Paul Galvin: How's it hanging?
Treat your jacket with respect, says Paul Galvin
Published 05/03/2011 | 05:00
Why do people have to throw jackets all the time? Throw it on, throw it off, throw it in the corner, throw it in the cloakroom, throw it over your shoulder. Your seat's wet? Throw your jacket under you. It's a tough station being a jacket.
I'm here today to speak up for the jacket's basic right to respect. Though, to be fair, I don't think the more caring, fairer sex needs any lessons in how to treat a jacket with respect, for they love their leather as they love their military as they love their denim as they love their varsity.
I know a man who owns one jacket. Just one, which he wears daily until it's threadbare, and then he replaces it.
I own more than one. I remember my very first jacket -- it was for school, an Eskimo jacket. Well, it was more a coat, and there's a big difference between a coat and a jacket, as my editor told me.
And she's right. But it was my first, so I have to give it mention. It was navy with a big fur lining on the hood that came out way over my head, and orange lining on the inside. It was so warm that sometimes I slept in it.
I've always loved navy and orange as a colour combination. All the boys on my road had one in the end. They say fashion is cyclical, and it is. Lucky me. I had a Levi's denim jacket in secondary school in the mid to late-1990s, which I loved. We really were the Levi's generation. Well, either Levi's or Wrangler. I was Levi's.
Then, one day, someone, somewhere, decided that denim was to be banished and denim jackets disappeared. They were out. It's a cruel game. The denim revival kickstarted about three years ago and, as with most trends, it was hard to see it coming. I was slow to re-embrace the denim jacket but, eventually, I did and immediately felt right.
It surprises me that more Irish men didn't jump right back into the denim-jacket craze again, given that everyone seemed to have one when I was in school. But I can understand it in a way, as they have to be worn quite tight fitting and aren't great in cold weather.
If you have one, experiment with it. Roll your sleeves up and expose the sleeve underneath, throw on a nice watch or a sweatband. I can wear only mine one way and that's with the sleeves rolled up and the top button closed, with layers underneath.
There's a lot of what I call 'sleeveplay' happening in advertising right now. Everywhere I look, I see sleeves rolled up to three-quarter or half-length. On jackets, shirts and jumpers. It begs the question, why weren't they just made that way in the first place?
I love that look, but it's hard to find beyond All Saints. I couldn't imagine wearing a denim jacket open. They have no shape and look wrong on me. Girls have to wear them open, for obvious reasons, and they look great in denim jackets.
It is a tough material, though, so try fraying some of your jacket with a breadknife or sewing some badges on it. I'm thinking Dr Martens might be the next comeback king. I'm seeing more and more of them on the streets.
Speaking of the streets, Luke is an English label -- co-founded by creative director Luke Roper and a long-time favourite among lads mags such as 'Maxim', 'FHM' and 'Arena' -- that has just arrived in Ireland, exclusive to Arnotts. Very urban and street smart, Luke won last year's Drapers award for design, and it's easy to see why.
His jacket range is full of design features that are smart, edgy and quirky takes on modern classics, such as parkas, bombers, bikers and hoodies. I like how he plays on zip detail, buttons, collars and even lengths to make his pieces unique.
His waist-length parka, for example, is imminently more wearable than a full-length parka. It's functional yet practical and still trendy, and can take you from a Friday night on the town to a Saturday at the game.
Luke's leather jackets have V-neck woollen collars; different, and that's what guys want. Guys such as Danny Dyer and Professor Green would be right at home in this stuff. It's laddish. The New Dunne jacket (above) features a side zip, front pouch pockets and an asymmetrical cut that gives it a rough and ready, inner-city street-kid feel. He can cater for the young professional as well, though. We like Luke.
My wardrobe is full of everyday jackets. You can't have enough leather. I like mine to be cuffed, like the G-Star one from Arnotts as it looks and feels more casual and less biker. Plus, they're more comfortable. Leather sleeves and necklines can be uncomfortable and cold. I still wear a leather jacket I bought years ago in Camden Market.
I had been looking to mix leather with denim in a jacket but couldn't find one in the shops, so I did the next best thing: I wore a sleeveless leather hoodie that I got in River Island over a denim shirt to create something like a denim bomber with leather sleeves.
Varsity jackets are another big hit for this season for men and women. Expect to see lots of leggy girls wearing them with three-quarter-length skinny jeans and court shoes, or denim cut-offs with heels.
Nylon sports jackets are cool too if worn the right way and in the right colour. They have the capability to ham you up if worn the wrong way or in loud colours, so be careful. Bomber jackets are always cool and casual, and, with a cotton or polyester lining, will keep you cool on a warm afternoon yet warm on a cool evening. Perfect for summer barbecues in Ireland's schizophrenic climate.
When it comes to jackets, I'm a blazer boy through and through. They're so versatile and I have so many that we're going to devote a whole column to them. Watch this space.
So that's it, I'm off. Gotta run. Things need doing. Must throw on the old jacket first. Can't find it. Now, where did I put it?