Heavy, slubby, transitional linen jacket from Ciardi

Wednesday, September 27th 2023
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This jacket was made using fabric from the interiors house de Le Cuona. A previous one - in a beautiful but rather adventurous orange - was covered here last year

It’s the ‘Primitive’ quality of their linen, which is slubbier but also heavier than the ‘Artist Canvas’ used for that first jacket - that was 15oz, this is 18oz. So while the first jacket could just about be called a summer piece (if you live somewhere north and don’t sweat that much) this couldn’t really. It’s transitional: autumn and spring. 

That might seem unusual in linen, but in tailoring we can get a little too tied up with seasons and appropriate fabrics. Just the fact that a ‘summer’ fabric is considered the same in Sweden and Hong Kong shows that can be misleading. And of course heavier linens, just like cottons, have long been used for workwear.

The colour might make it seem summery too, but this greyed shade that de Le Cuona call ‘garlic’ is a long way from classic cream, and with something like jeans I don’t think it benefits that much from sunshine. You might not wear it so much in the snow or rain, but otherwise it’s fine.

Primitive is a really gorgeous fabric: soft yet tough. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to the vintage linen I used years ago on this jacket, but is better in everything apart from weight. De Le Cuona use a range of yarns to get that slubby texture, and then stone wash it to create the softness. 

This stone-washing could be one reason it sits so nicely alongside denim, as shown in these images. I have worn it with tailored trousers (dark brown or dark green, white shirt, brown or black shoes) but there are many cloths that work like that - far fewer other than tweed that work with jeans. 

It doesn’t quite fill the gap we talked about around this jacket from J Mueser, of a summer jacket that worked with both jeans and tailoring, because of the weight. But it ticks every other box. 

The jacket was made by Sartoria Ciardi, in the same style as the double-breasted cord jacket I covered previously here. And of course we’ve reviewed Ciardi in general before

So I won’t go into detail about the fit or finishing, merely say that while we had some issues with the length on this jacket, Ciardi were very willing to fix them. It was the same with this pale-grey herringbone from them, where the pocket flaps were initially wrong but quickly fixed. Of course this is just my experience, so if anyone else has anything to report, do please do chime in.

I really like the Ciardi DB cut, its softness and roominess, slightly lower buttoning point and relatively wide lapel. The only thing I’m not quite so keen on is the end of the lapel, which is a little pointy. Not something I noticed so much on the darker cord DB, but do here. If I ever had another DB made, it might be something I’d tweak. 

I agonised over the button choice. Pale jackets and suits are much harder in that regard than darker ones, where the options are limited to colours close to the tone of the material. 

With a pale linen like this, you can go with light brown horn, dark brown horn, the same in corozo, milky white horn, even mother of pearl. I remember we were on holiday with my family near West Wittering when Enzo sent me a picture of the button choices, and we all gave our opinion while sitting outside a pub on a hot summer’s day. 

Interestingly, the older girls (aged 15 and 13) have a really good eye for colour, as does my wife, despite none of them being into clothing. As we waited for our pub lunches to arrive - with one person always keeping an eye on the three-year-old - there was a healthy discussion about the virtues of different colours and materials. 

I was going to go for the light-brown horn, knowing it was a safer choice and having been burnt in the past (not that buttons are the hardest thing to change, but still). The consensus from the rest of the table, however, was this yellow corozo, and I think it’s has worked out well. Perhaps not quite so good with tailoring, but fantastic with more casual outfits. 

The jeans shown here are nineties 501s from eBay that I wrote about recently. As described in that article, they’re not the finest quality ever (I wish they had the fades of my sixties pair or the quality of my Japanese jeans) but they’re still nice and a lot better than most on the high street. Plus they cost £35. 

I’ve shown the jacket with denim and double denim, a T-shirt and a shirt, to illustrate how nice I think it pairs with them. But I’ll leave discussion of why it works so well with jeans, and works with a T-shirt at all, to another post. Both of those deserve fuller treatment, and frankly I’m not even sure why the tee works. (It’s the same with my Taillour suit; something to do with the combination of a higher neck and soft shoulder perhaps). 

