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Blousons come in many shapes and sizes, but they are united by a short length, fuller body and collar. 

Blousons work particularly well with higher-waisted tailored trousers, and for that reason make a great casual alternative to a tailored jacket. I'm wearing my suede blouson here with Incotex chinos, but often wear it with higher-waisted trousers - flannels in the winter, high-twists in the summer.

The close waist is particularly satisfying for someone used to fitting jackets to their body - larger or longer jackets can seem to swamp you by contrast.

Blouson suede travel2

If the blouson has a two-piece collar, as this one does, it is often best when oversized - certainly much larger than you would expect from the proportions of tailoring.

That's one thing I would change about my bespoke leather jacket from Gieves & Hawkes (shown below). Davide and I consistently cut back the collar from his original drawings, but we should have kept it large from the start. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 21.12.32

The setting is Padua, just outside Venice, which myself, Michael Hill and James Munro of Drake's were staying in while we visited the Belvest factory just outside.

Trips abroad are a great excuse to take some shots on location, so James and I had some fun around the city finding beautiful walls and colonnades to shoot against. 

Blousons are also great for travel because they can be worn with the the same tailored trousers as a jacket, so you need only take one pair if you want to travel light.

And they usually have handy pockets, although of course suede is not the most practical of materials in other respects. Fortunately there was no forecast of rain. 

Suede blouson jacket

The blouson is from Ralph Lauren Purple Label. The tobacco suede goes well with almost any colour of trouser, but is particularly nice against cream. 

The grey cashmere sweater is from Anderson & Sheppard, with a Sunspel T-shirt underneath. 

Weekender bag from Bennett Winch, 'Starsky' glasses from EB Meyrowitz.

Suede jacket with Rolex GMT copy

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Great post as always Simon1
That blouson is perfection! I’ll certainly look for this the next time I’m in Ralph Lauren! The photos came out really great too!


Whoops! That’s meant to be an exclamation mark.


Excellent jacket Simon.Are you wearing suede shoes with the ensemble?Desert chukkas boots would be nice.


What are your thoughts on nylon or cotton (and nylon) blend blouson sold on high street ?

Would you always favour pure cotton or is it excusable to allow some artificial fibre ?


Hi Simon,
This is a great piece! I have one that I bought years ago in Paris. In my experience, the best time to wearing it is Autumn! Now I just wonder what type of maintenance do you apply for yours.


I have a newly -found obsession with suede. What are your thoughts about spraying suede jackets?


Hi Simon,

A little off topic.

Regarding Incotex chinos. I note in past posts that you state to avoid going for the slim or skinny leg. However on various website such as Mr Porter, etc they stock little else other than the four season, relaxed fit (straight leg).

Are you still of the opinion of sticking with the straight leg incotex chino. If so could you recommend which styles you prefer

thanks for your time


Another brand well worth looking at that I think has a superior cut and finish to incotex is Officine Generale.
I bought two pairs from porter and have been most impressed. The quality, attention to detail and slightly heavier cotton make them an absolute staple.

Kev Fidler

Looks an excellent combination with the light chinos though I would be slightly nervous about travelling in case the suede gets marked.
On a totally different tack, Simon I visited the excellent Trunk and Drake’s recently. Thinking about the jackets from the likes of Lardini, Boglioli, Caruso – would you recommend those for an informal jacket or getting a MTM or bespoke from an English tailor. I am wondering about comparisons in quality and whether our tailors can replicate that style – would appreciate your thoughts, thanks.


Will any jacket from Italian makers like Boglioli have the length that you require? The ones I have seen all seem fashionably short.


Can you recommend any quality t-shirt makers who cater for taller guys?

My Sunspel t-shirts are great in most respects but, at 6’3″, I find them just a touch too short through the body.


Merz B? Their Henley’s certainly resemble old fashioned undershirts.

nick inkster

Looking good! Is this recent? Cashmere and suede in Padua in August must have been a bit on the warm side? But perfect on a chill autumnal day in the sunshine.


Completely agree on Sunspel being too short. For undershirts, I actually use the American Apparel deep v t-shirt in heather grey. It fits long, is cheap and the v is deep enough that you won’t see it with an open-neck shirt.

For outerwear, I get mine from American Giant – they are excellent quality and good value but far too thick to wear as an undershirt.


I am the same height, and have found Uniqlo’s (no joke) supima t-shirts to be a good length while comparing favourably in terms of quality.


Thanks Bjorn and Bespoken (that’s a good name for a band!) for your suggestions.

AA and Uniqlo were possibly not the quality level I had in mind but there’s no point in paying for quality materials if the fit is off.


It is not the level I normally aim for either, but they really are very good, and makes for excellent shoe polishing cloths once worn out.

Kev Fidler

Thank you for the reply, Simon.


I’m a fan of your tailored fits except in the case of this goat suede blouson. To my eyes it is a bit short in the body and sleeves and narrow in the shoulders. My preference is for suede to have a hint of a relaxed drape. A slightly relaxed fit gives suede a more luxurious and softer appearance enhancing the beauty of the skin.


Great post Simon and very jealous of the jacket.

Out of interest what watch are you wearing in the pics, I remember you saying a while ago you had a IWC Portuguese and a Cartier, unless I’m mistaken I don’t think it’s either of those, would you mind revealing!!?

Adam Jones

I agree, and i am envious of that GMT. This week I bought a brand new GMT “Batman” as some call it. The modern ones just are not the same. Too big and too chunky and very showy. I do not think some of the modern sports watches will age as well (well they are ceramic so wont age at all) – needless to say the watch is being sold.


Lovely color on the blouson.


