Unstructured Cotton

The appeals of an unstructured cotton jacket

The exam moderator picked up my ID, inspected it for a few seconds and whispered “Nice threads Mr. Nguyen” tugging lightly at my unstructured cotton jacket. Her appreciation continued with short glances and cheeky smiles that distracted me as I tried to recall the product development lifecycle from Week 4. Perhaps I should have studied harder or perhaps I should have came to the exam in my pyjamas. Either way there was no denying that things were heating up in this exam.

Leave the botox at home. Embrace the wrinkles.

Unstructured cotton jackets offer greater comfort and mobility – perfect for Australian tropical summers. Yes, Australia has a monsoon season that spans from November to March which explains a great deal of the weather’s bipolar nature and answers frequent questions of “What’s up with the weather?”. This unpredictability can be overcome by choosing a cotton which is light and breathable – like a lighter gauge cotton- and uncompromised by rain.


An unstructured cotton jacket however battles expectations that tailored clothing be wrinkle free. This expectation is built time and time again when a style icon like Bond manages to keep his white tux in pristine condition after being thrown around by Mr. Hinx or, better yet, when he falls from a crumbling building in Mexico City with rubble flying everywhere and walks away with his Brioni suit unscathed. In the wrinkle free game cotton to loses to wool as it lacks the latter’s crimp (which allows the fibre to bounce back) but there is a casual charm to the way cotton crushes and creates a nonchalant impression that can never be achieved by wool.

Too breezy.

Another touch of nonchalance on some cotton jackets are functional sleeve buttons which allows you to roll up the sleeves. A quick tip for those who often get their sleeves shortened: typically when shortening the sleeve with fetishised functional buttons it’s best to do it from the shoulder which involves unpicking the stitch that attaches the arm to the chest piece, cutting the desired amount from the sleeve head and subsequently reattaching it. The extra work will cost a little more but it’s better than having the tailor recreate those button holes and it won’t alter the proportions of the jacket too much.

Functional button cuff detail.

But the proportions of a jacket is one thing, the proportions of my face after that exam is another. Overjoyed as I exited the hall a classmate turned to me and asked “Aren’t you hot in that?”. Before I could answer the exam moderator responded:

“No. It’s unstructured cotton.”

All of sudden it started to get awfully hot again.


Mike wears:

Stone Cotton Jacket — M.J. Bale

Chambray blue shirt — M.J. Bale

Wine Sozze knitted tie —  Henry Bucks

Navy check trousers  — M.J. Bale

Shades — Oblyk Sunglasses

Passionfruit Pocket Square — P. Johnson Tailors

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