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