Jackets are ace. You can put your wallet and keys in them to save unsightly bulges in your trousers. They keep you warm if it's cold, they keep you dry if it's wet and they keep you whatever not being affected by wind is when it's windy. Most of all, they look pretty cool. Summer's all very good but you don't get to wear a jacket. Well, you can but people inevitably ask why you're wearing a jacket. So in celebration of the 'fast approaching' jacket weather, here's my top, ahem, fourteen from my very own wardrobe.
Norrøna Arktis Ano jacket
A great jacket this. You're really meant to wear it over some kind of down layer but in winter it fits great over chunky knits. It also comes with all manner of fastenings and Velcro straps inside to keep everything in place. The fur trim is detachable and fits onto any other Norrøna jacket. It's also made from wolf pelt, but a nasty wolf, not one of the nice ones. I got the jacket direct from the Norrøna website I don't know how many years ago - I think because you couldn't get them over here easily then - and a pal from over that way sent me the fur trim over a while later. The only other thing you need to know about this is that Ray Mears is a big fan. Well, that and it's got the coolest logo around - a skiing viking.
Left hand jacket
This Left Hand jacket was an eBay purchase a good few years ago, before eBay became inhabited by idiots, but I remember it being something of a bargain. I had to do some repair work and sew some buttons back on - it's a double breasted affair - and it came up as good as new. It's the strange kind of vinyl that Osti used at the time so it can be a bit stiff and 'square' but it looks ace and I've not seen another one. And that's kind of the point isn't it?
Barbour Cowen Commando jacket
My favourite Barbour jacket was made better with this lightweight summer version in sand. Wear it to the shops, the pub, the football or to put the bins out. I've worn it so much I recently had to sew the little elastic cuff bit back up after a minor brushing against my watch related tear. Loads of pockets, the Union Jack for the patriotic, and more press studs than in a press stood factory. Despite the Barbour overkill and the fashion stuff they're doing now, I can still wear this and feel happy.
Prada Raccoon parka
I make absolutely no apologies for this parka. Yes it's Prada, with whom I had a fling with in the early 2000s when they brought the Prada Sport stuff out. I bought some great knits and about four jackets. I had a great black Gore-Tex Prada jacket which ended up being used for work after I ripped the sleeve and then lost the detachable hood celebrating a goal in Burnley. I didn't notice I'd lost the hood until I looked in a pub toilet mirror in a pub in Sowerby Bridge post piss after celebratory pint on the way back. Anyway, this parka is stuffed with goose feathers, has a GPS thingy in the sleeve that means if you're buried in a snow drift men with dogs can find you, and yes, that's proper real life raccoon fur! Probably had the most compliments from complete strangers and blokes that work in shops when I've worn this. "Where'd you get that from?" It was not cheap.
CP Light Jacket
This is a lovely jacket. It's from the CP Urban Protection range circa 2000/2001 and yes, that is a torch. The normal little square Velcro CP logo patch comes off and with the aid of a Velcro loop and a metal hook you can attach a torch, so you can pretend to be a fireman or a bloke with a torch on his jacket. Loads of hidden pockets - for hiding stuff - and a huge pocket on the inside. Also a nice concealed hood. I was once nearly beaten up by some angry men pouring out of a pub in Brentford whilst wearing this, sadly I didn't have the torch to fend them off with. I've still got the little booklet and box the torch comes in too.
Berghaus/Clerk&Teller Tweed Craic Jacket
Not everyone's cup of tea this but I love it, though it does feel a bit short. A collaboration of the ticket tout's favourite Berghaus and British label Clerk & Teller. It's tweed which is good. Gets lots of comments from ladies, which is both unusual and positive, and there's supposedly only 250 in the world. Which is even better.
This was a purchase from the shop on Beak Street a couple of summers back. It's a sample and was in the sale so pretty much a bargain. It's got the watch viewer from the Miglia (which ceased to be wearable years ago) and appears to have the sleeve pocket from an MA1 grafted onto it. It's prefect for summer as being linen it's incredibly light, and also looks quite smart.
Moncler Maya down jacket
Bought this this winter, as I didn't have a short winter jacket, they were all big long parkas. They invented the down filled jacket and you can tell. Ok, it is a tad fashiony and probably not ideal for going up Ben Nevis, but if your stood on an open terrace in the fourth division with the sleet hammering down like stair-rods then it certainly keeps you warm and still looking fabulous, and you can still fit in the car in it on the way home.
Ma.Strum cross-dyed torch jacket
Not content with one jacket with a torch on it, I decided to invest in another. This is from Ma.Strum, who bear some relation - I can't be arsed checking just what - to Massimo Osti and CP/Stone Island. They've used some of his original ideas and designs to create these jackets that are as good as SI and CP used to be. This looks stunning, especially when it's rained on it! There's a concealed hood, plenty of pockets, moveable or removable logo patches via press studs, and the torch is solar powered via a little clear window in the holder. I think this was the last jacket I bought. In the sale too, so got a fair whack off it.
CP corduroy jacket
This was another CP sale sample purchase, and yet another bargain. Ideal for looking like a geography teacher but you know all that already. Not much more I can say other than I think it's great.
Left Hand Thermajoint jacket
I didn't realise I'd picked quite so many Osti related jackets, oh well, I guess I just like his creations. This is another Left Hand jacket, made from the Thermajoint material that if memory serves me correct is supposedly nuclear proof or radiation proof or something. I don't know about standing up to a nuclear winter, but it stands up to drizzle in North Bradford. Hopefully I never find out about the former.
Quite possibly my favourite jacket ever. Bought, along with a cream Amundsen jacket, direct from Norrøna before I bought the Arktis. It's Gore-Tex, the fit is superb. The quality is immense. It's waterproof, rainproof, windproof, but unfortunately not cig proof as some knob on the dancefloor of Bar Fly in Camden proved when he bumped into me (yes of course I was wearing a Gore-Tex jacket inside on a dancefloor) leaving a little melty Gore-Tex patch. It's got the ace logo subtly embroidered on the arm, it's got more than enough toggles and zips, and to top it off, in one of the side pockets there's a Norrøna branded glasses cleaning cloth on a cord that you can pull out and wipe your goggles with when you're at the top of a mountain, or give your glasses a wipe so you can see the opposite goal when it's raining away at Macclesfield.
This is the original Capandula, and when I saw it on the 6876 website for the upcoming season I just had to have it. It just looked so good. I think I may have even rang Kenneth himself to try and track one down. Obviously wearing it you get asked where you've parked your trawler, but again, that's kind of the point. Great big pockets in which to store your booty, though is is a tad stiff. Nevertheless I reckon it's an all time classic.
My final selection. Again, and I'm sorry about this, it's another CP effort and it's another sample sale job. There must be something about women and tweed, whereas most of the other jackets, and trainers for that matter, get comments from blokes, anything tweedy seems to draw comments from the ladies. Looks great teamed up with a pair of bootcut cords and a Barbour Country check shirt, fashion fans.