Summer jackets for 2019: Frahm jackets

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The summer of 2018 in Europe was an absolute disaster for both farmers and garmsmen. Crops failed massively in the dry heat and menswearists that usually layering their clothing enthusiastically were struggling to cope with the fact that even a single layer was one layer too far. So far it looks like 2019 is a different tote of terror, hence a short run of reviews of Summer jackets that wouldn’t have worked in 2018, but are potentially spot on for more varied weather. Third out in this series is a duo of Frahm jackets.

Frahm is a company that may well be under your radar, though it’s quite likely you’d like to hear the sonar pings of each release. The founder of Frahm is Nick, previous founder of Vulpine. Where Vulpine grew huge and went bust, Frahm is more low key, small volume, back to basics, but using all the knowledge gained before. The designs are subtle, monochrome, sensible, reworkings of classic silhouettes. So far, I believe, each jacket has only been made in a run of 100, so there is a certain scarcity.

First, let’s look at the Frahm Field Jacket

The field jacket is a reworking of the classic military field jacket. Utilitarian and fit for purpose, the classic 4 front pockets and few pretensions. It’s a man’s jacket, both for guys that care about what they wear and for those that kind of do but don’t want others to think they do. Subtle changes from a standard field jacket include the extra length in the arms, with a soft fleece where it’ll cover your knuckles, an air vent in the back, to avoid clamminess when exerting yourself, and a full 8 pockets, the obvious 4 on the outside, two fleece-lined hand pockets behind the lower front pockets and two inside pockets, one zippered to fit a phone and one around the size of a paperback book.

To match the extra fleece-lined length in the arms there is also a taller fleece-lined collar, both welcome additions for someone who cycles, or even ventures into the cold wind. The hardware consists of quality YKK zips and hidden snap buttons. The body of the jacket is lined in a soft herringbone cotton lining, while the arms are lined in a typical acetate fabric for ease of entry. The elbows are shaped to allow improved movement.

Second, the Frahm Harrington Jacket

The Harrington is, as the name implies, a Frahm rework of the classic Harrington, a staple of the Mod-style and an enduring classic ever since. Detailing and construction are along the lines of the field jacket, so most of the above applied. In the case of the Harrington, it is unlined, there are only three pockets, one chest and two lower pockets, all zippered. The fleece-lined collar and extended cuffs are still in place.

And to summarise

Both jackets are made of the same high-end, next-generation waxed cotton fabric by British Millerain (the same as used for the Serac jacket). This British Millerain Staywax is an entirely new type of waxed cotton that is waterproof and breathable, but also machine-washable without losing its capabilities. Naturally, the classic features of waxed cotton are in place, it’s tough, tear-resistant and fast drying.

From my experience so far the Frahm jackets are truly multi-occasion. They’re smart enough to pass in most daily settings but at the same time just the ticket for hopping on the bike on a nippy morning, even if there is a bit of a drizzle on. They’ve been well made, with quality fabrics and hardware, double stitched in stress areas. I have no reason to believe they’ll not give service for many years to come.

On a personal note, I wouldn’t mind the branding being a little less obvious, but this is just a personal preference and the single logo on the arm is easily unstitched if you find it annoying. If I could level one point of criticism on the Field Jacket, it would concern the snap buttons and the size of the zip pull. I find the buttons a little hard to pop closed unless I use both hands and fold the fabric so I can exert pressure from both sides. I imagine this will loosen up more over time though, and it doesn’t impugn on their actual function of closing the jacket. The zip pull is a little bit fiddly even for my proven superior dexterity, though I note that has been changed on the Harrington.

Beware of the sizing! I’m a 42″ chest and tend to be large/medium. In Frahm, I’m a confidence-crushing Extra Large.

It’s also worth noting that Frahm has a strong focus on mental health and donate £10 from each sale to Mind, a mental health charity.

The Fram Field Jacket and Harrington may be available now from the Frahm website, but supply is limited and there may be a waiting list.

3 Comments

  • jim Paterson 07/07/2019 at 14:36

    Stand still goddammit so I can get a good look at it !

    Reply
    • nick 07/07/2019 at 14:43

      Sorry! Added some extra stills at the bottom of the page now!

      Reply
  • Brian Small 08/07/2019 at 16:16

    The jackets look great and I trust your opinion on their manufacture. But I take issue with the single pull zippers. All outerwear with a zipper closure should have double sliders!

    Reply

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