Summer jackets of 2019: The Cordings Wayfarer

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. The second in the series is the Wayfarer Jacket from Cordings.

Three styles of wearing the Cordings Wayfarer.

Three styles of wearing the Cordings Wayfarer.

The Cordings Wayfarer

This is a jacket that at first sight looks like a very traditional jacket, a three button blazer really. It’s not until you take a closer look that you realise it’s made from a waxed cotton fabric. The next thing you might notice is the calf leather detailing, lining the edges of the cuffs, the pocket flaps and entry edges, and also the elbow patches and collar. The pockets are also unexpected, whereas the chest pocket isn’t unusual in a blazer, the bellows style front pockets are more field jacket than formal. They’re actually cleverly shaped as well, to make entry easier. And then there’s a small, zipped pocket on the left arm, perfect for something small and slim that needs to be protected, yet available. There are a wallet-sized zipped pocket and a buttoned pocket on the inside as well.

There is more of the field jacket here though. Not immediately apparent is the double-fastening throat tab, for added protection against the elements. There are bellows shoulders, a welcome feature that allows for extra movement when extending the arms. The two rear side flaps and half belt are further nods to traditional stylings, such as the Norfolk and sporting jackets. The only feature I really miss are buttons on the cuffs to tighten them up, but like a hood that might be taking the field theme a step further than intended.

The Wayfarer is fully lined in a lovely tartan Yorkshire cotton blend in the main body and the traditional Cordings branded silklike viscose fabric in the arms. The 8 oz Super Dry Wax from Halley-Stevensons in Dundee is described as a highly water-resistant fabric, but unlike the more traditional waxed cotton, this new generation waxed cotton is also washable without losing its capabilities. The leather used is lovely and supple calf leather. The buttons are Cordings-branded buffalo horn. While the waxed cotton is machine washable, the garment in total is recommended dry clean only, no doubt due to the leather details. As far as I can tell, all major components and the jacket itself is made in England.

In summary

The Cordings Wayfarer is both practical and good looking, and while not fully “penthouse and pavement”, at least “pavement and field”. Really though, the true genius of this jacket is that it is made to last a long time. You may think “ah, yes, timeless styling!”, but it’s not only that. It’s the fact that it comes protected against wear, almost pre-repaired if you like. From my recent experience of repairing an old field jacket, I know that cuffs, collars and pocket entries are places where such a jacket will wear out. By adding leather on exactly these places, Cordings have ensured that the life span of the jacket will be dramatically lengthened. In addition to it being interesting design features that will in time, of course, make it a design classic.

The Wayfarer is available now from Cordings.

 

As a bonus extra, here is the unboxing video I made when this jacket arrived from Cordings!

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