The Couture Jacket for Men — Oui ou Non?

I bet you love Peter’s “Yay or Nay” posts as much as I do. (Example for the uninitiated)

 

Sheer shirts for men?, knickers?, dip dyed clothes? It’s always fun to read all the responses his posts elicit from the sewing community. So….. while I wait for some kilt supplies to arrive from the west coast….

 

The French Couture Jacket…..should men wear it? More importantly, should I?

 

 

As you know my son is getting married this Fall. As the groom’s parent, I’ll be hosting a rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding. “Save the date” announcements have already gone out, and the couple is requesting “casual dapper” dress for the dinner. So, the old man needs to get his dapper on! Which, of course, leads to….what to make. Which leads me to this….

 

 

I have a little over 5 yards of a cranberry wool tweed, handwoven by my mom. I’m not really sure why she wove it. All I know is that she was petrified to cut it, so it just sat in a plastic bin for years. When she downsized to a nursing home, I was the only person interested in having it. So I brought it home and it’s been on mothballs ever since. I’d love to make something special with it….and what’s more “tweedy” than Chanel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I’ve been collecting some of the bits to make a jacket over the past year. Ribbon, trim and buttons from M&J Trimming in NYC. The mohair trim with a multicolored ribbon woven through it appears to have been made for my mom’s fabric. I think the only thing I need is some silk charmeuse for the lining. The fabric is quite heavy, so I need to keep things as light and unstructured as possible.

 

 

This pattern was an Etsy find. I do like the collared version. Very Tyrolean. I’ve never even opened the envelope, but looking at the photos it strikes me as boxy and a little oversized. Fitting it will no doubt be a chore. But what else is new!!?

 

 

So… The men’s Couture Jacket….

 

Classic or Clownish?

 

 

42 thoughts on “The Couture Jacket for Men — Oui ou Non?

  1. My first response was “NOOOOOO!”

    Then I saw the fabric and pattern and thought, maybe… If anyone can pull this off in terms of construction and personal flair – that would be you.

    Looking forward to seeing it.

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  2. I am on the fence about this style on a man. I love the longer, less classic style with the collar. Somehow the “normal” length without a collar just reads as very feminine to me — I guess it's all the years seeing these jackets worn by and styled on women has just left an indelible link in my brain.

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  3. Oui absolument. Love the navy one on the left. Think yours with your mum's fabric, trims and buttons you have collected would be stunning and really special for the rehearsal dinner.

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  4. I live in the Philippines and am thinking about making one for my husband from some handwoven indigenous fabrics – but probably a bit more “alpine” than “parisian”. I do like Burda 7704. Following closely to see what you come up with!

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  5. The fabric your mother wove is beautiful, no wonder she was reluctant to cut into it! I think it would be amazing in the style of the blue longer length example – definitely needs to come off the moth balls.

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  6. Pharrell really rocks the look, but…
    Your fabric and trim are gorgeous, but there would be no blending in to the background while wearing it, so you'd want to feel very confident in both the cut and the colour. What do you think about a darker petersham ribbon–more burgundy–for a bit more contrast? Would read a little more 'masculine' I think. For cut, I'd say shorter Tyrolean or longer a la Pharrell. NOT the middle one! Love your sewing projects–can't wait to see it!

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  7. I love the longer one on Pharell, and looking back at your other projects, I think it would suit you well. If you're gonna go full red, and have enough fabric, it would be stunning. I am not a fan of the trim, though it is a marvelous match. I think something like a thin piping–not a fan of the fluffy/loopy traditional trims on this type of jacket, regardless of gender. I look forward to whatever you do. And how wonderful that you have this piece of your mother's work to bring another generation to your son's wedding. Lovely.

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  8. If you go there, do the trim from the same fabric. Cut it on bias, fringe it and then sew the looped trim you got there on top of it.
    It could totally work in my opinion. But please do it with the mandarin collar. I think if there's any gender fluid ckassic it's the cardigan jacket.
    Oh and go for a softer shoulder.

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  9. Wow, that's a great pattern. I've never seen it before. I don't think I have enough fabric for it, considering the back pleat. I didn't mention it, but my yardage is only 27″ wide.

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  10. I made a quilted vest of wool bouclé, interlined with Thinsulate, lined with a silk and cotton blend. I call it the love child of Eddie Bauer and Coco Chanel. The edges are bound in bias cut silk dupioni, all hand stitched. I think your concept is great, although the fringy trim looks a bit girly to me. I can't wait to see your progress!

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  11. Go for it! I think the version with with collar is perfect. I do agree with some other commenters, the ribbon is a bit too close in value to the fabric, and with handwoven fabric, it should be the star! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  12. I confess personally I hate the Chanel style jacket on women—it's rich old lady clothes. 😉 I am more optimistic about it on you, though. And that fabric! How amazing! (I think I would be just like your mom and hoard it forever!) Can't wait to see what this becomes.

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  13. I think the shorter version on the right is too feminine due to the length, but the embellishments are nice. The trim on the middle one is very feminine (and generally unattractive IMO), but I like the length. I think the one on the left, would look great on you.
    The thought of using your mother's hand woven fabric at your son's wedding is simply beautiful. The fabric is gorgeous and this would be a lovely use for it.
    The trim does match very well, but maybe it's a little too matchy-matchy. A little contrast would be nice.

    Can't wait to see what you decide.

