Dege & Skinner lightweight summer jacket: Review

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This brown wool/silk/linen jacket was made in a lightweight model that Savile Row tailor Dege & Skinner introduced last year. It has a thin shoulder pad and no chest canvas, unlike their normal tailoring. 

I can directly compare the difference, because the other piece Dege made me was a linen suit using their traditional structure. 

Granted that was in an 11oz Irish linen, heavier than this 9oz from Caccioppoli (320156). But still, the difference is much greater than that, and importantly feels similar to any jacket from a Neapolitan tailor. 

I wore the jacket last week at Pitti Uomo in Florence, where the temperature was 35 degrees (and felt hotter than that, given the airless valley the city sits in); it performed very well - not as cool as a short-sleeved linen shirt, but as good as any tailoring I’ve worn there. 

In fact, there again I could make a direct comparison, because I commissioned the jacket to replace one that Biagio Granata made me three years ago. A lack of communication and some errors had made that jacket unwearable, but I loved the muted brown colour and slightly slubby texture of the cloth. 

This Dege jacket felt just as light and breathable, so I can say with confidence that one reason Neapolitan tailoring has been so popular in recent years - its lightness in the heat - is now less exclusive. There is a Savile Row equivalent. 

Of course, many will say that the Row should have done this earlier. Neapolitan bespoke tailoring started to become popular in the UK over 10 years ago, and a less structured jacket is not revolutionary. But still, we can be glad it’s here now. 

The cut of the jacket remains very English: you don’t have the straight lapels or rounded fronts of a Neapolitan jacket. But I know there will be many readers that prefer this style. 

It’s also worth noting that you do lose something of the English style by lessening the internal structure. 

The layers of hand-padded canvas in a normal Savile Row suit give the jacket more 3D shape, with a firmer chest and sculpted shoulder. It’s inevitable that you lose that by taking out so many of the ways a coatmaker puts form into a garment.

But I feel Permanent Style readers are educated enough to weigh up these pros and cons. For me, I’d certainly go with this model if I knew a suit or jacket would be worn regularly in hotter European temperatures. If it wouldn’t be, the choice would be more marginal.

Dege’s head cutter Nicholas De’Ath has been talking to me about this lightweight project for a while, and I know it’s been through a few different permutations. 

With my jacket, Nick originally put in an extra wedge of shoulder pad at the end of the shoulders, in order to lift the ends and reduce the effects of my sloping stature. But that made them look almost concave, to my eye, so we removed them. 

There is still a small echo of that in the point of the right shoulder, and that’s something I’ll have Nick look at when I see him next. This was the jacket’s debut outing, and it was inevitable something would need a tweak. 

(Before anyone asks no, I didn’t take straight up-and-down or front-back-and-sides shots of the jacket; the fit was not the point, and was always fundamentally good, given I had that existing pattern.)

The finishing on the jacket is beautiful, and this is something that Row tailors continue to do better than anyone in the south of Italy. 

Regular readers will know how much more work it is to have a jacket unlined than lined, as lining can cover all manner of unfinished edges. Having every seam inside so precisely taped, as here, is attractively neat. 

The overall outfit is very me, very tonal and unadorned. 

At Pitti, it’s nice to wear something like this because you slip into the background. You can spend your time interviewing brands and makers with your clothes merely an elegant backdrop. 

The trousers are a cream linen made by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, in the slightly wider-leg style I wear most of the time at the moment (hem 20.5cm/8 inches).

The linen is 12/13oz from W Bill (60252), which holds a really beautiful, sharp line. The only problem is that it’s a little transparent, to the extent that you can see the pocket bags and inlay down the side seams. 

I rather like this on the side seams - it almost makes them look like a dress trouser with grosgrain down the legs - but the linen is probably not the best for something like an office environment. 

I also find linen that’s a little creamier is easier to wear, like the Holland & Sherry one I used for my Jean-Manuel Moreau suit. That’s currently not available, but I am working with H&S to try and bring it back. 