Purple t underneath.

Great idea, I have a brushed cotton bomber as well as a dark brown leather one. I will have to try it out with them.



I see in some of the posts comments about t shirts, fit and value

While I know it is your stick and trade, this is one area ‘bespoke’ is perhaps a little like using an S class Mercedes for pizza delivery. (Except for those with extreme body dimensions, I suppose)

Find a manufacturer you like (it should not take to many low cost investments) and stick with them.

I happen to think uniqlo makes fantastic t’s in a panoply of great colours, and Calvin Klein has excellent fitted ones (for me) ….

Look around, I am sure there is someone that can fit just about anyone, without have to buy the Swiss or Scandinavian brands…

Adam Jones

Apart from just changing style fit also seem to be a problem with some of those brands. I bought a riviera polo from Sunspel in a medium, great fit and no issues. Bought another a year later.. Massive. Had to size down to a small which is a bit short.. why change it. I had the same issue with 2 riveria t-shirts on your rec. They are great but I had a navy and a grey, both were sized differently. I will ignore the cost of an item if i get consistency or quality and sizing (like smedley for instance) but if I am not getting that consistency I may as well go cheap and disposable.


where else would it be a good bet to look for a RTW blouson bar RL?


Not Aero leathers?


Sorry I can’t edit posts

That’s ‘stock and trade’, obviously not ‘stick’


Hi Simon,

Is this from the current RLPL collection?


Hi Simon,

What do you think of the James Bond Morocco suede jacket in the film Spectre?


Simon, what kind of material at your cream chinos? This is pure cotton, cotton with some elastane, or a mixture of cotton with linen? What material will be better and more versatile for spring/summer season?
And one more question, how can you compare the quality of cashmere sweaters Brunello Cucinelli and Loro Piana?
Thank you.


How do you think this blouson would go with navy trousers?


I’m asking because I tried wearing a lambskin jacket (not suede) in a similar shade (just a bit more grayish, less red) with navy chinos, and it looked horrible. I’m still trying to figure out why…
Thanks for your reply


Hi Simon

I’m thinking about buying a Valstarino suede jacket and am torn between a chocolate brown one and navy one. Which colour do you think would be the most versatile? To give a bit of context, i pretty much always dress casually and wear always wear brown shoes.



Hi Simon, any recommedations on where to purchase suede for a bespoke jacket?


Hi Simon,

Is the blouson you are wearing unlined, and is tobacco suede the most versatile color, trumping even dark brown?

Also, you can ignore my other question regarding the safari jacket. After some thought, it is too dandy for me and even unlined, would be too warm to wear during summer/spring as evidenced by your comment on your Cifonelli suede sports coat.


Would you ever wear a summer hat with the suede blouson to protect your head from the sun and if so,which style would you choose?


Yes,I understand your feeling about a Panama but I’ve just tried on my suede jacket(similar to the Matchless Morocco jacket in Spectre) with a narrow brimmed Panama and also a brown straw trilby.I was surprised to find that they looked fine.I’ll have to confirm my feelings again when the weather warms up.


Which do you prefer in terms of quality and use – this blouson jacket or your navy Stoffa and why?


Hi Simon,

Would be great to know your thoughts on Drake’s Suede Chore Coat for the coming season? You can see it in this link: https://www.drakes.com/usa/clothing/coats-and-jackets/rust-heavyweight-suede-five-pocket-chore-jacket. I am considering getting it and would like to get your take on it, particularly:

1. Do you like the styling? Is it something you would personally wear?
2. The suede is very thick and not supple, and since I would usually look for the opposite, I wonder if this indicates a lack of quality or, better put, a focus on less desirable attributes?

As ever, thanks so much.


Thanks very much, Simon. It is indeed very helpful. I was actually thinking of wearing this mostly with Armoury/Incotex chinos, dressier Rota cotton trousers as well as indigo and “natural” color denim. I do have other casual jackets, though not similar in style (except for linen overshirts for the hotter months). I am also a big fan of your PS Oxford and would wear it with this. Do you think that wardrobe would work? Would wearing this with gray flannels be pushing it too much? I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of your advice.


Thanks again! I saw that piece and straight after bought a dark brown suede Valstarino, which I love and do tend to wear mostly with tailored trousers given its length.


Great article Simon ! Impossible to find a similar jacket, any clue on how/where to get it ?


Simon, would appreciate to get your thoughts on The Armoury’s suede blouson in olive green (https://thearmoury.com/products/the-armoury-wright-jacket?variant=31838922965063). Already have a dark brown suede blouson and looking for something else. Thanks


Thanks. And as to the styling of the jacket? Do you like it?


Hello Simon,

I am considering this Ralph Lauren Purple Label suede overshirt: https://www.ralphlauren.com/men-clothing-outerwear/suede-overshirt/491478.html. Would be much obliged if you could share your thoughts on:

1. How would you compare this style in terms of versatility to a blouson?
2. Between the Estate Olive and the Truffle colors, which would you go for (assuming dark brown suede is already taken care of).
3. In your opinion, could this style be worn with denim?

Thanks in advance.


Thanks very much, Simon. Completely agree on the price, $2,400 is outrageous, as most Purple Label is when at full retail. Which is why the sale at $1,000 appeals.

Two final questions: would you style it as the model wearing the brown one does (i.e., tucked into flannels or other smart trousers)?

And, do you think one could wear an additional layer on top of it, for instance one of your Donegal coats?

Thanks again


Hi Simon,

Instead of getting estate olive, if I were to get the truffle color suede overshirt, how kind of trousers color would it pair it with? Would you pair it with indigo jeans? Many thanks in advance for answering.