We Wanted You to Have the Perfect Field Jacket. So We Made One With Anderson & Sheppard.

And now, you can buy it.

jacket
Ben Alsop

SHOP £1,295 anderson-sheppard.co.uk


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At Esquire, it goes without saying that we’re always thrilled to pore over the handiwork of our favorite brands. Hey, it’s our job. But it’s exceedingly rare that we get to have a say in how they are made in the first place. In a thrilling departure from the norm on The Investment today, we’re excited to unveil the first high-end fashion collaboration in living memory for Esquire. It’s a singular distinction—but we think this Anderson & Sheppard x Esquire moleskin winter safari jacket is more than worthy.

Anderson & Sheppard is renowned for the uniquely comfortable cut of its bespoke clothing, which it makes at its premises in Old Burlington Street close to Savile Row in London. Since 1906, generations of men and not a few women have been clothed by some of the finest cutters in the business, skilled at what is known in tailoring circles as the English Drape, an early drive from the founding partners of the enterprise to knock the stuffing out of the Edwardian suit.

Just try to tell me you don't want that tag inside your jacket.
Ben Alsop

The house’s focus on making clothes that looked the part but were actually a pleasure to wear naturally attracted the alternative thinker over the straight-laced, and in many ways that survives in the brand’s customer lists to this day. In many ways Anderson & Sheppard’s version of English Drape prefigured and made possible the gradual relaxing of dress codes pioneered by the Prince of Wales, later known as the Duke of Windsor.

If this all makes Anderson & Sheppard sound like a pillar of the sartorial establishment, well, that’s because it is. But as a company, it is also one of the unstuffiest—on or off Savile Row. Largely, that’s down to its customer-facing team of expert cutters and the unbridled charm of its Vice Chairman, Anda Rowland. Rowland’s MO, since taking the helm of the company just before its centenary in 2004, has been to evangelize around the world for Savile Row bespoke, British-made clothing, and the reputation of A&S bespoke as one of its leading modern lights.

anderson sheppard
The moleskin fabric is as sturdy as it is comfortable.
Ben Alsop

But in an effort to broaden the offer to customers (and attract new ones without eroding the bespoke operation’s reputation), in 2011 Rowland launched the Clifford Street Haberdashery, a stone’s throw away, to sell casual-yet-luxurious ready-made A&S items for men and women. The Haberdashery offers fans of Anderson & Sheppard a full range of pieces not normally made bespoke but with the same eagle eye to detail, quality, and finish.

When I first sat down with Rowland and Tony Brand (also on the A&S team) over Negronis during Florence’s Pitti Uomo two years ago, it was the Haberdashery that got us thinking. We began to sketch out, on the back of the proverbial napkin, a kind of functional but elegant travel jacket, something that would nod to the sartorial traditions of Savile Row but also be supremely comfortable. Loosely a winter safari jacket, it would be outwardly simple but be full of sartorial touches and functional details. And it would definitely need a lot of pockets for smart phones, passports, and paperbacks for a man who prefers to travel hands free.

anderson  sheppard jacket
A plethora of pockets means you have somewhere to store everything.
Ben Alsop

The detailing borrowed from British military jackets includes the shirt collar and four inverted pleat pockets that expand to carry all one’s travel needs. There are button cuffs and an inverted pleat, plus a half belt at the back for ease of movement. For cloth, we chose 100 percent cotton moleskin, a particularly British material that has the plush feel of velvet but a rugged look that only improves with age.

The design process involved transatlantic cloth sampling—and regular trying-on sessions (with Negronis)—in London, New York, and Florence. The final ready-to-wear prototypes were made in Italy, and the finished version is available now. And though the design process was complicated, the actual product—in olive or navy—is as easy to throw over a suit as it is to pair with a sweater, sweatshirt, or anything else in your closet. Just as we intended.

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