The polo shirt is a sample for a new charcoal version of the PS Finest Polo. It does just about well enough under the still stiff collar of an English suit, although it will never stay quite as upright as a shirt.

The shoes are Sagan classics from Baudoin & Lange in black suede - my default for tailoring somewhere as hot as Florence. 

And the glasses are the Californian model from EB Meyrowitz, in what they call amber mottle colour. 

Dege & Skinner bespoke jackets are the same price, whether the lightweight or regular structure, which is £3800. Suits start at £5000. 

Nick is in the US next from September 25 to October 12, in no less than 13 different cities. Contact Dege for details.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson

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John

Beautiful jacket Simon.

My two questions are regarding the sunglasses:

1) How do you find they compare to the Starsky model, and are the Californian’s your new favourite?

2) I recall you chose the Hardy model from Meyrowitz to pair with tailoring, but it looks like the Californian’s may be just as suitable?

Thanks

Steve

My goodness. $1000 sunglasses. No wonder they take center stage. And held so carefully. I can be a quality snob with the best of them, but I’m on the back foot with that one. Congratulations on your success!

John

Hi Simon, apologies for dwelling on sunglasses on a jacket review! If i have understood correctly from past posts, your ‘Starksy’ sunglasses were fitted to your size (MTM, so to speak), ‘Hardy’ were RTW, and these were also RTW? Like you, i have a relatively narrow face, and it is remarkable that these models fit you so well, if they are indeed RTW. Thanks!

John

Thanks Simon. That’s extremely interesting, and not something I had heard of before. Do you happen to know whether this reworking/manipulating is included in their service as standard? I will of course check with them.

I find glasses a tricky one. I had a pair made by General Eyewear, based on some adjustments to an existing design. However, I think I would need to have them make a further pair – refining a few points – for the fit /design to be closer to what I had hoped to achieve by going bespoke. I plan to have a pair made by Maison Bonnet for that reason; although the cost is higher, it seems the level of guidance/service they provide means that it is likely to get closer to an ideal fit. As you have discussed before, and as I am learning, the margin for error with eyewear is tiny.

Sincere thanks again.

John

Thanks again Simon, that’s extremely helpful.

José

Hi Simon, great outfit. The jacket looks very good, and they seem to have nailed this unstructured Style. Plus, it is such a pleasure to see finishing like this, it is One of those things that others don’t see but it is very rewarding for The owner. Nevertheless, even if it is not my jacket it makes me so happy to see it. The trousers look great as well. The Holland and sherry is heavier than this one? If it comes back, Will it BE available on the permanent Style shop? Also, when you were reffering to the wider fit, is it something that you are doing on all your trousers nowadays? Or you meant for your spring/summer trousers? And do they tapper ? From the images they seem to be cut straight, I quite like the cut on them.
Sorry for all the questions.
Thank you for your great job.

Ben R

How does the hem at 20.5cm/8 inches compare to your previous trouser preferences? And did you increase the width of the whole leg or just adjust the taper from the knee?

Shane

Funny you mention short sleeved linen shirts Simon… Did we see a sneak preview of the striped PS version at Pitti ? Is that still in the pipeline for this season ?

Otávio Silva

Love an English cut on more casual fabrics like this one. How would you compare the structure, lightness and comfort in the heat of this jacket to the linen suit from G&H?

Simon

Hi Simon,
The jacket looks great!
You said in the Biagio Granata review that the cloth would be better in a summer suit (and I think it was supposed to be a suit), yet you went for another jacket to replace that one in a realtively similar cloth – any reason you didnt go for the suit this time?
The colour looks a lot more subtle in the photos than on the Cacciopoli website. Do you find it easy to pair? Would it also go with a grey high-twist trouser?
Thanks

Veit

Hi Simon, I like the fabric structure of the Jacket. Looks very refined!
1) Can you recommend any great sunglasses brands in the 300 Euro range?
2) Have you written an article of how your style has evolved over the years? I think your evolution from very classic to „relaxed“ classic, smart casual and sometimes casual well reflects the long term trend of the past 10 years or so …

