Declaration of Tweedependence
This tweed is authentic as all hell. Styleforum member Zissou posted the certificate of authenticity for the cloth for a friend’s father’s jacket,  handwoven in Scotland in 1959 by Don MacDonald (presumably from a long line of Donald MacDonalds), and certified at Stornaway, which is way the heck up there. I bet that jacket is SICK.
-Pete

Declaration of Tweedependence

This tweed is authentic as all hell. Styleforum member Zissou posted the certificate of authenticity for the cloth for a friend’s father’s jacket,  handwoven in Scotland in 1959 by Don MacDonald (presumably from a long line of Donald MacDonalds), and certified at Stornaway, which is way the heck up there. I bet that jacket is SICK.

-Pete

Follow-up: Harris Tweed at Walmart

Last week, we mentioned select Walmart stores were stocking Harris Tweed blazers for $75, but having not seen them in person we asked you — our wonderful readers — for your impressions.

About a dozen of you responded with your thoughts (several of you were kind enough to snap photos) and there were a few common threads from a majority of your responses. 

  • Sizes ranged from 38 to 50, some in short or long sizing, too. 
  • Almost everyone was impressed with the fabric and there are three types of fabrics: charcoal herringbone, blue barleycorn and oatmeal barleycorn.
  • Several found the shoulder sizing to be problematic. Some sized down to get a better shoulder fit (because of the extra padding that increased the shoulder size). Meanwhile, others couldn’t find a size that worked because of the excessive padding or shoulder divots, which turned into a deal breaker. 
  • Another issue in regard to fit was the boxy cut of the chest area, meaning most will have to make a trip for alterations. 
  • Buttons are plastic, not leather. 
  • A few people mentioned the wooden hangars were perhaps the nicest part of the whole deal. Easily, the hangar might sell for around $25 by itself at retail prices. 

While no one was able to give me a highly-detailed summary of jacket construction (frankly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to buy one and start doing a teardown of one), several readers mentioned they bought one and were pleased with it for the price. Others said they would’ve considered it if the jacket’s fit wasn’t problematic for them. 

Overall, it’s impossible to recommend a jacket at any price if it doesn’t fit (especially in the shoulders), so definitely give them a try on and be honest with yourself if it looks and feels good while wearing it.

(Thanks to everyone who wrote in and to Christopher and J.W. who sent in photos.) 

-Kiyoshi

$75 Harris Tweed jackets at Walmart
This has to be one of the most curious deals I’ve read about in a while. According to forums Ask Andy About Clothes and X Marks the Scot, Walmart is selling Harris Tweed jackets for $75. 
According to the forums, they’re manufactured in Bangladesh and come sized by chest size, even in “long” sizing. They’re not at every Walmart store, just some select areas. And there’s a selection of six different fabrics. 
This might be a decent pickup for those of you looking for such a jacket, as I highly doubt you’ll find a Harris Tweed blazer for this price at retail. Even with alterations, you’re easily looking at probably no more than $150 total. 
Still, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical, especially at such a low price. I’ll admit to even having the thought, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” cross my mind. And it’s worth noting that you can often find plenty Harris Tweed jackets on both eBay and in thrift shops at a lower price, too.
If anyone comes across these — or buys one — please get in touch. I’d love to do a follow up. (I’d check this out for myself, but Walmart is a rare species in the Windy City.)
-Kiyoshi

$75 Harris Tweed jackets at Walmart

This has to be one of the most curious deals I’ve read about in a while. According to forums Ask Andy About Clothes and X Marks the Scot, Walmart is selling Harris Tweed jackets for $75. 

According to the forums, they’re manufactured in Bangladesh and come sized by chest size, even in “long” sizing. They’re not at every Walmart store, just some select areas. And there’s a selection of six different fabrics. 

This might be a decent pickup for those of you looking for such a jacket, as I highly doubt you’ll find a Harris Tweed blazer for this price at retail. Even with alterations, you’re easily looking at probably no more than $150 total. 

Still, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical, especially at such a low price. I’ll admit to even having the thought, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” cross my mind. And it’s worth noting that you can often find plenty Harris Tweed jackets on both eBay and in thrift shops at a lower price, too.

If anyone comes across these — or buys one — please get in touch. I’d love to do a follow up. (I’d check this out for myself, but Walmart is a rare species in the Windy City.)

-Kiyoshi

Really lovely piece from The Guardian. I wish I could embed it, but it’s worth clicking through to watch. Just wonderful.

