Before & After Tailoring: The J. Crew Casual Linen Sportcoat

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J. Crew Unconstructed Washed Linen Sportcoat – $218.00

Hang out for a sale. With a 30% off code, these drop to a still pricey but more palatable $152.60

J. Crew sells two kinds of blazers/sportcoats; those with measured chest sizes (like 38R, 40S, 42L, etc…) and the more casual variety that comes in Small, Medium, Large, etc. The problem is, if you’re in-between those non-measured sizes, you might end up with a tailoring challenge on your hand.

A project even.

If you’re a blazer addict, finding a casual, rumpled blazer for summer ain’t easy. There’s the light grey Merona Kensington, but say you wanted something softer. The washed, Baird McNutt Linen sportcoat is pricey, but it’s all linen instead of cotton chino. Yet it’s not offered in measured chest sizes.

This is a Medium, which on J. Crew’s website fits between a 38-40 chest. The 38 Ludlow suit jacket fits my frame perfectly, and anything smaller would cause some channeling of The Macho Man.

 

Before Tailoring:

J Crew Linen BeforeBoxy around the middle and the sleeves are way too long.

Well first the good news, it’s incredibly comfortable. The Baird McNutt linen is wildly soft, and along with the minimal half-lining (cotton upper back, poly sleeves…that’s it) it’s nice and cool. And the washed fabric is real casual. Precisely what I was looking for, and this is going to pull some duty in the fall too (even on sale, it was expensive enough that it better).

But out of the box… man. It fit about as well as the box. A little contour at the waist, but not much, and the sleeves were ridiculously long. Size down? Can’t. The tail would have been way too short on a size small. And the shoulders fit on the medium.

 

After Tailoring:

J Crew Linen AfterHad the sleeves shortened and the waist suppressed. Might need more…

Took it to my tailor and she went to work with the pins. There was a LOT of potential fabric to remove, but she warned that linen stretches pretty easily. Meaning… tailor it too close, go to give someone a hug, and you might wonk-out the shape of your blazer with some pulling that refuses to recede.

After the much needed sleeve shortening (they could probably even come up more) and a not-too-close nip at the waist, it fits, feels, and moves much better. Even if it doesn’t look drastically different in those still shots above.

But it’s nowhere near as well fitting as my 38R jackets. And that’s fine, since it’s a warm weather casual sportcoat. Doesn’t have to be super-dialed in. But at this high of a price, you’d wish they would have at least offered it in more exact sizes, even if it is unstructured.

Are you stuck between sizes? When it comes to blazers, do you allow for a little more wiggle room the more casual they get? Got a favorite summer blazer? Leave it all in the comments below…

Baird Fabric