Veit

Yes might be interesting to geht your general perspective on this. … and your thoughts combined in one article. Eg how has your Style involved within the classic range (eg lighter Jackets, different cuts and fabrics), why did you decide to wear casuals more often and whats the ratio now compared to 5 years ago, was it a conscious process or did it happen more on a subconscious level little by little? …

Richard

Hey Veit,
I would highly recommend Persol for sunglasses. Excellent quality and many great styles at around the £200/£300 price point. Another great article Simon

MBB355
  1. How do Sagan classics hold up when you have to do a lot of walking, as I imagine you’d have to do at Pitti? I worry about the thin soles, but I love the style of the shoe.
  2. Yes, please, to a charcoal Finest Polo/Dartmoor.
  3. Great spring/summer take on the cold-color capsule (all outfits featured in that article were designed for fall/winter).
Ben

The lack of structure makes a big difference to my eye. This jacket has a much more bulbous silhouette than the tobacco linen, which I really like. Are measurement the same with both jackets? Is there room to taper this one more at the waist?

I also strongly prefer the color of the fabric of that Granata jacket. Perhaps the photos here are more desaturated but this fabric looks more gray than brown, and gray is a bit drab for a summer jacket imo.

Felix

This is a lovely jacket. What are the buttons, Simon? They don’t look like standard brown horn.

Robin

Beautiful colour cloth .
Are you able to put a link to it ?

Interesting you mention canvas, or the lack of .
I recently enquired about some RTW £1k jackets and was told they were half canvas .
At that price , having been ‘educated’ by PS , I expected full canvas but was informed that “half canvas…. made the jackets lighter and more free flowing in the seat “.

Any truth to this ?
Would you ever prefer half over full canvas, Simon ?

Chancellor

Presumably the fusing, which runs the length of the jacket, would also make it less breathable and a tiny bit more insulating.

Dan James

Lovely jacket and outfit. Very much look forward to the charcoal version of the PS Polo.

I’d like to ask a couple of questions:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had both trousers and a jacket made from 7oz wool/linen mix material and find them cooler and more comfortable than pure linen. I know you have written before on the merits of and your preference for wool/silk/linen mix for summer jackets. I would have thought that the sheen and warmth of silk would have reverse effect. Why do you prefer the three fabric mix over wool/linen?

And invisible socks or sockless?

Thank you.

David

Beautiful jacket and great to see somebody in the Row getting into softer tailoring.
Mark you, it’s expensive.
I would urge readers to take a look at Anglo-Italian’s bespoke offering.
They recently made me a jacket and the cloth, cut and quality of finish were excellent and it came in at about £2300

David

The cloth was Loro Piana.
I had 3 fittings and the fit for a first bespoke order was bang on.

Michael

I think based on website the current Bespoke pricing at AI is 2700 for a jacket.
The guys at AI are a pleasure to deal with and I’d say definitely worth a look if you’re interested in the house style.

Anon

Simon, you mention that the JMM linen is easier to wear because it is “creamier” – could you expand on what you mean by that? As in milkier/whiter? Or yellower?

And thank you so much for working with H&S to bring back the shade. Do you have a list somewhere of the various fabrics you’re bringing back? It’s such a fantastic aspect of the site, as with your Escorial tweeds effort, the oxfords and chambrays for shirts and so on.