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  14. A Chanel jacket for men? No, just no. But the Tyrolean jacket with the suede trim, yes, please. I spent six years stationed in Germany and thought the Tyrolean jacket very nice. If you do cut into that beautiful cranberry fabric and make something for yourself it will be tricky getting it just right but you are just the one to do it.
    Theresa in Tucson

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  15. Have you considered using a ribbon in a color that pulls out one of the flecks of color in the tweed (what a beautiful fabric!)? The blue fleck in particular draws my eye, and I think that drawing out a color in the fabric makes the fabric itself more of a star.

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  16. I llike that you are using the fabric your mom created. I am also of the opinion that you are the guy that can wear this style. Since it will be the rehearsal dinner it won't outdo the bride on the wedding day.
    Looking forward to seeing progress posts.

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  17. What fabulous fabric. I love it. I think it would look great for the rehearsal dinner but I agree with the other comments about the style chosen and the finish.

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  18. What fabulous fabric. I love it. I think it would look great for the rehearsal dinner but I agree with the other comments about the style chosen and the finish.

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  19. I think you could definitely make it work, especially with the collared version and the right fit. The fabric is so lovely, maybe pick a more simple trim to avoid upstaging it?

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  20. I'm not a huge fan of the Chanel jacket at the best of times … even for women. The ones I've liked had the least decorative trim.

    I think if ever there's a time for you to wear one it's now, though with the mandarin collar. For some reason the collarless ones make me think they've borrowed their wife's jacket.

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  21. I would suggest to go with more of a Tyrolean look (small collar, lower pockets but not upper pockets, flat trim and binding with some contrast) and less like a trad womens French jacket with fluffy trim and four patch pockets. Use similar techniques, but I think you will get a more timeless effect that way. JMHO, but I feel the same way about making a “French jacket” for myself… not into the foofy trim

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  22. I think you can pull it off! No worries about it being too feminine, your stature and beard with compensate for any chanel references. I love that your mom wove the fabric, it will give the final garment an even better story! I have the same book, a pattern, a piece of wool and a burgandy charmeuse for lining just waiting for the right inspiration. Maybe your finished project will be just the ticket!! Good luck! I'm looking forward to reading about your progress!

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  23. I have been so used to seeing the Chanel jacket on women that my eye does not like it for men. Besides that, I have mixed feelings of the jacket for women. Many of them look frumpy dumpy although I have seen some that do look chic depending on how it's worn and styled.
    But if anyone can recondition my eye, it would be you!
    Oh and that fabric your mother wove, it is GORGEOUS! I see where you got your creative talent from.

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  24. I do not care for it, period. I could like a more Tyrolean sort of vibe, pewter buttons and all and the far right jacket has a bit of that feel. Otherwise, give me that boucle for myself!

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  25. I just finished making up this pattern in a sweater/sweatshirt knit just to toss on when my office gets too cold. It wasn't the greatest choice for a knit (finishing the edges with bias took a *lot* of pre-planning) but the pattern makes up well and it's very suitable for what I needed. Yes, it is boxy and you might find the rise in the sleeve cap a little high; an easy fix, depending on your fabric. My personal jury is out re the couture jacket idea, though; I'd have to see it put together to form an opinion.

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  26. I'm not a fan of the Chanel jacket in general – I have never seen it worn well IRL, but I love Tyrolean clothing, and that I have seen done very IRL and as even everyday wear. I encourage you to lean in that direction – you have the whiskers for it already!

    I applaud your determination to use your mother's handwoven (and gorgeous) fabric, but I do have a suggestion for you: consider using her fabric for something you'll wear *more* often. How many father-of-the-groom rehearsal dinners will you host and get to wear this lovely stuff to? Probably not too many more! 🙂 So the most special fabric that been saved in a bin for a long time will then get made up into the most special of jackets, worn once or twice but then spend most of its 'life' in a closet…? Just a few thoughts I had. Can hardly wait to see what you do next – I'm definitely a fan!

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  27. I have the same pattern and chose a dark olive green melton and thought about designing my own embroidery for the borders.

    Would you wear your red jacket with a white shirt and tie, dark slacks? Or is that not 'dapper casual'? Trying to picture it… I wouldn't be afraid to make it simpler and more rugged — the color already speaks volumes and if you wind up thinking it's too sedate, your tie and pocket square can dress it up.

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  28. I have to agree. I bought this exact same pattern a few years ago and am still looking for the right fabric. It's kind of a sweater dressed up as a jacket and I mean that in a good way which is why I like this style. I don't think it has a lining though but I could be wrong. Looking forward to what you do with it.

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  29. Major trim envy here as I try to find some here in Australia 🙂

    Your mother's fabric is divine and I can't wait to see how you progress with this jacket.

    I've just finished a 7 day Little French Jacket class with Susan Khalje here in Sydney and two of the security guards at our venue wanted to know where they could get their Couture jackets from. Your advantage is that you can sew.

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  30. Instead of Chanel or Tyrolean, how about a Nehru Jacket? Yes a return to the 60's/70's Mod look, popularized by the Beatles and the Monkees, as well as a few James Bond movie villains. Maybe some darker tone piping, or contrast color picked from any of the numerous skins, and use those cool metal buttons. A Nehru jacket might give you more use, and maybe you can get really ambitious and sew up some cranberry/reddish wool pants for a unique suit.

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  31. How did I miss this until now? Yes, this pattern is a box (most of their mens jackets are) – maybe more of a sack than box. There isn't much to a Tyrolean mens jacket though; the Burda certainly is the most authentic of the lot.
    And all the Tyrol I've owned weren't lined, just seam finished.

    Like

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