The Chap is reporting that Doctor Who will be wearing… wait for it… Chinese tweed. Apparently the costumers have sourced star Matt Smith’s jackets from a Canadian company which in turn sources its tweed not from the iconic Harris Tweed, but from mills in East Asia. Not only that, but the fabric is an acrylic blend.
The new Doctor’s wardrobe (including bowtie & braces) was a key part of the conception of the new series of the iconic Doctor Who series. I spoke with the Doctor (Matt Smith) and the writer of the new show (Steven Moffat) last year for my radio show, and was sure to touch on it. Last year, weavers on Harris & Lewis were overwhelmed by demand from fans of the show. This year, will those fans be phoning Beijing?
It may feel absurd to declare a change in wardrobe sourcing to be a “betrayal,” as The Chap does, but there are few more significant and beloved shows in British television than Doctor Who, few more significant costumes than The Doctor’s, and few more significant fabrics than Harris Tweed. So, let it be said: BETRAYAL!

The Chap is reporting that Doctor Who will be wearing… wait for it… Chinese tweed. Apparently the costumers have sourced star Matt Smith’s jackets from a Canadian company which in turn sources its tweed not from the iconic Harris Tweed, but from mills in East Asia. Not only that, but the fabric is an acrylic blend.

The new Doctor’s wardrobe (including bowtie & braces) was a key part of the conception of the new series of the iconic Doctor Who series. I spoke with the Doctor (Matt Smith) and the writer of the new show (Steven Moffat) last year for my radio show, and was sure to touch on it. Last year, weavers on Harris & Lewis were overwhelmed by demand from fans of the show. This year, will those fans be phoning Beijing?

It may feel absurd to declare a change in wardrobe sourcing to be a “betrayal,” as The Chap does, but there are few more significant and beloved shows in British television than Doctor Who, few more significant costumes than The Doctor’s, and few more significant fabrics than Harris Tweed. So, let it be said: BETRAYAL!

I went to Scotland as a very small child, and my mother was a weaver when I was growing up, so I’ve always had an affinity for Harris Tweed. There’s something about that magical mix of colors that only Harris Tweed gives you. I’d love to visit again.

This winter, my wife and I will be visiting Donegal, the home of the region’s other great weaving tradition. Donegal tweed is known for its distinctive flecked color scheme. For the last 100 years, Harris Tweed has been a protected trademark - it can only be produced by hand looms in Harris & Lewis. There’s no such protection for Donegal tweed, and so while the style remains popular, there are only a few weaving companies remaining in Donegal making tweed. I’m looking forward to a visit, though.

I have a Harris Tweed windowpane in a very similar color combination to this, and it’s always tough to find a suitable shirt and tie.  The challenge is to bring out the color of the jacket rather than overwhelming it or letting it fade.  Well done, here.

I have a Harris Tweed windowpane in a very similar color combination to this, and it’s always tough to find a suitable shirt and tie.  The challenge is to bring out the color of the jacket rather than overwhelming it or letting it fade.  Well done, here.

(Source: da-i-net)

I made something.
A few months ago, my wife and I decided to learn to sew.  Our ambitions, to begin, were modest.  She would maybe make a skirt, or a romper.  I would make a scarf.
Of course, the sewing classes at my local community college were all-female affairs (with the exception of yours truly), and they were dedicated to making skirts.  Luckily, I was able to pick up enough skill that when my mom found us a sewing machine at an estate sale, I achieved my dreams: a scarf.
First, I bought some Harris Tweed yardage on eBay.  The color is tough to see in the photo - it’s sort of a gunmetal gray, with a tinge of blue and flecks of green and blue-green.  Then I headed down to my local fabric superstore (Michael Levine, in downtown LA) for a lining.  I initially intended to go with silk, but was struck by a beautiful linen woven in Italy by Armani.  I’m not a huge Armani fan, myself, but the fabric was undeniable, and had the heft to stand up to the tweed, along with the softness to be next to my tender neck.
I cut the fabric (the scarf is about 6”x70”), pinned it, sewed the edges to bind them, then ran a straight stitch down three and a half sides.  Got my fingers in there, pulled it right side out, and pressed the seams flat with my iron.  Then I closed the hole I’d pulled it through with a bit of Tear Mender, and voila!
Who knows… maybe if you’re lucky I’ll start a side business.

I made something.

A few months ago, my wife and I decided to learn to sew.  Our ambitions, to begin, were modest.  She would maybe make a skirt, or a romper.  I would make a scarf.

Of course, the sewing classes at my local community college were all-female affairs (with the exception of yours truly), and they were dedicated to making skirts.  Luckily, I was able to pick up enough skill that when my mom found us a sewing machine at an estate sale, I achieved my dreams: a scarf.