Robert

Tried summer cream trousers once for a meet up with the guys in a restaurant for drinks. Needed to be conscious of what I sat on, leaned against, rubbing my hands on them, was it going to rain, brushing against cars in the parking lot, getting into/out of car, and of course eating/drinking stains. If I was wearing grey trousers I wouldn’t have thought twice about these things. Kind of unsettling.
Suppose I consider the scope of occasions to where them to be somewhat limited.
Note: I bought the PS Dartmoor sweater in cream about a year ago because I used the Navy and Grey constantly at work. Loved the look of the cream. Then promptly brushed a freshly polished shoe against the cream sweater leaving a faint but noticeable black streak on the arm. Haven’t even worn it once and it’s still sitting in my closet – don’t know how to fix it.
Now I’m eyeing the Fox Vintage Ecru flannel thinking – wow great contrast! Then remember that it’s cream. Ugh.
Best,
Robert

Scott

This is a beautiful jacket! Are there not any other tailors, A&S or Steven Hitchcock for example, that can make a similar type coat?

REUVEN L LAX

At least in the past, Thom Sweeney would do a similarly unstructured jacket. I haven’t followed up with them in a number of years, but I would assume that they still do. Their style will be a bit different though.

Lindsay McKee

A question on structure.
If ,let’s say, I’m going to a warm country, like Italy , mentioned in your article, (Pitti) temperature in the high 30’s, I decide on a structured jacket, can it be fully structured, even with a heavier fresco, eg Smith Finmeresco? What kind of lining also?
This may sound naive but can you please correct my terminology here Simon!!
Is it half, three quarter or full lining or canvas? I’ve forgotten which.
Thanks
Lindsay

Peter Hall

Simon, unlined jackets, with layering, and a top coat, are still a viable option for winter? Or do you need more structure?

I’m thinking that a softer structure is more appropriate for my work environment .

Lindsay McKee

Hi Simon, That answers my question well. Would a linen or hopsack jacket be much safer alternative for hotter climbs….. or Mock Leno…. don’t hear much about that fabric.
Many thanks again
Lindsay

Marco

Hi Simon,

Jacket looks nice, soft, & easy.
Pardon me for asking on trousers instead of the jacket.
You mention that your trousers is transparent, isn’t that something common especially in very light color such as cream & white?
In your experience how do you deal with that transparent ? or is it just something that you should accept?

Thanks….

David

Hello Simon, your Edward Sexton Hollywood trousers don’t have that problem do they? Do you remember the details of the fabric?

Chris Jones

Hi Simon
It seems a little narrow in the shoulders, not necessarily in terms of fit but in terms of style and elegance. It makes your shoulders look very narrow and, as a result, your head look slightly out of proportion. At the end of the day, it’s your jacket and anyone else’s view is unimportant, but it would put me off buying this type of jacket from D&S.
I once read somewhere that you shouldn’t order fish in a steak restaurant. Is it a question of, perhaps, finding an Italian tailor to make a jacket like this, rather than a long-established English tailor ?
Regards
Chris

Neil

HI Simon,
I like the greater focus in this article on suitability of the clothing / material for the weather.
For me tailoring is secondary to the primary purpose. E.g. there is no bad weather just inappropriate clothing. Although ultimately the tailoring is the distinctive factor.
Many years ago I bought a waxed linen Barbour jacket, which was not breathable and so was hot and sweaty in summer and too cold any other time. Neither use nor ornament, it looked attractive but there was never an occasion when it was wearable.
Whilst I appreciate your normal focus on style, tailoring, quality of workmanship etc. they are all important but redundant if the article does not function as clothing.
Cashmere I find too hot, roll neck jumpers are ruined by the slightest beard growth, Belts on coats always flop outside the car door and get filthy etc. etc..
I would not want you to lose your great opinions on style and tailoring, but I would like a little more of the emphasis on practicality you have shown in this article.
Neil

Craig

Simon, under the lighting, that jacket looks as much grey as brown. Great color for a sports coat. Which fabric do you prefer: this, or the H&S Dupioni silk that you recently had made up?

Craig

Yes, I didn’t realize just how slubby the Dupioni was until I saw it in person. I think I prefer the Caccioppoli for that reason.

Paul Clewrd

I love it, looks lovely.

Russ

Any suggestion on underpants to wear with trousers like that? I commissioned a beautiful pair of trousers from Edward Sexton – the fabric is wonderful, but you can see dark and white undies through it and while skin coloured ones are available for the ladies, manufacturers don’t seem to make them for guys.

