Men’s cotton-linen jacket/pants ensemble + mesh t-shirt

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Summer is nearly upon us and that means summer heat. Here in New York City, however, one can’t live just in shorts and tank tops: we’re a bit more formal (well, most of the time).  The trick is to dress up in lightweight, all-natural fabrics.

I found this beautiful denim-colored cotton-linen blend at Mood Fabrics and picked up three yards without a specific project in mind. (You can see Mood’s wide assortment of linen blends here.)

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It has a marvelous hand — crisper than pure linen and less prone to wrinkling, but still with lovely drape (especially after laundering). I decided to make a jacket and matching pants — perfect for now, as well as for hotter days ahead. The pattern I used, vintage Seventies Butterick 4362, is a variation on a men’s Eisenhower jacket, complete with wide waistband, patch pockets with inverted pleats and buttoned flaps, and back pleat.

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For the pants, I used in-print Kwik Sew 3504, a men’s jeans pattern. I widened the leg a bit to give them more fullness (and drape) at the lower leg.

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I made the t-shirt from cotton mesh (with gray cotton jersey trim) I purchased at Mood Fabrics last winter (when I was already dreaming of summer). I also made matching briefs, but I won’t be modeling them here (!).

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I also purchased my jacket buttons at Mood — they have an excellent selection.  (Check out Mood’s button department here.)

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This outfit wasn’t difficult to make, although the jacket required more hand sewing (inside yoke, facings) than I normally do.  The fabric was a pleasure to work with.

Best of all, this summery fabric truly breathes.  It was already over 80 degrees out the morning of our shoot and I felt as cool as can be!

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Men's cotton-linen ensemble

The jacket definitely has a Seventies feel (I chose not to narrow the wide collar) but I love it. Worn with the matching pants, this outfit also suggests a men’s jumpsuit (or coveralls).

The beauty, of course, is that these pieces also work great worn separately. I realize it’s rare to see men wear matching tops and bottoms these days unless they’re part of a standard suit; maybe it’s time to revive this somewhat retro look!

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What do you think: too “matchy-matchy” or just right?

PS – Notice how a monochromatic outfit can make a short person look TALL (ish) — yippee!

Thanks for reading!

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Comments


  • Serenity
    June 18, 2014

    I entire outfit is adorable. I do have 1 question…. Are the briefs lined in the seat area????

  • Karen
    June 18, 2014

    Great outfit and I like the matching pants/jacket as it gives a more formal feel. As usual, these pieces are well executed by you and fit perfectly!

  • Maria
    June 18, 2014

    I usually just read and never coment, but I have to say: this outfit is georgeous, and you look georgeous in it, Peter! I love everything, even the mesh shirt- you really know how to wear something like that!

  • Karen
    June 18, 2014

    It’s a great outfit. I wish I could sew clothing half as good as you. I’m really impressed!

  • Leah
    June 18, 2014

    It looks great and is modern enough so you don’t look like Mr. Roper…

  • sassy
    June 18, 2014

    I thought I was going to deplore this outfit, but I adore it on you. it is fantastic. I just can’t get over how in love I am with how it looks on you. crisp, smart, yet, easygoing, you look like a real swinger. have you ever read about these two http://nymag.com/news/articles/reasonstoloveny/2011/gay-marriage/ they are friends of ours, and in that outfit you do remind me of loulou in his younger years.

  • Francesca
    June 18, 2014

    I love the jacket and the badass attitude. In the end, it’s the attitude that makes or breaks an outfit.

  • Sueann
    June 18, 2014

    I think it looks fabulous. I also think the Eisenhower style looks good on almost all men. And on you it looks exceptional. Your fabric choice was very nice.

  • Ang Curtis
    June 18, 2014

    Love the mesh, verrry sexy. Love the whole outfit, great job!

  • Sandra
    June 18, 2014

    Your suit is impeccably made and screams cool. Great job.

  • Lauren
    June 18, 2014

    I really love the matchy matchy of this set (the fact that the fabric is absolutely gorgeous doesn’t hurt!). You look like a super dapper garage worker. I mean that as the highest possible compliment :)

  • Bill Jones
    June 18, 2014

    Love everything but the collar. The collar is “dated” not “retro”. the rest of the outfit is timeless!
    …and VERY becoming!

  • Mary
    June 18, 2014

    I think the pants. Ould be a tad longer.

    • Mely5862
      June 19, 2014

      I agree. I think the dark shoes look better

  • Mary
    June 18, 2014

    I meant could be….

  • Helen
    June 18, 2014

    I love it and what a great photo shoot! I’d also guessed you being about 6ft 2 so would really like to know your secret! (being a scant 5ft 2 myself!)

  • kristonlion
    June 18, 2014

    Looks great! You pulled it off! I like it better unbuttoned, but I do love it buttoned up with the scarf underneath. I just LOVE the mesh shirt! Good together AND as separates! Very smart!

