Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
There are three, primary design aspects to every garment: materials, pattern, and construction. While a piece is only as high-quality as the least of these components, for me, one element reigns supreme. Quality materials can make me ignore some fairly egregious errors in other areas, and if there is one material I like above all others, it’s sashiko. Not only does it have a rich history, but its texture and durability adds interest to any article of clothing and helps it to stay strong for years to come.
1) Epaulet: Doyle Jacket
Sashiko is certainly becoming a more utilized fabric outside of Japan, but it’s far from commonplace. As such, its price is high and the brands who choose to use it are generally in the more expensive side. That’s why it’s so great to see Epaulet embracing this fabric for their ever-popular Doyle Jacket. Designed to look like a French Work Jacket, the pattern melds perfectly with the made in Japan fabric that Epaulet sourced, and the patchwork front pockets and cuffed sleeves give this fabric even more areas to shine in.
Available for $245 at Epaulet.
2) Pallet Life Story: Saunter Jacket
While Pallet Life Story’s Saunter Jacket is a fair bit too warm for our current summer weather, it’s a beautiful piece, and come autumn you’ll be glad you invested in it so early in the year. Made in Japan from a cotton sashiko fabric, this jacket features a Thinsulate lining for increased warmth. It’s designed with a drawstring hood and large front hand pockets to make this piece the perfect companion come rain or snow.
Available for $775CAD (~$590USD) at Miloh Shop.
3) Studio D’Artisan: Lunch Jacket
Studio D’Artisan’s Lunch Jacket is another great option if you want a beautiful, sashiko jacket that can stand up to the elements. With its fleece collar and body lining, front hand pockets, and quilt lined sleeves, this jacket can hold up to some serious abuse and keep you warm while doing it. If your style is workwear-focused but you want to add a bit more flair to your fits, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Available for $414 at Denimio.
4) Pure Blue Japan: Type III Selvedge Sashiko
Pure Blue Japan has done it again. Their Selvedge Sashiko Type III jacket has all the elements of a cult classic: one of the most iconic patterns around, a jaw-dropping fabric, and great construction and details to boot. While everything about this jacket is great, the front hand pockets and converging lines on the chest match perfectly with the texture of the fabric. Each jacket is finished with chainstitching, PBJ’s iconic leaf embroidery, a deerskin patch, and custom black-iron buttons.
Available for $412 from Blue in Green.
5) Blue Blue Japan: Standard Coverall
Blue Blue Japan lives up to their name with their Standard Coverall jacket, a beautiful piece made from Japanese sashiko fabric that is dyed to a light shade of indigo. It continues the refined workwear theme that has been so present throughout this list, but with its own unique twist. With large urea buttons, a wide collar, and four patchwork pockets, this jacket is trying to fill a clear niche in the outwear market and has done so wonderfully.
Available for $539AUD (~$375USD) at Corlection.
Plus One – Nine Lives: Skin of Cthulhu Bomber
I’m sure many of you saw the title of this week’s list and instantly knew what you’d find at the bottom. I try to dig deep to find products no one has heard of, but I’d be doing everyone disservice by not giving this spot to Nine Lives‘ Skin of Cthulhu Bomber. So let’s get down to business. This jacket is made from an indigo dyed sashiko fabric that is heat darkened to a natural, black color and is then waxed. There’s a two-way, shiny brass YKK down the center along with ribbing at the collar and hem and cuffs. But most importantly of all: a beautiful, rayon Cthulhu lining hidden within.
Available for $925 from Nine Lives.