Stoffa suede flight jacket – Review

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Friday, June 9th 2017
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Readers will be familiar with how excited I was about trying Stoffa - the made-to-measure company run by ex-Isaia man Agyesh Madan - now he is doing trunk shows in London. 

Agyesh's aesthetic is beautiful, simple and modern, with jackets and trousers that all work well together and feel contemporary yet subtle.

Perfect for a man that cares about elegance but wants something other than tailoring. 

For more on the Stoffa range, and particularly colour combinations, see my previous post here

The purpose of this post, then, is to review the navy-suede jacket I bought from Agyesh on his first visit. 

As he brings a large range of models, I was already familiar with the quality of the lambskin suede (very good), of the hardware (nice, but modern not traditional) and the finishing (also very good). 

The questions, therefore, were really just how good the fit was on the jacket I received, and my observations on wearing the style. 

On fit, the jacket was perfect. Close but not tight on the shoulders, a nice line through the waist, good length on the hips, and sleeves perfect also. 

When something is perfect like this, my feeling is almost of calm, rather than excitement. Relief, perhaps, that the piece I was looking forward to doesn't have any issues, won't annoy me, won't have to go back for changes. 

It feels, perhaps most strongly, that this is how made-to-order garments should be.

It's not bespoke, it's not a blank canvas, so the small changes we are making should be executed perfectly. 

It was also useful to hear Agyesh's experiences around fit, and therefore what he recommends. The shoulders are likely to give a little, for example, being soft suede and put under a certain amount of pressure. But the waist is unlikely to. 

Finally, this is not the end of the fit process. Agyesh positively encourages people to come back in a few months' time and look at the fit all over again. 

There are a couple of make points on the make that we discussed. 

One is the lining, which is a fine cotton in both the body and arms. This is wonderfully comfortable over a T-shirt, but is difficult to get on over a shirt. 

Agyesh said they had looked at many different, silkier options (which would mostly be synthetics) but didn't have anything they really liked aesthetically, would be just as comfortable, and would wear well. 

I see his point, and it certainly suits the polo shirts he often wears his with; but personally I would go for a silk lining, or only silk in the sleeves. 

The other point was the hardware, which is a brushed, grey metal. This feels more modern than most aviators and bomber jackets we cover here on Permanent Style, and may also be more to the taste of many guys. But if I could choose I would probably prefer brass. 

There were far more manufacturing points that I absolutely love, however. 

One is the collar, which is oversized, has a properly collar stand, and a reinforced seam in the back.

These combine to create a collar which stays up, yet folds elegantly down on the points in the front. 

Another is the hip pockets, which are made of one piece of suede curving over the top and inside. (The body of the pocket, not the flap.)

It's a small thing, but this rolled finish means you appreciate the softness of the suede every time you put your hands in the tops. 

My last thought on the style - and one that will likely evolve over time - is whether the flight-jacket cut suits someone of my build. 

The cut is relatively short, close on the shoulders, and adds bulk to the waist with the oversized, bellows-style pockets. 

This has the effect of making the waist look bigger and the shoulders smaller - the opposite proportions of tailoring.

Even a traditional blouson is more similar to tailoring, as it sits tight and high on the waist, before ballooning in the chest and upper body. 

I think the Stoffa flight-jacket cut works well on Agyesh, and other friends I've seen that are shorter. But I'm slightly unsure of it on me. 

However, the double zip on the jacket does allow one to play with these proportions: creating a single-point waist as a jacket would have, or a long line; changing the length of that line and moving it up or down the body. 

So there are plenty of possibilities there. 

Oh, and I'd also highly recommend navy as a colour for a suede jacket.

Tan and dark-brown are far more common, but in an age when men might wear something like this to the office, navy is smarter and almost as versatile.

Stoffa will be back in London in around five weeks. Keep an eye on the Trunk Shows page for details. 

The jacket cost $1500. It would be less in cotton or linen (which both now come with half linings).

Photos by Karl-Edwin Guerre of Guerrisms

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Oliver

Any particular reasons you went for this style over the asymmetric version?

