This weeks waistcoat is from a brand that I’ve been aware of for a while now, although without being curious enough to do more than have a brief look at their website, which really doesn’t give a very good impression. The oddly named Cro Jack (I have been reliably informed that the Cro Jack is a part of a sailing ship which links / joins the Mizzen mast to the Main mast) is a relatively new British venture, with British designs manufactured in their own outerwear factory in the Midlands, so very much in line with how things are expected to be done these days. I note from their website that one of the two chaps behind Cro Jack has a past with the awful fake-brand Napapirji (mentioned in my post on brands and their stories), something I find very off-putting, though others may consider it less of a badge of dishonour. It is clear that in the guise of Cro Jack he has redeemed himself.
It was actually quite a random occurrence that I happened across Cro Jack just now, as I passed their single, small shop in Monmouth Street in Soho in London last week, and noticed this waistcoat on a rack directly in sight from the doorway. The rest of the family had just noticed Jamie’s Italian Restaurant a little further down the road, so I was unable to stop by just then, but popped by the next day. It is interesting to note how different an impression clothing gives when viewed on a website compared to actually being able to feel the pieces. A quick feel and trial fit and I knew this piece was must-have.
So, what do we have here then? The New Trick waistcoat is a surprisingly sturdily made waistcoat in a unfinished cotton, garment dyed after sewing, in what I’d describe as an outdoorsy style, wind-proof and with proper pockets. The colour is a creamy tan variant, though I saw it in khaki as well. The fact that it is handmade in Britain is proudly noted on the label. Design-wise it has an interesting feature in the semi-circular detail on the front, which I take to be a inspired by a traditional cartridge pocket, confirming the outdoors design. Three decent pockets on the front, sufficiently deep to hold a smartphone, and the two bottom pockets have proper flaps with button closing. Well done! Inside there are another two pockets, of similar size to the front, so we’re well sorted on the pocket front.
Fit feels good, and looking at the photos I reckon it looks good as well. The smallest size appears to be medium, which is what I’m wearing. No pulling on the buttons. The cinch on the back is properly done as well, although frankly we shouldn’t expect any less on a garment like this, right? The hardware does it’s job and the cinch tightens the back symmetrically, as it should be.
The material on the inside appears to be identical to the outside, so all round a sturdy piece. Stitching is well done,and wonder of wonders: The buttons are real horn! I know I’m a bit fussy about this, and it comes as a really nice surprise to find proper buttons on a waistcoat in this price range. Make no mistake, this is a waistcoat offering terrific value for money even at it’s normal retail price. At the price it’s currently on sale for I felt like I was stealing it. I didn’t get a chance to have a really close look at the rest of their range while visiting their shop, but if this waistcoat is anything to go by, I strongly recommend giving Cro Jack a closer look. Now if they only had more of the Shooter style waistcoats in brown cord…