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 safely going to concerts again with his wife, and loves being a dad.
Many moons ago, Tie Bar (then known as The Tie Bar) started out as a great place to find cheap, but solid neckwear. Heck, it was only about 5 years ago that they branched out from ties and accessories to their own line of shirting. Fast forward to 2021, and along with adding surprisingly great polos and merino sweaters, they now offer a selection of wool-blend sportcoats.
Tie Bar “Miracle” Wool-Blend Jacket. Ryan wears a 36R and is 5’9″/155lbs
Fit is slim. The light grey option feels (and looks) a bit tight, and would need to be let out.
For this review, I got the pleasure of checking out the Wool Miracle jacket in Houndstooth Plaid Gray, Herringbone Navy, and Donegal Light Gray. All are excellent in their own ways, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll be focusing on the “Donegal” Light Gray. “Donegal” is in quotes here, because they note the fabric is “inspired by the Irish tweed yarn,” so it’s pretty safe to say this is NOT actual Donegal – if that’s a selling point for you.
Tie Bar’s own description states that the Wool Miracle Jacket is “unconstructed for a soft shoulder fit that’s relaxed yet refined. Available in six tailored sizes either in regular or long and made from premium wool fabric perfect for the colder months. Throw it over a heavy crew for weekend errands or a dress shirt and tie for important meetings or fall weddings.”
Pretty interesting blend to call it, “premium,” but it still feels good.
As they touched on, this is a versatile piece that can dress up or down, though I’d say the rougher, “scratchy”/tweedy nature of the fabric leans more casual. Definitely wedding-ready for the right wedding, but it’s not a smooth wool. Not Danny Ocean smooth. More sportcoat-y, I’d say. The fabric makeup isn’t on the website anywhere, probably for good reason. The tag details the “premium wool-blend fabric” as 55% wool, 37% polyester, 4% acrylic, 2% nylon, 2% cotton. With such a high percentage synthetic, I’m not quite sure I can agree with that being a “premium” blend. And that’s fine that it’s not. But premium makes me think of the Italian Donegal Spier uses. And yes, you’ll pay double the price for it.
So much texture. Absolutely fantastic “Donegal-esque” flecking.
That being said, y’all know I’m a big texture guy, and all three styles I tried had texture for DAYS. If you like fall, with all its layering and pattern-mixing, these are your blazers. The subtle flecking in the Donegal gray is outstanding. The Herringbone Navy reminds me a lot of the navy long sleeve tee from Goodfellow’s Fall roundup, and that’s a very good thing. And the Houndstooth Plaid is certainly more flashy, but not garish. Excellent stuff here.
Maybe some fit inconsistency across colors.
Houndstooth Plaid and Light Gray fit slimmer than the navy. But the navy fits great.
The Wool Miracle jacket comes in chest sizes of 36 through 46, in both regular (all sizes) and long (only 40-46). There’s no separate slim, standard, or athletic fits – just one slim fit, so make sure to check that size chart before ordering. Apologies to the big and tall fellas – it looks like they’re doing a pretty limited run on these to start out. On my 5’9, 155 lb frame, I ordered a 36R and it was a pretty solid fit out of the box. However, sizing inconsistencies are present here, as both the Donegal Light Gray and the Houndstooth Plaid Gray fit tight in the waist, while the Herringbone Navy fell pretty perfectly.
Non-functional cuff buttons make for easy tailoring, but they’re a bit blah.
It’d be nice if they matched the jacket a little better.
Rounding out the details are a sharp modern flannel undercollar, flap pockets (which can be tucked in or left untucked), a chest welt pocket, inner pocket, double vented back, a topstitched lapel, and soft shoulders. They also removed half the lining, making the back drape nicely without being suffocating. The buttons (with thankfully non-functioning cuffs), seem to contrast the tweed-like material, in a very smooth and geometric “faux horn.” Maybe it’s me, but these seem more at home on a “tech” blazer than a wool blazer.
Butterfly lining keeps you breathing easy, and lets the double-vent back fabric drape nicely.
This is a solid first offering of wool jacketing (is that a word? can it be?). So, is it worth the just-shy-of-$200 asking price? Given the large synthetic makeup, I’d personally prefer to get it on sale. But maybe that’s because they make no mention that it’s a blended fabric. It does check a lot of boxes (sized in exact chest sizes, butterfly lining, nice fit & shape/not chopped or boxy) that cheaper jackets just won’t.
Yet some may be willing to spend that extra cash to get a more “premium” piece.
It hits a nice middle ground. It’s not cheap, wonky junk. It’s not gonna knock the #menswear snobs’ cashmere socks off either.
And that’s plenty fine.