The boots are a first commission from Roberto Ugolini, whom I’ll cover in more detail soon as well. Lovely man, good fitting shoe. 

I think - not to give myself too much to research and write - that there’s also a piece here in western (as in the American west) fits and silhouettes. Unlike the workwear aesthetic/paradigm, there’s a neatness, a slimness to the finishing which suits tailoring.

Other things shown:

  • PS Tapered Tee, large, white
  • Al Bazar denim shirt, with western detailing, 15.5
  • Cartier Tank Francaise ‘chronoflex’, yellow gold

Photography: Alex Natt


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Lindsay McKee

Very nice jacket indeed from Ciardi. Health to enjoy!


Nice jacket and texture. I like how you experiment with fabrics not originally designed for tailoring. I’m getting a pair of trousers made from upholstery fabric as an experiment.                                         
The corozo buttons give the jacket a vintage air, that pale yellow isn’t that common these days.                                               
Transitional tailoring (or clothing) is difficult. I would struggle to wear a linen jacket because the fabric is strongly associated with summer in my mind. It’s also difficult to wear tweed or flannel when the temperature is still above 15C. Perhaps some lighter wool fabrics would be easiest.


Beautiful jacket but I think you will find that weight and colour combination a bit challenging.
I have a very heavy linen suit in tannish herringbone. I love it but it is saved by the colour to be three seasons ( in a cold summer ).
Pray for cold summers ! Or hot springs and autumns ! The latter more likely…


It is likely also that the shade makes me nervous as I always think I will dirty it.


Great looking jacket, I like the concept of casual double breasted.
Very much like the lower buttoning point. I find off the shelf dbs have a tendency to button around my lower rib cage rather than waist.
I have an issue with tees and jackets, it is not aesthetic but practical especially with lighter colours but applies to any jacket collar higher than collar.
It is simply the collar gets to rub against the skin and gets grubby, is it just me, should I shower more often? So I end up with a lovely light coloured jacket with a grubby ring on the collar which is then a pain to clean. Same with leather jackets collars.
Shirt collar should stand above jacket collar for practical purposes.



Interesting point on the leather gaining character.


I really like the look and I think the buttons are superb. Also, I actually quite like the sharp point of the lapel.

This got me thinking that there is a lack of interesting transitional cloth available for bespoke. Often for jacketing this will just be lightweight tweed.


The jacket’s DB style is very similar to my own taste – 6×4, longer length (below crotch), similar lapel width, belly and gorge height. The cream chorizo buttons, above yours in the picture, would have been my choice. I’d wear it with a plain collared shirt and bright blue chinos rather than the ubiquitous t-shirt and jeans. My only concern would keeping it clean in Spring and Autumn when the British weather is unpredictable.


I don’t have any experience with home decor linen, but plenty with painter’s canvas linen. When this gets damp, it gives off a very distinct and quite strong smell, somewhat like a wet dog. Hopefully your jacket won’t. Apart from this concern, I find it very beautiful, great shape and wonderful texture.


I assume that you missed out “jacket” rather than “half” after “other”. 😉

What was the price of the jacket this time?

Il Pennacchio

I love the texture and, especially, the color. Is this the sort of colour you mean by “oatmeal“? If so, I can see why you favor it.
I’m very curious to read more about why you think westernwear works with tailoring whereas workwear doesn’t, considering the two are often conflated.


It might be because Western clothing is made for riding, and so maybe has the same DNA as a suit?


Having seen someone wearing a “modern” jacket (that is, short, fitted and with a high buttoning point) along with carhartt trousers, I can say that it is pretty obvious it doesn’t work when you see it.


Jacket looks great but not sure about that weight. Did you consider a Dupioni silk in a similar shade or is it not as versatile?
Very Brunello colour combinations.

O. T.

Great jacket Simon. The T-shirt outfit, to my mind, has a lovely Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally” vibe. But that’s to say not at all dated or clichéd. I’d love to know why that is; it’s more than just the faded jeans. Autumn in New York, 30s young professional walking in the park, better dressed but hard to put your finger on quite why. Super!

