The name of this blog is Almost Vintage Style. The point of stating this stupidly obvious fact is to point out that ‘almost’ is the key word of that phrase in this case. While my style is very vintage inspired, I did not own any actual vintage pieces until I purchased the item that I am reviewing today. However, this jacket is not entirely vintage. It is a Swedish-made military jacket from the 1960’s-1970’s that has been modified by the team over at the new Clobber Calm Supply Co. in the UK. While this specific piece was a limited run of 5, I have been assured by Ben from Cobber Calm that there will be more modified vintage pieces released in the future.
A simple, but very cool design in my opinion. I absolutely prefer this to the M-65
I found out about this specific release from one of Ben’s posts on Instagram. I loved the idea of a modified vintage piece. This coupled with the fact that the measurements suited me very well and that I had been specifically looking for a casual jacket that I could wear with untucked shirts meant that this one was a no-brainer. I reserved my spot and waited to discuss the modifications.
Hallelujah! It fully covers untucked shirts!
It took a little bit of time to coordinate the modifications, but this is understandable given how new the store is and the fact that this was the first time they were offering something like this. Once we did set some time aside, I was able to have a video chat with Sean from Clobber Calm to discuss the exact alterations to the jacket which not only added a personal touch, but also helped me see more clearly what the modifications would do. I went with the standard modifications that were suggested which included changing the buttons, removing the two rear pockets, removing the crotch gusset, and adding bandana patches. I specifically chose a burgundy bandana which would be added as an elbow patch to the back of both sleeves and I am happy to see that others who own this jacket have chosen unique ways to implement the bandana patches.
The bandana patches are sewn on nicely
After a few more weeks of waiting, the modifications were completed and my jacket had arrived along with a complimentary Clobber Calm t shirt in the color of my choice (I of course went with burgundy again). My first impression was one of relative surprise. Given the fact that this jacket was made in Sweden, I expected it to be much heavier and warmer. As it turns out, the jacket is only partly lined and the cotton canvas material is sturdy and has aged beautifully, but it is not thick or warm. While this was a surprise, it was far from being a disappointment. Living in Southern California means that true cold weather gear is unnecessary and a light jacket like this is exactly what I need. As a result, I have worn it multiple times since receiving it and it has been perfect for throwing on over a casual outfit when going out to run errands. It also works brilliantly for layering as it fits well over a flannel and a denim jacket. This is wonderful for the two days a year that I need to layer this much.*
This jacket is perfect for layering- I just wish I could do itmore
The construction of the jacket itself is quite good. There are no crazy details due to the fact that it is a simple, practical military jacket and the fact that the more interesting details such as the crotch gusset have wisely been removed by the Clobber Calm team. It does not have the level of detail that modern pieces have, especially when stacked up against Japanese repro items. It is rougher around the edges and is not as gorgeously stitched. However, it is still solidly made and I don’t expect a vintage piece to be finished to modern Japanese standards. Not only that, but this jacket definitely does not have the price tag of modern Japanese repro jackets. There are obviously some signs of wear as well, but all the seems and stitching are still intact and I have complete confidence that the jacket should last me for many years to come.
The signs of use only give it more character
Overall, I think the construction and modifications were well done
The look of the jacket and the modifications are what really had me interested. I personally think that this design is more appealing than the more common M-65 jacket and at the very least, this one is less common. Removing the crotch gusset and the back pockets certainly help streamline the design and make it more modern and casual. The modifications themselves are very well executed. The elbow patches are sewn on quite cleanly, the new buttons are very securely fastened, and the removals have been done with minimal damage. Of course, the fabric where the rear pockets formerly resided is different in color to the rest of the jacket, but what else would you expect when that fabric has been hiding under other fabric for over 40 years? It certainly does not bother me at all.
No shirt tail visible! In the words of the wise Homer “Woohoo!”
Overall, I am extremely happy with this piece. It fit my needs for a comfortable, casual jacket that could be thrown on without thinking. Being a vintage military item, it has actual heritage and is slightly obscure which makes it feel rather special. Furthermore, the modifications are well thought out and well executed and the small customizations make the jacket even more personal. Want to hear the best part? It only cost 99 British Pounds, the equivalent of less than $140 US Dollars at the time of purchase. For the jacket, the modifications, the t shirt, and shipping, that is quite a deal. I got a more customized, more unique, and more interesting casual jacket than most of the options out there for over $200 dollars and given that the jacket was originally made in Sweden and modified in the UK, I did not skimp on construction integrity to get this deal.
The jacket is lined at the top and the pocket bags are exposed, but do not get in the way
I love the way this fabric has clearly faded over time
I do understand that buying an M-59 jacket myself would possibly cost me less money than this, but there are several other factors to consider here. First of all, I had no idea this jacket even existed until I saw the post from Ben. Secondly, the convenience of knowing the exact measurements meant that I didn’t have to worry about fit. Furthermore, the customizations were not something I would have thought of and probably would not have performed as well if I did them myself. Overall, the uniqueness and quality of the end product combined with the excellent service and convenience means that I believe this to be one of my best value purchases ever, and I once bought a Flat Head shirt for $15!
The fit is excellent on this and it looks good with pretty much anything
What really makes me excited is the fact that this modified vintage garment idea is a pretty cool one and in a weird way, is a breath of fresh air in the denim community. Modifying vintage pieces is not a new idea, but the way that this has specifically done is rather rare in the raw denim world. For the most part, brands either copy vintage designs, or slightly modify them to update them and make them their own. It is far less common to see an actual vintage garment taken and modified in this community. This is not a reinvention of the 5 pocket jean, but I have not seen another store offer anything similar to this. Given the fact that Clobber Calm is a new store, I think this is an amazing idea that can help set the store apart and help it gain more customers. What’s more, if the pricing stays fairly consistent, it will be an easy pill to swallow for possible new denim and work wear nuts which I obviously think is a good thing.
Apparently my jacket was made in 1971
…and modified in 2018
I really hope to see more runs of modified vintage garments such as this one in the future. Ben assured me that there will be, which is fantastic news as I believe that this one was very well executed. It is unclear if this exact item will be run again or what the future runs will be, but if they are anything like this one, they should be pretty great.
Check out the Clobber Calm website here: https://clobbercalm.com/
Follow them on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/clobbercalm/
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of transparency, I must report that I will be featured on the Clobber Calm blog’s 10@10 interview this coming Thursday. This review is not sponsored, I paid in full for the item with my own money, and Ben had no idea that I was going to write this review when we discussed my being interviewed for his blog. In my own estimation, this does not affect my views on the product as I had purchased and received my jacket well before I knew I would be interviewed (I only found out a little over a week ago). The only aspect that was affected was the release date of this review because I decided to post it on the same week as my interview. I simply wanted to make this statement in the interest of being fully transparent and you are allowed to interpret this as you wish.
*That’s a lie. You never actually have to layer where I live. I should have said “the two days a year where you won’t die of heatstroke from layering.”