it unwearable, you will still have a part of the investment intact. (I agree that your main point is more important still: If doing a three-way suit means making a compromise that makes neither a great suit nor a great jacket, the investment will easily be wasted to a greater extent.)
Obviously, there are a number of cloths that would make great two-way suits where the trousers could be worn separately (high twists, flannel, cavalry twill and whipcords, etc.). However, unless one has as much tailoring as you do, that is not necessarily so useful as the trousers would normally wear out before the jacket and one then is left with only half a suit. (I know the traditional advice of ordering two pairs of trousers with suits. However, I never get to doing it – it just feels too boring filling up the wardrobe with duplicates.)
Based on the number of questions you have received over the years relating to these issues, I would believe that this might be worth a full post at some point. Then you could gather the advice that you have given over the years in one place and have somewhere you could link to when similar issues are raised again. Potential exceptions and qualifications could also be discussed in the comments.
Thank you RSM, I will do so in that case
I’m from Sydney and got myself one of such jackets only single-breasted. I absolutely love it due to its versatility. My question is, if I don’t want to wear anything heavier/warmer than such a hopsack jacket, what would be the alternative choice? I’m wearing my current one too often and need a second option.
Nice to hear Nick. Do you want something equally as smart? Few things will be quite as smart as a navy hopsack, but if you look at my list of five jackets, I’d say a really dark brown with a subtle pattern might be your next best choice.
Do you think the cloths below have enough texture to possibly bridge the gap between smart and casual?
It depends how casual you mean Jack. If you mean for wearing with chinos and jeans, then no. As I said, I don’t think any mills offer something like that in summer, except some linens
I was thinking of wearing it with dress cotton or linen trousers. I gave up searching for a dark brown summer cloth which would go nicely with jeans…
Have you had any experience using 50%wool, 50% linen or similar proportion cloth for the jacket? If so, how did you find it compared to wool silk linen? For some reason, I find most of the dark brown hopsack cloths I have seen in person look like they should be part of a suit.
Yes, hopsack is nearly always going to be smarter.
Wool/linen is great, and pretty similar to w/s/l, just without that little bit of lustre from the silk
Have you tried Sisal mix with wool and linen from Caccioppoli? I have never heard of Sisal before, and it seems like they are using it instead of silk for their other jacketing bunch.
No I haven’t, sorry