The Party Sport Coat: Batik

Party

Summer means vacation and that means it is time for fun. Clothing used to be one of the main ways that was used to communicate to others that you were not working. However, times have changed. With today’s dress codes being so relaxed the ability to distinguish office wear from casual wear is difficult. I am not going to go down that rabbit hole in this post, but instead focus on a classic piece of resort wear the Batik sport coat.

Batik sport coats were popular party jackets. They are loud. They are colorful. They are fun. They are not for the timid and no they will not work in the office not even on GTH Friday.

The exact origin of Batik fabric is unknown. What is known is that it is ancient art form has existed in Egypt, India, the Middle East, China, and West Africa for over 2,000 years. Traditional Batik is made using a wax resist dye process which gives it its distinct look and it has a very distinct look.
Club Monaco Batik                                    Club Monaco 3/2 Batik Sack Sport Coat (Southwick Cambridge Model?)

While the demand for Batik jackets is close to non-existent they are still being produced. The inspiration for this post was not a vintage image of a man on vacation, but rather the Batik jacket that I found on the site of the often overlooked (and under remembered) member of the Ralph Lauren family Club Monaco. It is a great looking jacket. They do offer pants, but I would not go whole hog. I would do one or the other.
O'Connell's batik-ish                                                    O’Connell’s Navy and White Batik-ish Sport Coat

Club Monaco was not the only brand with a Batik offering.  I also saw a great looking Batik-ish jacket offered on O’Connell’s website that was not new old stock. Last, but not least I spotted a Batik pocket square on Sid Mashburn’s site for those who aren’t ready to dive right into a sport coat.
Batik Pocket Square                                                                 Sid Mashburn Batik Pocket Square

Batik may never again experience the popularity that it did in its heyday, but it is not gone yet. It can still be comfortably worn in a party or vacation setting, but be warned that  it will draw attention. I have aspirations to wear one at some point. I think that I will wait until I reach senior citizen status and don’t have to worry about getting too much attention. At that point in my life I will be most likely be ignored by almost everyone and those that do notice my fancy jacket will just chalk it up as something that was popular back in my day.

oxford cloth button down
is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

4 Comments on "The Party Sport Coat: Batik"

  1. Fading Fast says:

    Every once in awhile, a line jumps out, like this one:

    “While the demand for Batik jackets is close to non-existent they are still being produced.”

    Very subtly funny.

    Interesting piece about something I knew almost nothing about (I notice them in the “college” films of the 50s and 60s sometimes). Also, coincidentally, the Ivy Style website did an article on Batik jackets today as well.

    And finally, yes, Club Monaco is an overlooked part of Ralph’s empire that occasional offers up a pretty cool Trad item.

  2. oxford cloth button down says:

    Fading Fast – I am glad that you pick up on my humor. I saw that post on Ivy Style as well. It is very good. Christopher Sharp and I must have been thinking the same thing.

  3. Morrell says:

    “Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life. I’m a great believer in vulgarity- if it’s got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste- it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it.”

    Diana Vreeland

  4. Spin says:

    I’ve been trying to find a decent Batik button-down shirt, but they ain’t easy to find in anything resembling classic proportions. I saw one posted on the Tropical Ivy thread that looked just killer.

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