O

Anonymous

E

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

I would be much grateful to hear your thoughts on Stoffa’s field jacket in dark brown suede. I am seriously considering it but it is quite an investment for me.

What do you think of the design and its versatility? Would you buy one?

Thanks.

Anonymous

Thank you. Would you mind elaborating on the collar point? Why do you miss it so here? For instance your vintage M65 field jacket does not have a collar (I think) and you seem to be happy with it. Don’t want to appear rude, just trying to get the whole picture and the full benefit of your kind advice and very considerable experience. Thanks again.

Luca

Hi Simon! I love the jacket and I have been looking for something similar (aviator, bomber, harrington, etc.) for really long time (not necessarily in suede). I have tried many options (including PWVC) but being very tall (197cm.) and slim they are always far too short. This seems to be a very good option even if I am afraid I might face the stlyle problem you mentioned; maybe short jackets are just not for me…
When it comes to the fit, in the 6th picture, sleeves seems to me a bit too short; don’t you think?
Thanks and regards.
Luca

O

Simon, if you were considering buying a new overcoat to be your main winter coat, for wear both over both tailoring during the week and knitwear at the weekend, would you go for the asymmetric coat? Or would you aim to get something made bespoke (perhaps something like your loden Vergallo)? Thanks for your help.

martin

what kind of structure is in the Stoffa overcoat in Wool Simon? There is some sort of canvas or just nothing there at all?

simon

I have to say I’m more than happy with mine. For me it’s the proportions of the collar and pockets that really set this jacket apart from others. Their trousers are definitely worth a try too, especially when you consider the price.

Rups

Simon, is the brown jacket at top of page also stoffa? Is this a trial jacket?

You mentioned Agyesh encourages people to return after a few months to look at fit. If there’s an issue would they adjust the jacket back in the factory? How much in terms of adjustment can be made in a leather jacket?

How much are similar jackets in cotton or linen?

Rups

Felix Eggert

Hey Simon,

Encouraged by the latest „best brands“ votes and their comments, I am looking into Stoffa.

Any chance you got to confirm the cotton and linen prices?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers, Felix

Pat

Hi Simon,

Can Length be lengthened to a extent then? I’m hoping to length a tad on a jacket from them

Anonymous

Interesting. With the tailored trousers you have on it doesn’t work – for the very reasons you outline in your concerns. However there is an upside; suede can work well (indeed is at its best) with denim and, secondly, heavy cotton chinos. Before making a strong decision please try some shots with this form of trouser. The reasoning is that the looser, heavier fabrics will add balance to the width in the cut and the full bellows pockets (always a danger if too large). The silhouette could have done with more shaping and smaller pockets. One last thought; the flight/ US bomber jacket came about in WW 2 – an era when trousers were cut loose and wide – the silhouettes therefore matched. If items such as these are to be stylishly reinvented then cut, colour and fabric need to be re-imagined to allow for it to take its place within a contemporary silhouette.

Anonymous

Simon, would you class the pockets as being bellowed? The construction is such that a panel is cut out of the front of the jacket and it’s almost as if they are inlays. In my opinion this reduces a lot of bulk.

JB

Adding to that note, it’d be interesting to see some full body shots, as it’s easier to get a clearer image of full proportions.
Jacket looks beautiful.

Alex

An unrelated question: for a first brown jacket, would you go for a dark brown, say the colour of your dalcuore crispaire, or a mid brown, like the Richard James cashmere? For versatility and anonymity.

Joseph

Regarding the length of the cut, we’ve seen you rock similarly short jackets before. (Your leather jacket by Davide at G&H comes to mind.) There are substantial differences such as the presence of bulkier front pockets here, but the style points may be fundamentally similar enough. Anyway, great review as always Simon. Cheers on the new jacket!

JJ.

Hi Simón

Do you plan to comission any field jacket from Stoffa? They looked great in previous posts

Cheers

Ben

Simon, could you kindly state the total length of the jacket (excluding collar)? I ask because it appears to be a tad on the short side; perhaps a result of style?

Thank you,

Ben

Jay

Hi Simon,
How do you maintain your suede jackets and shoes?

Jay

Thank you. Yes, a detailed post would be very informative.

