JERSEY BOY

The Rake’s Editor-in-Chief learns to live a little in Loro Piana’s genius Sunset fabric, which exhibits strength, comfort, structure and grace all at once. Can he finally pass muster?

Jersey is a misjudged fabric. It is a cultural misunderstanding: we have designated its name to a sweatshirt and have almost forgotten its medieval origins from the eponymous island. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a garment without sartorial merit — as Gene Kelly showed when he wore one in those wonderful pictures in Life magazine — but the jersey has never broken free of the shackles of leisurewear, and the fabric has been under similar scrutiny. Coco Chanel, in her trailblazing way, upset everyone by wearing jersey, as it had hitherto been considered only appropriate for undergarments.

Comfort in tailoring is not essential. Any kind of couture is looking to produce something sculptured and fantastical, the angles taking conventional tailoring tropes (shoulders, lapels) and creating a form that is extraordinary to behold. Yet the wearer also has to take on the responsibility of wearing it for show rather than relaxation. This is not to say one is better or purer than the other. The point is that it is about choice, and when you choose comfort, there is a well-trodden path worth exploring.

Published

December 2021

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