I'd visited J.C. Cordings & Co. in March and had been properly fitted for a suit which I purchased at that time. I can't say enough good things about the staff and the incredible speed with which alterations were offered. More on that as well in a future post, but even if you are in London for a short duration, this is a must visit shop for both men's and women's clothing.
After my return to the States, I've kept an eye to their website and when their summer line was listed, my eye was immediately drawn to their linen jackets and trousers. It did not take much to push me to make my first online purchase and I can't say enough good things about that decision. My first selection was their navy linen jacket. As they clearly state on their website, "Can there be anything more evocative of an Englishman in the summer months than a linen jacket?" Made of 8 ounce Italian linen, it is cut to their classic three button style, with a single back vent, working four button cuff, ticket pocket, and it fully lined in 100% Viscose. For those who might not be familiar with the "working cuff" this simple means that the cuff button are not decorative, they really do unbutton. Another feature of the jacket is the lapel button hole which allows you to add a lapel pin or flower, as the back of the lapel features loops to secure the lapel flower stem. Small details that many do not notice or even feel they are missing, but details which set this jacket apart from the rest of the crowd.
To pair with the jacket, I ordered two pairs of their linen trousers, one in sand and the second in olive green. In American terms, these equate to khaki and British khaki respectively. Also made of the same 8 ounce Italian linen, they are flat front with a button fly.
I've worn these trousers and jacket quite a bit during the few rather warm days we've experienced this Spring and now into the much warmer days of summer. I now can only wonder why it has taken me so long to throw off even the lightest of wool jackets I've worn most of my life, in exchange for linen. Yes, linen does wrinkle a bit more than wool, but both require the same dry cleaning care so I am saving nothing in maintenance from one to the other. But what I am saving is my own personal comfort. And nothing beats these linen suitings on a warm or hot summer day! If you live in places with hot summer days and warm summer nights, this is a wardrobe staple.
I ordered them in the exact same sizes as the suit I purchased at Cordings in March. So, if you get fitted in London at their shop, you can order online with ease and confidence knowing that they remain true to the size of the clothing your bought in London. For those ordering online without visiting Piccadilly, I found that the jacket was the same fit as my American jackets, but that the trousers needed to be ordered two inches larger by size at the waist than my American trousers. (This was pointed out to me in London during the fitting when the staff member immediately suggested the trousers in the larger waist size, but provided both sizes for me in the fitting room. Needless to say he was spot on!)
Cordings advertises a "no quibble returns" so as long as none of the clothing has been altered, you may want to take a chance on an order without visiting London, though I can't imagine not visiting their shop in Piccadilly, as it is an experience not to be missed. Also, note that their website prices includes VAT of 20% so this is removed from your order before payment is made.
You can find Cordings online here at www.cordings.co.uk
I eagerly look forward to my next visit to Cording of Piccadilly later this year and will be sure to leave space in my luggage for new acquisitions I am positive I will be making!