Broke and Bespoke

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Lands’ End Sportsman Oilcloth Jacket: It’s on Sale for under $100!!

As frequent readers of this blog will have noticed, this last week has seen several appearances from my new Lands’ End Sportsman Oilcloth Jacket. I’ve received several inquiries from readers asking about fit, construction, and warmth factor, so I thought I might just write a brief review of the product instead of answering all of the messages separately.

The jacket originally retailed for $250, which was already a significant price advantage over its more expensive brothers and sisters from the likes of Barbour, Belstaff, Cordings, and Chrysalis (three out of four of which Derek over at DieWorkwear! recently wrote about here). The jacket has since been reduced to $140, and Lands’ End is currently having a 30% off any single item promotion which brings this jacket just under $100 shipped, which is, in my opinion, an excellent price on a jacket of this quality. I purchased mine for just under $90 shipped during the recent 40% off any one item sale, but the current sale is still one I’d jump on if I didn’t already own the jacket.

Construction/Detailing: The oilcloth (waxed cotton) that Lands’ End uses on the jacket comes from the English textile manufacturer British Millerain, which has been in business for well over 100 years producing innovative fabrics designed to protect wearers from inclement weather. The jacket comes with a lightweight 40-gram insulation sandwiched between the oilcloth exterior and the quilted cotton tartan flannel inner-lining (the collar is lined in corduroy instead of the tartan flannel, which provides a nice contrast), which provides some nice warmth when worn just over a t-shirt or button down, and would be quite toasty when worn over a cashmere sweater or chunkier wool knit cardigan.

The jacket comes with robust metal (with an antiqued brass-looking finish) YKK two-way zippers that come with leather pull tabs, and solidly constructed ‘Lands’ End’-branded snap button closures up the placket of the jacket. There are also two of these snaps on each sleeve cuff so you can tighten the cuff on colder and/or wetter days. The jacket has two gussets that run halfway down the back of the jacket for additional mobility, and button-closure double vents which, at 4.5”, appear to serve no real purpose other than an aesthetic one (which is fine with me). Another design flourish that this jacket has which loans it a nice look is the stitching pattern on the right shoulder meant to mimic the padded area on hunting jackets of this sort that shield the wearer from the recoil of a shotgun while shooting foxes, pheasants, and other country game. It isn’t padded, so doesn’t serve a protective purpose, but the radiating pattern of the stitching is a nice counterbalance to the slightly different left-side pocket design. 

The jacket has two button-closure side pockets that are large enough to store many things, including a large DSLR camera (as I did last night) if you want. The left pocket, which is the same size as the right, is divided into two compartments and would be perfect for those of you with sizable EDC needs. The asymmetrical left pocket design (which is balanced by the quilted right shoulder mentioned above) gives the jacket an added dimension of functionality and good looks in my opinion. There are also two symmetrical handwarmer pockets on the sides of the jacket that I find quite convenient. There is only one interior pocket, on the left side, and it has a zip closure and is perfect for storing a cell phone or mp3 player—for the latter function there is even a small earbud vent that rests about an inch above the pocket.

The stitching and other construction appears very solid throughout, and should the construction ever fail, Lands’ End of course has one of the best customer satisfaction warranties in the business, which is to say 100% customer satisfaction at any time, for any reason.

Sizing: I’m 5’11” (6’ with my Tricker’s on, or so I like to tell myself) and probably weigh around 190-195lbs (I haven’t, for fear of the results, stepped on a scale in well over a year…), wear a 40R in most off the rack clothing, and a 16x34 in Lands’ End tailored fit shirting and Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Shirting, and a L in Ralph Lauren Custom Fit shirting. I bought this jacket in a M and it fits great. I can wear it over only a t-shirt if I want, but there’s enough room for me to wear something much more substantial underneath (like a shirt/bowtie/Fair Isle v-neck sweater combo), which I can see myself doing frequently once the cooler weather reallly sets in around here.

The jacket is not that long, 30” from the bottom of the collar straight down the back, so if you were to wear a sport coat of regular length underneath the oilcloth coat it would probably extend beyond the hem an inch or so, but you can just chalk that up to your sprezz’ if you so choose. The sleeve length is perfect for me, but for reference, on a M it is 26” from the shoulder seam to the end of the cuff.

Overall Impressions: I love this jacket. I’ve wanted a waxed cotton or oilcloth jacket for a few years now, but have never come across a nice one thrifting. Barbour and Belstaff jackets are far out of my price range, even when they do go on sale, but this jacket is easily comparable in style and quality to the Barbour and Belstaff waxed cotton jackets I’ve seen and handled in person, and from my own experience owning a Barbour cotton waterproof bomber jacket (not waxed cotton) which I purchased from STP on very steep discount at ~$40, down from $300. The construction of this Lands’ End jacket is actually superior to the Barbour I own, as that particular Barbour jacket uses plastic zippers and has plastic buttons. But, to be fair, I don’t think that’s the case with the Barbour ‘Bedale,’ which is the Barbour most similar to Lands’ End’s Sportsman Oilcloth Jacket. Though not inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination, for under $100 I think this is the best price you’re going to find on a new waxed cotton/oilcloth jacket of this style and quality. For comparison’s sake, the Barbour ‘Bedale’ retails for just under $400, and rarely goes on sale. 

* Also, for those of you who live in truly cold climates and need something a little warmer than the Sportsman Jacket, Lands’ End’s Waxed Cotton Down Parka (also made with British Millerain’s oilcloth)  can be had right now for $140 shipped.

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