Well, hello there! And welcome back to another instalment of Waistcoat Wednesday, your weekly guide to what is going down in the world of armless garments. This week sees the return of Pike Brothers of Germany, presenting another addition to their series of vintage style 1937 Roamer Vests. The Roamer Vest is a staple piece in their selection and now available in a whopping seven different fabrics and colours.
This one is in the same 13oz wabash-style selvedge denim as my that my previously reviewed Hunting Pants. A solid, almost canvas-like denim in grey with the attractive white stripes bringing life to it. A definite vintage style, bringing to mind the style of railroad workers and the like of olden days.
The denim fabric is quite stiff to handle, much like a pair of new jeans. It will be nice to see how it will soften up with use, or even a wash. Though, how often do I actually wash a waistcoat? I don’t think I ever have.
Design wise we have a fairly standard workwear-inspired 3 pocket design. The pockets are fairly generously sized, though not particularly deep. For keeping a smartphone in it would have been handy to have one a little deeper and narrower.
Construction throughout is excellent and the stitching is flawless, apart from the odd thread end. All stress points have been bar-tacked to ensure they are properly strengthened. In fact, it’s quite surprising to see how well properly made this waistcoat is, a credit to the makers in Turkey.
5 buttons up the front is a good number. By the look of it there could have been one at the bottom, as there clearly is space for one, but that would have been the one tradition would have dictated you left unbuttoned, so maybe it’s ok to leave it out. In any case all the buttons are well attached and the button holes are well made. The buttons themselves are made from real ivory nut, which is a nice touch. It would have been easy to just use some standard-issue cheaper buttons, so it’s nice to see Pike going the extra mile and not skimping on them.
The inside is fully lined with a soft cotton fabric, making a nice contrast in both feel and look to the stiffer denim. We also have a fourth pocket safely hidden away here. This is to the same quality as the outside pockets and would be handy for keeping your work permit or ID papers in.
The inside hanger uses a piece of the selvedge fabric edge that is seen more on the trousers. A nice touch though. I can’t help but like the vintage style label they use.
Interestingly the waistcoat has no rear cinch. After last weeks total cinch failure, this may be the way forward. It does mean though that you need to buy it in the right size to avoid it being overly large. In my case I wish I’d ordered a larger size, as I will admit the medium is borderline for me right now.
In summary, a nice addition to the collection. While I don’t think I could wear a plain denim waistcoat, the wabash stripes of this one make it a very nice match for a pair of jeans. Wearing it with the matching hunting pants would make it a little too like dressing up in a vintage costume for my liking. Better to keep it just a little subtle and only wear one standout piece at a time. And this waistcoat by Pike Brothers surely qualifies as a that.
I reckon it makes for a pretty decent look with a pair of jeans and a white shirt.
Oh, and if you like the look of the wabash denim you will probably like the Hunting Trousers as well. Just saying.
What will next weeks selection be? Tune in and see…