If we didn’t call it a work jacket, hard labor might be the last thing this garment brings to mind.
Indeed, the latest offering from AIR MAIL’s collaboration with the legendary Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard acquired the name from its cut, which was inspired by the jackets worn by French railway workers in the late 1800s.
Sooty origin story notwithstanding, this version’s sustainably produced European linen and smart tailoring suggest quieter pursuits. Strong, absorbent, and quick-drying, the jackets are suited for travel and leisure of all varieties. They come in two colors, light tan and navy, both of which will fade and soften beautifully over time.
The idea for the jacket, originally made of wool, came from AIR MAIL co-editor Graydon Carter, who commissioned his first Anderson & Sheppard suit in 1984 and went on to edit the book dedicated to the venerable institution, A Style Is Born, in 2011.
“Very few people, aside from those actually working at Anderson & Sheppard, know the firm as well as he does,” notes Anda Rowland, its owner, of Carter.
Carter’s concept for the jacket came from an already long-standing and symbiotic relationship, and the final design is similar to the bespoke piece that he has been wearing for a decade. There are plenty of pockets, but they aren’t all over the place. In fact, their locations have been chosen with precision—on the left-hand interior, for easy access while traveling—and garnished with zippers, for loss-prevention purposes. The cuffs are rounded and finished with discreet stitching and buffalo-horn buttons. The interior includes custom red-white-and-blue AIR MAIL piping and a distinctive woven pocket label.
“Graydon and the AIR MAIL team do not like to take shortcuts, and neither do we,” says Rowland of the collaboration. The concept to graduate the original wool version into a summery linen line came naturally, too. The reception for the first edition was immediately—and continues to be—embraced by both men and women.
“It’s a perfect fit,” adds Rowland of the partnership. “There is a shared commitment and enthusiasm to get everything right so that we are all proud of the result.”
The linen work jacket, priced at £1,295 ($1,600), is now available for purchase directly from AIR MAIL’s online storefront, AIR SUPPLY, and at the Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery, on Clifford Street in Mayfair