belstaff1

All the pundits are telling us the two big male jacket looks for SS16 are the return of the bomber jacket and utility jackets of the huge pocket variety. With Belstaff, you can get your hands on either. And that’s probably a good thing too. The problem with bomber jackets is that they have to fit just right. A bomber should sit on the waist when fastened. So, if you haven’t got a waist, you’ve got a bit of a problem. Too much volume and you’ll look like a haggis, too little and you’ll look like a sausage, not to mention that a bomber fitted too tightly rather defeats the point.

Needless to say that Belstaff have those all-important heritage bragging rights ubiquitous for any self-respecting apparel brand these days. Another English brand offering itself up to satiate the seemingly bottomless hunger all over the world for classic British sartorial style, Belstaff’s history is a little left-field of the Saville Row and Jermyn Street tailoring pedigree usually invoked in the narrative. It was born of the infancy of motor racing before World War I. With even a spin on heritage better suited to today’s eco-friendly punter, the Staffordshire concern that would begin producing specialist gear for motorcyclists after the war started out dealing in rubber goods and reclaimed fabrics, a protean version of upcyling – no pun intended.

During the First World War, the factory grew astronomically, producing khaki for servicemen. So, when you look at this season’s utility numbers in khaki, you know that they’ve got a real history behind them and are not just some arriviste mimicking the militaristic style essentially invented by companies like Belstaff.

Belstaff’s coming SS16 offer is a collection dripping in references to great British adventures bordering on the Biggles variety, all khaki and natty styling. So, if you’re avoiding the bomber for sensible reasons, there are numerous different utility jackets in a range of lengths to choose from, most of them featuring the over-sized pockets that are both fashionable and practical. Many of these make good sense for men wary of trying to be too daring with clothes. But, if you prefer to be a little more cutting-edge, check out the range of marble-effect finish jackets with contrast edging that see heritage Belstaff wandering into urban adventure territory mapped out by Raf Simons about a decade ago.

And, if you’ve got your waist in the right place, body measurements in synch with Belstaff’s sizing and a whim for travelling lighter, then there are also a number of excellent bomber jackets to be had, some of them in the season’s other material the moment; suede.

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