Peter Hall

I think I’d go with an Oxford or a sharper polo. It’s entirely personal-I really don’t like tees under jackets.

Are you totally happy with the length,Simon? To my eyes it seems a little long(,but it’s always hard to judge from photos)


I think a jacket worn with casual things like jeans, denim shirts or even t-shirts and generally made up in such a non-corporate texture and colour benefits from being a bit shorter, also in the sleeves. Might just be the pictures (or the association with Miami Vice and Giorgio Armani) but I feel like shortening the sleeves (or even unbuttoning them and giving them a little turn-up or two). Gorgeous otherwise in my opinion

Prince Florizel of Bohemia

Do you think that fabric in this quality would make for a good overshirt or chore jacket? Thinking of workwear history of heavy linens you mentioned.

Peter Smith Wright

Couple of comments. Firstly, whilst not totally clear from the photos, is it a tad on the long side? Secondly, did you specify the keyhole buttonhole or is it their standard? I am not a fan, preferring straight across finishes.
I agree the point of the lapel is a bit long. If it starts to collapse, so invisible cross stitching of the lapel to the collar would deal with that.
Finally, you make no mention of price. Would be interesting to know how much.



Beautiful jacket! Just the kind of thing I could see myself wearing. My only concern would be the weight of the fabric: I tried on a Brycelands “Easy Jacket” in the Fox Brothers 18oz linen hopsack, which obviously would wear in – but was initially very stiff and unyielding to the point of feeling uncomfortable… not quite a suit of armour, but very solid… and so I didn’t go for it in the end. You mentioned that the linen on this jacket is stonewashed which brings softness – does it, in your opinion, make such a difference to the texture of the cloth? It looks in the photos as if it is draping and flowing nicely, with plenty of give in the handle – is that an accurate impression in your opinion? Does that stonewashing effectively substitute for an extended period of wearing in and softening on such a heavy base cloth? How would the two cloths compare in that regard?

Omar Asif

hi Simon – not linked with this post but general feedback on the website; recently, it has been taking a lot longer to load (I am based in the UK). Perhaps something you might want to check with your hosting provider.

Omar Asif

Sure. I get the same response on a Windows laptop (Edge browser) and an Android mobile (Chrome browser) and the download time us about 10-12 seconds.


I’m finding the same.


There seems to be a difference between loading the homepage permanentstyle.com, which seems to “hang” for about 10 seconds before loading, and loading individual articles which are much quicker – indeed almost instant. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that there is something happening before page rendering begins, on the homepage – perhaps related to collating the list of articles and all the components – which now happens more slowly than it did a month or two ago. The slowdown loading the main page has been an issue for a while now.


Hello Simon. This all started after your website had technical issues a few weeks ago. I would say permanentstyle.com takes about 10-20 seconds to load. Once Ps.com has loaded, individual articles open fairly quickly. I don’t think this is anything to do with the number of images given other more image laden website aren’t affected.

Ronnie Pickering

Same issue – both in the uk and in Vienna


I also can confirm the issues mentioned. Images on front page can’t be related as far as I can tell. Just to test I loaded PS homepage multiple times over 4 hour period on Safari and Firefox browsers on Mac and also on phone. All browsers and phone had identical results: seemingly at random page loads slowly and quickly. In fact, just as I typed this message, I loaded PS in another tab and had both quick and slow results. Nothing changed in the sate of my computer as far as I can tell. I think the fact that when it loads slow then it always seems to have very similar loading time is key to figuring out what the issue is.


Hi Simon. Reader from Hong Kong here. Just thought I’d let you know that I’m facing the same issue in the last 1-2 weeks, i.e. noticeably slower to load all pages.

Il Pennacchio

For me, in the New York area, there’s a noticeable delay when loading the homepage but hyperlinks from the homepage work quickly.


Looks like your web developer may have had words with the site… just loaded the homepage and one of the article pages this evening (after 11pm, admittedly) and both loaded almost instantly, both on laptop (MacOS/Safari, not quite the latest version) and mobile (iOS17/Safari) – much quicker than it has been, and I think quite a bit snappier than it was before the performance issue started. Do you know what the issue was, in the end?


