One of the big things here at Well Dressed Dad is tweed. Yes, it’s out of the bag, I do like the tweed. It’s nice and warm, for starters. It can be downright unpleasantly itchy. When not nestling against your sensitive skin though it has a tactile aspect that is wonderful. But above all, it looks absolutely fantastic. Now, I know not everyone gets this, they have their own favourite fabrics, and of course the naysayers are entirely misguided in their taste.
Anyone that has ever enjoyed a moment of quiet contemplation over a piece of quality tweed will know what I’m talking about. Discovering the colours in the weave, the depth of the pattern. I’m sure someone like Shakespeare would have waxed lyrical enough for a full-length feature.
So, if a single weave of tweed can have a grown man trying his hand at being all poetic, how about when you have half a dozen weaves available at the same time? Total overload of the senses, or just massively wonderful? I tend toward the latter. Being a fan of Nigel Cabourns Crazy Mallory jacket, which is a patchwork creation indeed, and also lately my Kapital waistcoat which is similarly patchy, I was always going to be a sucker for this multi-weaved creation from Mark McNairy.
Mar McNairy is well known for his unusual interpretations of traditional designs, so it comes as no surprise that there are a couple of tricks with regards to this shirt as well, even though it is conforms remarkably well to most shirts of the CPO style.
I first noticed this in a small shop in Berlin, and it was easily the stand-out item on the 4 metre long rack. Too pricey for me then, it was later available at a discounted price from McNairy’s own web-shop, and that sealed the deal.
The shirt itself is of the over-shirt type, and you would definitely want something underneath as it is both itchy and strangely unfinished on the inside. Unusually it has a couple of pockets for you to warm your hands in, though the pocket bags sort of hang lose on the inside. This makes it quite different to other CPO style shirts like the Thoroughstitch variant in Harris Tweed I reviewed recently.
Another unexpected feature is that it has both pop-buttons and a zip (hence the name of it, “Zippy”). One or the other would have been fine, having both just seems a bit superfluous.
It has been proudly made in the US and apart from decisions made in the design phase that seem odd, it’s well made and should last well. I’d have liked to see a better solution for the pocket bags though. Ideally the entire shirt would have been lined with cotton on the inside.
I was unable to ascertain the provenance of the tweeds used, so while they quite definitely could be Harris Tweed, I have to believe they are not, as it would be silly not to announce it as such. The quality of weave and colours is more than adequate though, so no quibbles from me there.
Oh, OK then, one final piece of tweed-porn…