Monday, October 25, 2010
My Jacket of Dreams: The Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket
In many ways the Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket is what I aspire to be. It’s elegant, sophisticated, luxurious, and most of all, it’s so grown up. For about a year now, the shawl collar blazer has been on my “to buy” list. Really, it should be on my “you better buy that shit once you’ve made it” list, but can you blame me? I mean, look at it. When you wear one it says something. It’s a statement all its own. It’s the classic “you can’t tell me nothing” jacket.
Most recently, the jacket has caught my interest because Kanye West rocked it in his movie Runaway, which aired last Saturday. While he is my number one inspiration when it comes to anything creative, the jacket stays on my mind like a beanie in the winter time.
The jacket dates back to the 1860’s, when Henry Pool & Co. designed a short smoking jacket for the Prince of Wales to wear to informal dinner parties as an alternative to white tie dress. It didn’t receive the name “dinner jacket” until 1888.
While many are two-button versions, my favorite is the one-button design. The one shown (above and below) is the Band of Outsiders Shawl Collar Dinner Jacket said to be priced at $1,824. It’s hand tailored, made with natural cotton canvas, and features front flap pockets, back side vents, and functional buttons at the wrist. I love how you can dress up the jacket or dress it down. Ideally, I want one like the Band of Outsiders version here, and one in light gray with a black shawl collar. I’ll own them one day. Then, when I walk by people will fantasize and think, “Damn, that boy made it.”