  • Jeanne Marie
    June 18, 2014

    Lovely job, as always. I really like the slightly more “formal” look. Out here in California, it’s casual all the time!

  • Elaine
    June 18, 2014

    Welcome back style! The suit, with scarf and mesh tee are so awesome and beautifully made. Admire your style and love the vlogs…

  • Lori
    June 18, 2014

    Fabulous outfit, Peter. I like the matchy match with the mesh shirt., great look. The fabric just looks so fabulous.

  • Andrea
    June 18, 2014

    Lovely fit on the pants, Peter. The undies look quite cool. Literally.

  • Sarah H.
    June 18, 2014

    Peter it is gorgeous. And I have always thought you were tall, really. But i do think the pants might be just a half inch longer, just enough so they would break over the top of the foot.

    • Male Pattern Boldness
      June 19, 2014

      The pants are just tacked up for the photo shoot — I won’t hem them till I’ve laundered/dried them at least once more, in case of shrinkage.

      • Cindy Flagg
        June 19, 2014

        Good to know! Very wise decision.

        Terrific look, Peter. Your workmanship is excellent as usual. I love this look!

  • Barbara Dobree
    June 19, 2014

    Love the fabric and the jacket – except for the wide collar. And yes the pants need to be a tad longer, no matter what the footwear here.
    Living in a rural area on the W. Coast of Canada where there is only 1 fabric store, I envy some of the wonderful fabrics you pick up, especially a linen/cotton blend. Enjoy.

  • Sarah Gunn
    June 19, 2014

    I’d say you are not only ready for summer but also ready for a fashion magazine. Great ensemble, Peter! I like it best with the jacket unbuttoned :)

  • Donna
    June 19, 2014

    You look more like Jack. Love the look, very sexy!

  • Kimberly
    June 19, 2014

    That is a wonderful ensemble!! And what wonderful work on the briefs. :-)

  • Sammi
    June 19, 2014

    Very nice. The pants fit much nicer than the Elvis pair. And, stitching the back vent of the jacket closed a bit at the bottom tapers it in very neatly and saves it from looking too boxy in the back.

  • craig
    June 19, 2014

    i agree with other readers pants should be longer, excellent workmanship as always sandals i think look best collar i would narrow but that is my opinion

  • cheryl
    June 19, 2014

    very nice, though I thought the pants were just a tad short. But you look great!

  • gabrielle
    June 19, 2014

    You did wonderful work and it looks great on you! I love it. (Looks best with the dark shoes.)

  • Cennetta
    June 19, 2014

    Peter,
    This is a great looking suit. This is a perfect summer outfit. You look stylish and cool. A great alternative to the typical shorts and tank.

  • Male Pattern Boldness
    June 19, 2014

    Thanks, everyone!

  • sallie
    June 19, 2014

    Oh this is so great Peter! The fabric is just gorgeous, and I love the matchy matchy ensemble – right down to the coordinated briefs! Ha!

  • Berene
    June 19, 2014

    I love seeing your close-ups of topstitching etc. Immaculate attention to detail as usual!

  • piakdy
    June 19, 2014

    Love the photo where you’re taking the jacket off with the gray shutter in the background. And the close up with the green garage door in the background. The one with the man outline would have been even better if the background was more blurred. Such a talented fashion model! Thumbs up!

  • Steven
    June 21, 2014

    The material is really great Peter. The jacket is fantastic. It is not as retro as you might think. The sleeves are slim and the jacket fits perfectly. I would take in the pants and leave them the same length. I wish I could make something like that. Great work.

  • Fiona
    June 21, 2014

    You look fantastic Peter! What a wonderful choice of fabric for this project. All those sharp details in the jacket are beautifully crisp!

  • Pat King
    June 22, 2014

    I love the loose flowing pants and to me, the length is perfect. Great outfit and it’s a timeless outfit. Great work and attention to detail as always. You look comfortable – I think it’s a great entire outfit. Congratulations again!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    June 23, 2014

    What an amazing outfit Peter – and as a 5 foot 4 person I can totally appreciate the wonders of height-illusion outfits choices – major win. Fabulous fit and sewing as always!

  • Sew Well
    June 25, 2014

    You always look great in those 70s patterns. I really like the big collar and big buttons on the jacket. I think I’d reach for that jacket often when going out in crisp summer evenings.

  • Diana
    June 26, 2014

    Wow. Great looking ensemble. You do great work. I love the retro look .

  • Beth Conkwright
    July 3, 2014

    Looks great.

  • Jo
    July 10, 2014

    Just absolutely perfect. I love the style, you look so well put together, funky and stylish. And such amazing skills!

  • Lynn Ann
    July 10, 2014

    I love this jacket and pants! It looks fantastic on you, especially with the mesh shirt! I had a jacket pattern very much like this in the 70′s that I made in all kinds of fabrics, denim, wool , fake fur too! (Oh wait, I still have that pattern because I never get rid of them, ever!)