Phil

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the detailed article. I’m thinking about reserving a place for upcoming London trunk show and I would appreciate your thoughts on a cotton (rather than suede) field jacket. Also would you still go for navy on a cotton base?
Thanks
Kind regards

Phil

JB

Now that you’ve had the jacket for a while, it’d be interesting to read your follow up thoughts on the fit and style as you had your doubts here. Also, I imagine the jacket will have softened up slightly with use, has that affected the fit and feel in any way good or bad?

JB

That’d be interesting for sure. Thanks

Arthur

Hi Simon,

I’ve been looking for a suede field jacket for sometime and, given the expense of it, have been very cautious. I will be contacting Stiffs to see about commissioning something, but wanted your take on colour. I am leaning towards Navy, but am also considering a miss or forest green.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this as seen from appearance, impact (how one colour would look over the other, of that makes any sense) and versatility – not just with other colours, but also in terms of occasion.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers.

Arthur

Arthur

Thanks Simon. So brown would be more versatile overall, but blue more able to cross the casual divide over into more formal occasions?

Patrick

Hi Simon,

Following up on the points above re colour choices- I have an appointment with Stoffa tomorrow so would appreciate your views…..

90% of my trousers are different shades of grey, that being- what colour would go best with them?
I know you said dark brown is the most versatile..will this still be the case?

I’m actually thinking about either dark brown, dusty green, Taupe, Cement or Anthracite…..

Thanks

Patrick

Thanks Simon,

I may have a A1 jacket done in brown suede…so lastly I was wondering what do you think of Anthracite? Since I wear grey trousers alot, will it be too much grey action going on?
Not considering brown as I know brown works- out of Anthracite or Dusty Green, which colour would be best for grey trousers?

Arthur

Hi Simon, following up again as my Stoffa appointment is next week, my trousers are in cream, gray green, brown (various shades), gray and blue. Plus chinos in khaki, olive, dark violet, gray and blue. Whew! Would brown still be the most versatile choice for all that? Please excuse me if I seem a bit redundant. Thanks as always.

Arthur

Thanks Simon. The tailored trousers in cream and green are thanks to your posts on odd trousers!

Just a thought. If a field jacket in brown suede is the most versatile, would a navy one in wool/silk (which Stoffa also makes) be a good second project for a smart field jacket?

AS

The jacket looks great, but do you know if it’s possible to have one made without the extrernal pockets?

rups

Its a great design … apart from the pockets which are bellow pockets which make the lower potion of the jacket look even more billowy than it already is with this type of short jacket. Stoffa seems to love using these pockets! Wish they’d get rid of them and replace with a normal one!

Peter

I’m inclined to agree on the issue of morphology but when did everyone have ideal proportions? I think that the detail that kills this project is the pockets especially with the addition of the bellows feature. Had these been substituted for a traditional side seam entry but with more volume in the torso I think it would have worked better. All credit to the designer for capturing the pocket into the waistband but in this instance it hasn’t been enough.
The collar is another great piece of craft but again I feel too large.
I would reference the Baracuta Harrington as a sublime example of simplicity that works I’m gabardine and perhaps this is the problem. Too much emphasis on erroneous detail at the expense of form following function.

Anonymous

Wonderful jacket – yet the way you’ve worn it has done no justice

Woody

Hi Simon,

Usually, do high-end leather jackets have canvas, let’s say from Chapal, Valstar or Stoffa? If so, is there differences between it and the canvas from a normal suit? Also, could you compare the leather quality of those 3?

Thanks!

Bernie

Hi Simon,

You have expressed exactly my own sentiments regarding the Stoffa flight jacket and all similar variations like the Valstar blouson and etc. At the end of the day, these jackets always bloom near the hips, creating an inverse V shape, which is unflattering. Only the likes of Andrew Weinas, with his muscular physique, can get away with wearing a Valstar and display strength.
For the rest of us mortals, these jackets simply don’t do us any favors and make us look more feminine by creating the impression of short & weak shoulders and large hips.

