Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shopping from the present: Old Town Clothing

by Jim Green



Editor's note: it's never too early to start planning your Fall wardrobe. I'm already mentally packing up the linens and breaking the corduroy. London blogger Jim Green of Modern Day Hunting writes about his obsession with British workwear company, Old Town Clothing. If you're inspired by Jim's report to order something from OTC, start the process now as it takes 4-6 weeks to complete.

After recently hearing me waxing lyrical about my favourite clothes maker - Old Town, Archival Clothing have kindly asked me to give a customer review of some of their items. Living in London UK it is of course easier for me to travel up to their Norfolk showroom to get items fitted and made for me. So hopefully this might help you make a decision on giving them a try if you are not UK based.

I first heard about Old Town in 2009 via some random person on the street asking me if the French workwear jacket I had on was from Old Town, it wasn't, but later that night I decided to google them to find out more. After finding them it felt like it was my lucky day, a place where I could buy all the clothes I had imagined I would like but simply had no idea where to source them from.

I spent many hours perusing the site but simply couldn't decide what to get - my main concern was sizing. They make their clothes to order so not quite like buying from a shop normally although they do cater for returns. So after much deliberation I plumped for a safe bet and ordered a straight edge waistcoat (vest to you US folks) in engineer's navy stout cotton twill. Size wise I was unsure, I am usually a 38 so stuck to that. All of Old Town's items are made to order, you choose the size and fabric, pay either via the phone or the online ordering form. For overseas you will need to email first to discuss shipping etc. Their turnaround time for garment delivery is approximately 4-6 weeks. For me half the charm of buying from them is the wait.

Straight edge waistcoat in navy stout cotton twill (via OTC)

Four weeks later the waistcoat arrived, it fitted great, the waistcoats are slightly fitted so if you want a looser fit go up a size maybe. I was now officially hooked. I managed to plan in a trip up to the showroom a few months later with a rough idea of what I was after, upon arrival and seeing all the clothes on display I immediately got flummoxed...too many nice things. Their items are all pretty much spot on size-wise. I have quite a few pieces from them now and have been ordering a few times a year for spring and winter bits. Instead of giving an extensive list here's a few items that are worth considering and I will try to give enough info for if you wanted to order from overseas without trying on first.

Old Town Clothing Overall jacket (via OTC)

Jim's Overall jacket

Overall Jacket - This is a sure fire winner and possibly my favourite garment from them. The fit is fairly boxy but not in a big baggy way, it looks good. I would safely say you can feel confident that your own normal jacket size is going to fit, but please discuss it with the ever helpful Marie either via phone or email if you have concerns. They don't do different sleeve lengths unless you go to the showroom specifically and get measured, mine measures 24.5 inches from the top of the shoulder to the cuff, I didn't have the sleeves adjusted that's how they came. However bear in mind my jacket has been washed once, I have had it for a few years now so take my arm measurement as a very rough indication of size. I would say you could safely order your normal jacket size with no sleeve adjustment and the fit would be good, this one is in grey stout twill. For the other jackets in their range the same rule applies but do bear in mind that some are more fitted than others. I own two Stanley jackets in 38 also, they are a slimmer fit but still fit me well.

Jim's Dreadnoughts collection

Dreadnoughts - These are great trousers, the first pair I got was in the tan corduroy, I liked them so much that I ordered a pair in biscuit twill about a month later. I just recently got some summer lightweight 10oz denim ones as well. Waist size wise they are spot on. they all come as a standard 32 inch leg. If you are worried about leg length then get them as they are and have them tailored yourself so that the fit is right, I wear turn ups on the cotton ones so it's not a problem. They are super comfy and sit fairly high up on the waist. All the Old Town stuff improves with age, these are no exception. They also have a rather novel fastening which I now prefer to the normal button fly. Shape wise they are quite loose down the leg but fitted around the waist. I also own some high rise, all their trousers are exact on their waist sizes so order with confidence.

Dreadnoughts in Irish Linen (via OTC)

If you can ever fit in a visit to the UK and to Old Town I recommend it highly, just ensure you know exactly what you want before you get there or else you will come out with twice as many items as you intended! Do factor in some extra time to wander around the town of Holt and also the surrounding area and coastline, it's a lovely place.

6 comments:

2buttonswag said...

I love the old town jacket!

Between fashion and death said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Between fashion and death said...

Their clothes are ludicrously well-made for the money, and they age beautifully. I'm always amazed they don't get more love from the online workwear community...

John Allen Photography said...

Oh yes! I love Old Town! It's been oh so very long since I have seen their collection though (about 1-2 years I bet). Thank you so much for posting this! I am probably going to have a renewed obsession of their clothing. :)

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Philip Sanderson said...

I have an Old Town Stanley in grey which is maturing very nicely.