We’ll start taking orders for the Lost Art Press chore coat at noon (Eastern time) on Monday, Feb. 19. There are lots of important things to know about our chore coat, so we want to give you detailed information so that you can decide if this jacket is for you.
- We have ordered enough fabric for about 300 jackets. The price will be $185 delivered in the United States. For this first run, we are going to ship only to the United States so we can exterminate all the bugs in our system. I promise there are bugs.
- The price of $185 might seem high to some of you. Actually, it’s ridiculously low for this jacket. And this is the lowest price we’ll ever offer it. The fabric is soft and strong. The craftsmanship and the stitching is superb (from Portland, Ore.). And the design is 100-percent Tom Bonamici. Tom is a woodworker and designer who loves this coat form as much as I do. You’ll never find a better-tailored example.
- We are not a clothing company. We are making this coat the way we make furniture. Custom buttons. Custom embroidered label. Lots of handwork. So we want to discourage the unfortunate activity of customers who use clothing companies like a virtual dressing room. We will accept returns on the coat for 30 days. After that, we will accept returns only for a defect in the making.
- The jackets will be stitched in March 2018. We are ordering each jacket based on what you order. This is short-run, custom stuff.
- As a result, we can only afford to offer a limited number of sizes. If this run is a success, we might be able to expand the sizes we offer in the future.
- This is important: Before you order, you need to measure one of your favorite garments and compare it with our chart below to figure out what size is right for you. These jackets run a little lean, but they aren’t “mustache wax hipster lean.” I usually wear a size large, and I easily fit into a size medium for the photos for this jacket.
I know we cannot please everyone with this jacket. I also know that I do not want to run a clothing empire. As a result, we’re going to offer the sizes we can with the quality that makes us happy. I have said many times that I want to be buried with my Lie-Nielsen No. 8. Know that I’ll be wearing this jacket as I clutch my jointer plane.
So let’s get started. This is going to be fun.
Grab Your Favorite Garment
Don’t be intimidated. As a woodworker, you are eminently qualified to take a few measurements. It’s critical to measure a garment that you already own before you order your work coat. Take a heavy overshirt or light jacket (unlined, please), button or zip it up, lay it down flat on a flat surface and take the four measurements below.
SLEEVE: Measure from the shoulder seam to the end of the cuff.
SHOULDER-SHOULDER: Measure from shoulder seam to shoulder seam.
PIT-PIT: Measure from the armpit to the armpit. Don’t inhale.
LENGTH: Measure from the collar seam to the bottom back hem.
Now, think critically. Do you like how your garment fits? How do you layer other clothes with it, and how do you think you’ll wear your work coat? Chris likes to fit a sweater under his work coat, while Tom usually wears it with only a light shirt underneath and layers over the top. Compare your results to the chart (below) showing the measurements of our work coat, and make an educated decision.
A Note on Fit
Garments have to have a base pattern of “something-or-another.” We chose a “regular” fit, akin to a pair of Levi 501s – not too tight, not too loose. If you usually buy your clothes at Walmart, this is going to feel slimmer than normal. If you usually buy from Zara, then this will feel like a circus tent. The lesson? Measure and compare! Our base pattern was taken from a vintage 1960s-era French chore coat, and we tweaked it until we liked it.
A Note on Extended Sizes
If, after measuring and comparing as described above, you learn that you’re too big or small to fit this coat, please don’t order one anyway and hope that it will magically work out. If you’re tempted to email and ask why we’re not producing a XXXL Extra Short, or a Super Tall Super Skinny size, just know that we’re a tiny company with limited bandwidth.
Any time another size is added to a garment run, it adds a disproportionate amount of cost and complexity. So we’re starting with five sizes that are in the middle of the usual spectrum. And honestly, it’s unlikely we’ll get to doing “tall” sizes or “short” sizes anytime soon – the cost of pattern adjustments and inventorying unusual sizes is just beyond our means.
— Christopher Schwarz & Tom Bonamici