Sadly it seems it may have been to do with the server load / time of day (night!) because this morning we’re back to a 20 second hang before the main page loads. Don’t know if that temporal relationship sheds any more light? But good luck getting it resolved, anyway!


I find the same issue but it seems to happen only with Safari.


I’d have thought these sorts of issues with length and whatnot shouldn’t come up after having commissioned several pieces (including at least one other DB) from the same tailor?


I really like it with your PS Tapered Tee, large, white. Beautifully done. Casual and relaxed.

Hannes Hanhineva


I really like those jeans and I am trying to find myself a pair according to your nice guide in that other post.

Would you say that they are stone washed or some other kind of blue?




I think I must have been overexposed to menswear fashion. The first thing I thought after nice work by Ciardi and how fabulous is the fabric – was that the jacket looks a little long to my eye.

Dan James

Yep. Could definitely see myself wearing a jacket like that. Particularly now and at the weekend or relaxed eating out.
Just bought a shirt from Kamakura (see link below) which is extra heavy linen which was designed to evoke 1950s surfwear from Japan. It’s far too thick for hot and humid Asian summers but as it cools down, it is becoming more and more wearable. Like your jacket, it needs living in perhaps even a little too much to soften it up and start to fit my body rather than just sit there all stiff and hard.


Cool jacket. I agree that the lapels point could be a toned down a little but at the same time it works and so do the yellow buttons. Because of the unusual nature of the fabric you can get away with more eccentricity.


Hi Simon, Great styling. Can you please share a picture of you wearing the jacket closed? Thank you


Thank you for checking!

Paul H

Evokes Auro Montanari (aka John Goldberg) to my eye, especially with denim shirt and jeans combo, and nicely done. How would you remediate the lapel points if you were to do again? It appears the lapel begins to taper slightly beginning near buttonhole as it transitions to point. If am correct in that, would you change that taper? Simply blunt the point?
FWIW, I too think the family steered you in right direction regarding buttons!
And look forward to hearing more about boots.

Joe O

If a look could scream rich avocado farmer in California at a dinner party on his estate, this would be it. Perfect.


Heavy linen is a wonderful material. I found a Ralph Lauren Purple Label sport coat in an extra-heavy beige linen hopsack – totally unsuitable for summer but great in the fall.

Did you order fabric directly from the manufacturer or did they require you to go through the tailor?


Hi, was it easy to order fabric from de le couna? And what was the price per meter?

J Melluish

Big Kevin Costner // Eric Clapton 90s vibes. Amazing


Hi Simon i really like how the button worked out in the end. Looks great with the t-shirt and jeans. on that note, have you tried the drake’s games db jackets? I think it will look great with what you are wearing

Ras Minkah

Hello Simon,

When you come across a cloth that you’d like to use how do decide who you’re going to get to make it up into whatever it’s going to be?


Heavy linen sounds like a great option for the transitional seasons. The colour, button choice and Ciardi’s cut are perfect. I don’t find the lapel point too sharp. DB jackets should make a statement and they do that best with sharp peak lapel points like here in my opinion.

Perhaps you could do an article on transitional jacket fabrics? I find until early November we often have weather where hopsack and linen feels too cold in the morning, and tweed too hot in the afternoon. The best I have found are heavier wool/silk/linen blends (around 10oz) that balance (in)formality and not being too cool or too hot.


That looks like the right sort of thing – I didn’t know it was that weight. It looks like a very wearable jacket for a lot of the year, particularly if layered in winter.


Hi Simon, I was just wondering if you know any bunches which offer lightweight wools?

Many thanks,

Patrick Hanrahan

The texture of the cloth reminds me of a slubbed raw silk double breasted jacket I had in about 1985.


Lovely fabric! Jealous of that stuff!
Agreed on the silly stiletto dagger lapel points. The distraction attracts far too much attention to a feature which should seem organic, not screaming loudest.
I dislike your button decision. Too pale orangey, definitely not pleasing to my eyes.
I learnt very early (in my teens, I’m now 62) how important button choice is. And doubly so with a DB jacket!!
Change those buttons to something more meaningful.