Brian

Looks great snd Nick is the best. Made me an unstructured but lined the top quarter (his suggestion) and it is a dream

Raj

Great read as always Simon ,one thing that struck me was the materials ,the wool/silk/linen blend , sure it must have kept you fairly cool but I would imagine it would be pretty prone to wrinkling , especially when packing it for air travel.
How did you make it look it so good and un-creased in your photos did you iron it whilst out there or have somebody in Italy to iron it and how would you make sure it wouldn’t be damaged during the ironing process and the whole process wouldn’t shorten it’s lifespan the materials are quite delicate?

Patrick Hanrahan

Lovely jacket, cut and fabric. Perfect for Australia.

Al

Beautiful jacket for sure and top end craftsmanship. But this time Simon I think it misses the score. I mean, a Neapolitan jacket must be not only light and unstructured but also bright in it’s color and “casual” in it’s making (a bit shorter, a bit rounded…) so to my eyes it is an hybrid not belongings to any of the two styles. And being it gray and worn over light coloured trousers (cream I suppose) accentuates what to my eyes is a crash. Understand me: it’s something I have seen many, many times from UK or USA people but I am a south Italian guy and my old ones taught me you wear cream, white or beige trousers only with some jacket’s palette (beige, brown, royal blue or even that sort of strawberry color), but always a bit brighter than gray.

Al

I understand your point Simon and I agree it’s culture. But what I mean it’s also about the intrinsic nature of the garment . What we call a Neapolitan jacket is just a jacket made for the summers of southern places, places hot but also full of colors in that season. That’s why often such jackets have a brighter palette than the ones worn in winter., like to blend to the colorful background. Anyway I highly admire the way you deal with your readers and how you are ready to listen. Keep doing the good job!

Brendan

Lovely jacket. Is there much difference in coolness between the Sagans and the new unlined Belgravias? Would you wear the unlined Belgravias with hidden socks?

Noel

Hi Simon, the jacket looks great. It’s interesting to see how the market adapts and Savile row now offers a very lightweight unstructured jacket but with an English design.
I wondered why you chose patch pockets here but not for your linen Anderson and Shepherd jacket? Is there a design variation?

How does this jacket compare to the latest A&S linen? Does the extra structure in the A&S jacket make it significantly heavier?

Noel

Certainly. So specific to this jacket, are D&S’s patch pockets somewhat smaller than traditional English designs?

BRENDEL

The front of the jacket is superb — the fabric is wonderful – but the fitting from the back elevation is in question as it does not flatter you. I think it’s a bit tight from the waist down — perhaps a centre vent would have been more appropriate – or no vent.
The trousers are beautifully tailored, superb fabric – but as you are not wearing socks their lengh could have been a centimetre longer or more — the wider turn ups accentuate the the gap from your ankles to the shoes.
No belt? not sure – in a shade that matches the trouser. Some finessing might be needed – especially when you are not wearing the jacket.

Steve

Hi Simon, this is a lovely combination. From the Loro Piana Mare collection, there is a wool silk linen swatch (N704033) which looks almost identical to the one you have. It is 250g with 71%wool 15%silk 14%linen. Would you know if there are of the same shade or which one is better for summer? Thanks!

Sam

Hi Simon, looks wonderful. I’ve asked for something similar at lesser tailors and they all say you need a light fuse at the very least if you want to go for unstructured. Can I check if that’s the case here? Is there absolutely nothing in the chest other than the two layers of the linen? That greatly appeals to me and I might have to go back and tell them it is possible!

Sam

Perfect, thank you. Yes, these tailors recommended a light full body canvas and I asked if there was anything less – to which they said fusing in the chest if you absolutely insisted. Full lightweight body canvas sounds like the go. Thanks!

Henry

Beautiful Jacket.
The photos appear to have been taken at sunset. Pictures with better lighting would be great.

Ray

Nice review. Just wondered if any canvas for this jacket?

