Hart Schaffner & Marx: Reloaded for the Twenty-First Century
So I really am looking forward to wearing this vintage Hart Schaffner & Marx (HSM) tweed jacket a lot in the upcoming colder months. It’s made of a thick Irish Donegal tweed that is a dark olive/tan herringbone. The jacket has a center hook vent and swelled seams, is 3/4 lined, has very natural shoulders, and the de rigueur 2 button cuff of the Ivy League style. A traditionalist’s tweed dreams come true.
This is probably the oldest HSM jacket I’ve found thrifting, and one of the finest. I rarely buy HSM stuff when I’m thrifting, because so much of it looks so dated and is often constructed with stiff fused canvas chest pieces. But HSM is a storied American suit manufacturer whose origins date back to the turn of the last century, and they have been known to, and do again now, produce high quality menswear. The company fell on some hard times in the 70s-2000s, both financially and stylistically, but their new offerings (which can be found at Nordstrom, and elsewhere too I’m sure) are quite nice.
A cursory google search shows that the company was purchased in 2009 by an Indian apparel and textile firm, S. Kumars, which seems to be steering the company back in the right direction. I just saw a gorgeous unstructured 3/4 lined tweed jacket at Nordstrom Rack this last weekend with very up-to-date detailing: double vent, patch pockets, surgeon’s cuffs, etc. I also saw a nice navy gingham unstructured sport coat with light grey elbow patches—the designers at HSM clearly know their #menswear, and seem to be reaching out to that customer. I say it’s definitely a brand worth checking out again; an Indian-owned American company which has kept production in the U.S. that is turning out well-made clothing which stays on top of the Italian-inspired trends that continue to dominate the fashion-forward sector of menswear. If that’s your bag, I say give HSM a peek.
* Summer styles are actually on pretty deep discount on the HSM website right now.