Aaron L

I accidentally bought a pair of Full Count cowboy jeans a few months ago and have been experimenting with elements of the cowboy aesthetic since. It’s opened doors to combinations I’d never thought off before. Just a slight change in silhouette and rise can make a huge change in how other pieces work together. Neckerchiefs are suddenly doable! (After years of wishing then removing them off before leaving the house).


Just my view, but I always think unbuttoned DBs look sloppy, no matter how casual the cloth.
For this reason, I would only ever consider SB for this type of commission. SB can be worn open or closed and look tidy either way. A DB, for me, simply has too much cloth flopping around if not buttoned.


Thanks. The hand in pocket thing can work if you are standing still, but are you suggesting you walk along the pavement with your hands in your pockets? Surely not. And this comes back to my point. Walking along with all that extra cloth flapping about would not be a good look.


Is this the first post ever on PS with your blue jeans not turned up? Scandalous. On a side note: I really think turn ups compliment DB jackets. It equalizes the visual weight for me, if that makes sense.


Hi Simon, this looks like a beautiful jacket with a unique fabric. Is it lined? For the fabric itself looks as though it might be rough against the skin without lining.

Also, the lapel buttonhole is novel. I don’t believe I’ve seen one with a rounded hole at the end before, and it looks good. Is this standard for Ciardi or something you asked for?

David Lane

Great piece, would be curious to know how it ages considering it is not a cloth made for clothing. You may have touched on it in a previous article, however, is there a source you would recommend for purchasing high quality horn buttons on the consumer end?
I have made some questionable button choices in the past and would love to swap them out with better buttons.
Thank you,


Hi Simon-

Beautiful jacket, I think the buttons almost make it. On the topic of heavy linen, I recently had Luigi Solito make me a jacket in a cold green 15 oz linen herringbone from Anglo-Italian (https://angloitalian.com/collections/tessuti/products/ait-065). The jacket feels a little heavier than I expected, but the cloth is slubby and beautiful, reminding me of old RL. It also works well for the climate here in LA.

My question has to do with unlined sleeves. Luigi left them unlined on this jacket, citing the fact that this fabric felt so informal and the hand so nice, it made sense. I don’t disagree but it does snag a little on shirts. They slide on fine, but I find the fabric doesn’t slide up well and they feel a bit long even though they are probably the right length. I seem to remember you experimenting with this but don’t remember where you came out. I appreciate that it may make the heavier jacket feel a little lighter and more breathable, but I wonder if the sleeve tension will annoy me in the long term.
Curious of your thoughts. Thanks.


Hi Simon,
Longtime reader, first time commenter!
I’m commissioning my first bespoke jacket from Sartoria Ciardi in Naples, but I’m having cold feet about my fabric choice. It’s a smallish herringbone linen wool silk blend, from Caccioppoli, perhaps thinking it might hit the mark like your J. Meuser jacket. Though that seems heavier and to have a larger herringbone, so I’m wondering if my choice may be too light for jeans; or indeed if it will go with jeans or other casual trousers at all.
I was after a dark brown or mid-grey jacket for maximum versatility, but this fabric in beige seemed like the ticket for a hot Australian climate. As a young Aussie with the current currency conversion, this is no small investment for me, so I’m hoping for any reassurance or advice if applicable.
(Hope this photo is at all useful, feel free to ignore Roberto and Enzo’s pasta recommendation!)
Thanks in advance,


Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply Simon. You’re right I think, and I’m excited for the outcome regardless.



Very experimental fabric choice, Simon. The only question is whether being heavyweight would diminish the breathable nature of the linen to make it warmer to wear during chilly Spring or Autumn. How have you found it so far?


Hello Simon,
I adore this jacket. Do you find that a linen of this weight and with this texture can be an everyday go-to jacket/coat for Spring or Fall? Or does it crease and lose its shape way too much to be worn often?
Thank you!