Ray

Thanks Simon. Out of interest, Is there a brand or name for this kind of light body canvas. What is make from? Possible to replace a normal hose hair Canvas suit with this light one?

jmehpg

Hi Simon,

Have you tried the sagan classic with rubber grip underneath? I find the leather sole version quite ungrippy, especially abroad where paving is less linear. As for the Sagan stride (thick rubber soles), do you find them a little clumsy looking to wear with tailoring?

Alexander

May I ask concerning your latest preference of a wider leg opening: I must admit that the style looks often very elegant on other people (you included) that have the height to get away with it. I also lately tended towards 19-20 cm on my tailored trousers (although I am just 178 cm tall) and I like it. But with jeans I feel the wider opening makes my legs appear short, which is unflattering and annoying to me. I appreciate the look of jeans with a straight leg and a 20 cm+ leg opening on many examples I see from other people on the internet, but still when I put on my jeans that are comfortable in the thighs and with a strong taper from the knee down to a 18 cm (or even less) opening, I feel the taper gives the illusion of slimmer and therefore longer legs. I have muscular legs and small feet so this taper makes even more sense to me. Also for example I like to wear the hem of my ecru jeans rolled up quite high in the summer. In this context also a narrower opening is more compatible, I think. For some reason this taper is less important to my eye with tailored trousers, because they hang very differently, wearing over the calf socks is easier, and the less aggressive taper suits the elegant nature of those trousers (flannels or high-twists). Anything wrong with my reasoning there? Thank you!

Alexander

Thank you! “rolled up quite high” means for me: Just high enough that the air/a breeze can get straight to my ankles, no more. I like to believe that this is still not fashion-victim-high. Cheers

TM

Do you have any experience with the cream linen from the Solbiati Art Du Lin book? Interested to know how they stack up in terms of opacity

Peter

Hi Simon – you don’t find it odd to wear short sleeves underneath a jacket? Thanks

Oggi

It does look very nice Simon but personally I find wearing any jacket in hot temperatures to be very uncomfortable.Anything above the early twenties celcius sees me visibly wilting.
Putting that point to one side I do like the choice of linen trousers with Sagans.I have a pair of summer light grey trousers that just look way too formal for Sagans and look much more in tune with a pair of standard suede loafers.

Charlie

This looks great! I’m considering a lightweight suit (or at least a jacket) for next summer but can’t stretch to bespoke at the moment. Are there any particularly good places for lightweight made-to-measure tailoring in the UK or the rest of Europe?

Charlie

Excellent! Thank you very much.

Dan

Hi Simon,
Didn’t know where else to post this question and couldn’t think of a more qualified person to answer…
I had a suit commissioned pre covid and there havent been any fittings since 2019. They are now delivering the garment but my body shape has changed quite dramatically since then and it certainly won’t fit.
What would your advice be to address this? I fear it will be almost impossible to achieve a fit worthy of a bespoke garment.
Many thanks!

Juan Casas

Simon, very nice outfit!
I have a question concerning hot and humid climates, that unfortunately are becoming more frequent, and I feel that I miss information on what is not seen in the pictures; i.e. whether an undershirt is worn or not.
Have you ever investigated whether an undershirt + shirt provides better cooling than just the shirt? This would be great to know, in particular if you may need to go black tie in summer. Shall I add an undershirt for comfort or will it provoke additional perspiration.
In your website I found some articles concerning underwear (for instance Zimmerli), but no comments on how to use depending on climatic conditions. For sport activities underwear is indeed used even during the hotter days.
Thanks for the information that you make available in your site.

Lindsay McKee

I decided to re-visit this excellent post.
This is my question. I would be inclined to wear socks here, maybe the linen socks from Breciani or light cotton. What colours would go with cream trousers and black sagans?
It would be fun to have a sock article added to your superb wardrobe-building series at some stage.
Many thanks
Lindsay McKee

Lindsay McKee

Super, thanks again.
Lindsay