Some readers have gritched about our upcoming chore coat. I had to delete a couple of the profane comments (we don’t do profanity here), but the gist of the comments was that the coat is a fancy thing, and it will be expensive.
Here’s my reply: The coat will be exactly the same quality as the books we make and the furniture we build. It will be made in the United States from quality materials. It is designed to last – and is worth repairing if need be. And it is made for work.
Today I received a prototype of the jacket to evaluate the fabric, stitching and the fit. It still needs some tweaks here and there, but we are ready to place the order for the fabric.
We’re shooting for a retail price of $185, and after handling the article I think you’ll find that price a bargain – if you are a rational human being. By that I mean it’s difficult for me to understand people who build quality furniture, use good tools but are perfectly happy wearing things that were made in a sweatshop and won’t last a year. And when these clothes do wear out, they cannot be repaired.
(Conversely, I also cannot understand people who spend huge sums on clothes they wear a few times and then donate to a sketchy charity.)
I own one pair of boots, from Trask. They cost me $225 and were made in the USA but can easily be resoled for $50 – I just picked them up from the cobbler today and they are sporting new Vibram soles. Because the leather uppers are already broken in, these boots are now better than any new pair out there.
I own one rain jacket, a Barbour. I’ve had it since 1997 and have repaired it twice for wear and rips. During the repairs, the factory extended the arms a bit so that my sexy wrists are now obscured from view. Again, any new jacket would be a downgrade.
If you don’t like our chore coat, don’t buy it. We’re fortunate that we have choices in our market economy. But don’t call it expensive or fancy because that’s just ignorant and thoughtless.
— Christopher Schwarz