First, I bought some Harris Tweed yardage on eBay.  The color is tough to see in the photo - it’s sort of a gunmetal gray, with a tinge of blue and flecks of green and blue-green.  Then I headed down to my local fabric superstore (Michael Levine, in downtown LA) for a lining.  I initially intended to go with silk, but was struck by a beautiful linen woven in Italy by Armani.  I’m not a huge Armani fan, myself, but the fabric was undeniable, and had the heft to stand up to the tweed, along with the softness to be next to my tender neck.

I cut the fabric (the scarf is about 6”x70”), pinned it, sewed the edges to bind them, then ran a straight stitch down three and a half sides.  Got my fingers in there, pulled it right side out, and pressed the seams flat with my iron.  Then I closed the hole I’d pulled it through with a bit of Tear Mender, and voila!

Who knows… maybe if you’re lucky I’ll start a side business.

Q and Answer: Can A Tailor Make It Bigger?
Mike writes: This week, while doing a little vintage shopping at my local thrift  store, I discovered a sharp Harris tweed sport coat among the discarded  and otherwise cheap-looking jackets. Although the fit was a little snug,  given its condition, I couldn’t turn down the $8 price tag, especially  since I’m in the process of losing some extra weight anyway. But pot  belly or not, the sleeves are still about an inch too short — something  that even the best diet won’t fix. In a typical coat, how much extra  fabric is there for a tailor to work with, and is it even possible to  lengthen sleeves, or any other part of the garment?
Generally, a tailor can’t do much to make clothes bigger.  Good pants usually have an inch or two in the waist to give, but most coat enlargements are impossible.  Even if there’s a bit of fabric available, it can change the shape of the coat in an undesirable way.
Luckily for you, sometimes letting sleeves out is an exception.  You can roll the fabric at the cuff between your fingers to feel whether there’s any extra fabric in there.  Remember that you can only extend it by whatever fabric is folded back inside the lining - the stuff immediately inside the cuff, before the lining starts, needs to be there.  If you’re not sure, you can always take it to the tailor and ask.  Usually half an inch or even an inch is available.
One pitfall to be aware of when trying this maneuver: older coats can get wear at the very end of their sleeves.  This changes the texture of the fabric, and results in a visual line.  Shorten the sleeves, and this line is on the inside where it’s invisible.  Lengthen the sleeve, and the line creeps up the sleeve (relatively) and starts to look like some sort of military insignia.  Make sure there isn’t major wear along that edge before you try anything.

Q and Answer: Can A Tailor Make It Bigger?

Mike writes: This week, while doing a little vintage shopping at my local thrift store, I discovered a sharp Harris tweed sport coat among the discarded and otherwise cheap-looking jackets. Although the fit was a little snug, given its condition, I couldn’t turn down the $8 price tag, especially since I’m in the process of losing some extra weight anyway. But pot belly or not, the sleeves are still about an inch too short — something that even the best diet won’t fix. In a typical coat, how much extra fabric is there for a tailor to work with, and is it even possible to lengthen sleeves, or any other part of the garment?

Generally, a tailor can’t do much to make clothes bigger.  Good pants usually have an inch or two in the waist to give, but most coat enlargements are impossible.  Even if there’s a bit of fabric available, it can change the shape of the coat in an undesirable way.

Luckily for you, sometimes letting sleeves out is an exception.  You can roll the fabric at the cuff between your fingers to feel whether there’s any extra fabric in there.  Remember that you can only extend it by whatever fabric is folded back inside the lining - the stuff immediately inside the cuff, before the lining starts, needs to be there.  If you’re not sure, you can always take it to the tailor and ask.  Usually half an inch or even an inch is available.

One pitfall to be aware of when trying this maneuver: older coats can get wear at the very end of their sleeves.  This changes the texture of the fabric, and results in a visual line.  Shorten the sleeves, and this line is on the inside where it’s invisible.  Lengthen the sleeve, and the line creeps up the sleeve (relatively) and starts to look like some sort of military insignia.  Make sure there isn’t major wear along that edge before you try anything.

Harris Tweed Neckties for $30
You won’t get much wear out of them before the weather turns warm, but you’ll be glad to have them come October.  Hats & caps are quite reasonably priced, as well.
(via &)

Harris Tweed Neckties for $30

You won’t get much wear out of them before the weather turns warm, but you’ll be glad to have them come October.  Hats & caps are quite reasonably priced, as well.

(via &)