About the Author: Ryan N. is a professional web developer for (and alum from) the University of Delaware, who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, loves going to concerts with his wife, and loves being a dad.
I have to admit, this is a strange place for me to be in. As Dappered’s resident Flint and Tinder expert, I honestly enjoy getting loaned new F&T stuff to try out and am almost always blown away by the craftsmanship, fit, details, you name it. While still staying true to their traditions of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, this Wayfarer Blazer surprisingly fell more than a bit flat for me for a multitude of reasons. I’m not really sure what happened here, but let’s start with what’s good.
Size Small on 5’9″, 160 lbs
Out of the box, this is a sturdy and rugged sportcoat, still made in the USA, which is tightly woven and ready for anything. Notch lapel, single-vent back, half-lined. Nicely marled outer, described as a Japanese wool blend, gives it an intentional non-uniform color. Inside, the minimal lining is 100% chambray, which also lines the sleeves and pipes the interior seams for a nice touch. Two inside pockets (one chambray-lined, one patch pocket) are another nice touch that shows off the lining fabric.
Barely lined with a chambray butterfly upper back and seams.
Unfortunately… that’s about where the good stuff ends.
The outer/shell makeup of materials on the Huckberry site get broken down as 46% wool, 40% cotton and 17% polyester, which adds up to… 103%? Then, the jacket tag itself touts only 38% cotton, 8% polyester, and 8% acrylic. On the Huckberry website, they do tell us why they chose this blend though… Wool for breathability and strength, cotton for softness and comfort, and some poly/synthetics for strength and durability. It’s just all a bit confusing.
Long arms. Again, this is a size small on 5’9″. And the sleeve cuff buttons are functional.
As I try to slide my arm inside, I’m immediately aware of how tight the arms fit, and I don’t have big arms by a long shot. I vastly prefer my suiting arms be slim, but this? This is another level. There’s a pretty aggressive taper here. And while the interior chambray lining looks excellent, its slight texture makes it naturally “grab” at anything that’s not super slick as it slides through, producing some friction where you wouldn’t expect it.
Longer than average sleeves + functioning sleeve cuff buttons = expensive to tailor.
Once I get both arms in, I look down and… yes, those are functional sleeve cuff buttons. The arms are noticeably long on me. As you can see in the photos, I rolled the sleeve up about 2″ or so. There’s a decent amount of fabric to play around with, but anything more than 1/2″ and it’s going to require significant surgery. No bueno. With my arms in, the armholes become noticeable, and the whole jacket comes with me if I’m lifting my arms above 90 degrees. Yes, it’s build to be rugged, and “sporting” jackets need to have some toughness to them, but I would expect it to move a bit easier.
Nice waist off the rack on my 5’9″ / 160 lb frame.
Buttoning the top button, the natural waist actually fits right where it should, the right amount of give, quite comfortable there even when sitting. I would need to have the chest brought in though, since there’s a good 2″ of awkward space around the chest on either side, which just kind of bunches when the arms are down. This doesn’t do anything to improve the mobility, and I think it might impede it because of how it connects to the arms. Big chest, tight tapered arms. Beats me.
A short tail. Some would call it “sporty.” Or trendy.
Others would call it too short.
The tail seems pretty short. Thus completing the long arms + functional button holes + short tail trifecta. Brands and retailers have to be doing this for a reason… I just don’t know quite what that reason is. The mid-butt length also makes the extra space in the chest even more evident by contrast. While the outer flap pockets lay nicely, it’s still just not how many of us like our jacket tails to lay. There’s nothing that can really be done about this, but to many of us, a chopped tail really throws off the balance of a sportcoat or blazer.
A little less sleeve length yet a little more tail length could go a long way?
Adding it all up, I don’t think I could really recommend it at $300 given the shortcomings. It’s superbly-made, with good texture and detail choices, but when the overall fit is just nowhere close, that’s where the drawing board needs revisiting. Maybe if you have a specific frame and/or you’ve had good luck with this sort of long-armed/short tail silhouette in the past. For me, it’s a big swing-and-a-miss from a previously sterling chain of hits, and I fully expect them to come back with a strong 2.0 version of this coat that knocks all of these qualms right out of the park.