One solution I’ve found is craftsmanclothing’s suede moto jacket:

Pic 1: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQLampeBAYl/
Pic 2: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQKlUTtBbF9/
Pic 3: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVHew99Akf_/
Pic 4: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQNKDfwBMOa/

Let me know your thoughts! Planning to get it in dark brown, then beige. As you mentioned earlier, navy looks unusual in suede despite being a smarter color.

Bernie

Hi Simon,

Do you have an examples of a blouson without the pocket bulk that does not compromise the V silhouette? Craftsman’s A1 grant has the same problem as the stoffa jacket and I honestly have never seen anyone being flattered by a blouson except Andreas.

I have wide shoulders but a small chest and a bit of a protruding belly so I think the blouson won’t work for my body type. A blouson without the bulk would be close to the shape of a Moto Jacket but with buttons instead of zippers.

mike

Would you consider wearing this with navy cotton trousers from and a grey knit, rather than the image posted above?

mike

Simon,

Thank you for your input. Would you apply this same reasoning to all versions of the color blue? For example, stoffa carries a slate blue trouser. Do you think there would still be difficulty in distinguishing the navy suede from a cotton slate blue?

Bernie

Hi Simon,

Have you tried wearing the jacket with it zipped in the middle (unzipped in the pocket area to minimize flaring)? I’ve seen some people on IG and the Stoffa models wearing it that way and it definitely improves the silhouette.

Bernie

I see. That certain zipping style tends to stand out since it is so unusual. That’s my only gripe.

Noel

Hi Simon,

I quite like their field jacket and I’m attracted to the sand colour, but I fear it will be of limited use. While I understand that brown, navy or dark green har more flexibility I want something a bit more interesting while still being useful. Such a jacket would be used mostly casually, with a shirt underneath and chinos at its most formal. Would you still consider sand an inflexible colour ? Would it be problematic to wear it in the evenings?

Noel

Thanks Simon.
I do have a cotton field jacket already, so it might be more acceptable to have a less versatile piece in the collection.

Do you ever choose less versetile colours because you like it and / or you already own a similar, more versatile piece ?
Would you still consider sand as a wereable colour ?

Parth

Hi Simon: thanks for this post. Do you think the flight or the asymmetric jackets would look as good in cotton or linen? Is there any obvious drawback to them? I’d love to get the suede or woolen version but they’re too expensive for me… Thank you for your help in advance.

Anonymous

Simon, what do you think of Stoffa´s new, limited edition suede overshirt (https://stoffa.co/products/edition-001-suede-overshirt-navy?variant=31334418481263)?

Anonymous

Thanks. Judging from the pictures, what do you think of the style of the over shirt? Would you say it’s versatile?

Thibault

I was wondering how the Valstarino (not necessarily the reversible version) compares to the Stoffa jacket regarding what you said about the: “a relatively short cut, close on the shoulders, and adds bulk to the waist with the oversized, bellows-style pockets”?
since the Valstarino has these bellows-style pockets as well and I might be mistaken, but they look less bulky on the Valstorino.

This has the effect of making the waist look bigger and the shoulders smaller – the opposite proportions of tailoring.

Thibault

I was wondering how the Valstarino (not necessarily the reversible version) compares to the Stoffa jacket regarding what you said about the: “a relatively short cut, close on the shoulders, and adds bulk to the waist with the oversized, bellows-style pockets. This has the effect of making the waist look bigger and the shoulders smaller”?
Since the Valstarino has these bellows-style pockets aswell and I might be mistaken, but they look less bulky on the Valstarino.

Ollie E

Hey Simon,

A slightly unconventional question maybe- but is this (or the asymmetric version) something you could replace a jacket with under an overcoat in order to be a touch more casual?

Best wishes,
Ollie

Flynn

Hi Simon,

I’m interested in your experience with the Stoffa suede – not so much the quality (which appears to be top-notch by all accounts) – but how its aged and the maintenance. I’ve learned that Stoffa lamb suede is pre-treated to be moderately water resistant – except for the olive/army green colour, which is what I have.

Have you used a waterproofing spray, like Saphir Super Invulner, on your Stoffa jacket? I use it on my Valstarino without any ill effects but was hoping to hear about personal experiences on Stoffa’s suede.

Many thanks.