For many years, leather jackets were my absolute favorite item of clothing. They were my armour, my not so secret weapons, my standout pieces of clothing that made me feel like I looked cool. I’ve always despised warm weather, but I began to hate it even more when I got into Amekaji-heritage clothing because it meant I couldn’t wear my leather jackets. This did start to change a little when I lost weight and felt like I actually looked OK without a jacket covering up some of my extra flab. However, I still always considered my outfits with a leather jacket better than any of my other outfits and I never felt as comfortable or confident without one.
My perception was flipped on its head when I got this jacket. Never did I think that I could like a cotton jacket anywhere near as much as a leather jacket. I had non-leather jackets that I liked, sure, but they were always what I wore when it was too warm to wear leather jackets. They were a second choice. They were like Illumination vs. my leather jacket Pixar or Studio Ghibli, American Coca Cola vs. Mexican Coca Cola, or Mercedes in F1 vs… anyone else in F1. However, if you made me choose my favorite 3 jackets, this one would be one of them… beating out several of my leather jackets. If you read my Freewheelers Sunset jacket review, get ready for a similar amount of overly-enthusiastic gushing because that’s what you’re going to get here.
First of all, this is not actually the first product from Ooe Yofukuten that I have reviewed. I reviewed a pair of OA02 jeans from them a while back. Additionally, I have met Ryo and Hiro, the husband and wife team that make up Ooe Yofukuten several times and they are always an absolute delight to speak with. The language barrier is a little tough, but they are incredibly warm and kind people. It’s pretty much impossible to not want to buy things from them. Even if their products were only half as good as they are, people would still buy them. However, I personally think they make some of, if not the very finest cotton garments on the planet right now.
I actually have been looking for a jacket like this for several years. Cossack jackets have always appealed to me, but I never managed to find the right one. Mister Freedom had a great looking one, but it was sold out long ago and I could never find it in my size. Ooe did a run of these jackets a while back for Standard and Strange, but I missed out on it. Fortunately, they did another run not too long ago and I snapped up one in the mustard color as soon as I could. This was perfect for me because it was a relatively light jacket that was not blue, something I had been desperately searching for.
There are actually a fair amount of cossack-style jackets out there right now, but I have to say this is my favorite design. The collar is quite thin and not overly round, which is a great touch. The front pockets are patch pockets instead of hand warmers. I am glad they went this route as I much prefer this in terms of appearance. Another design touch of note are the four air holes under each arm. They may not seem like much, but it’s nice to have them when wearing this jacket in warmer weather given that denim jackets usually do not have these.
Despite having a 41” chest, I went with a size 38 on this beauty. My leather jackets pretty much all have a chest measurement of 44” or larger, but for cotton jackets, I can always get away with a smaller chest and still have it fit me comfortably buttoned up.
The measurements for this jacket are as follows:
Back Length: 22.5”
Bottom Opening: 37”
Fit is technically subjective, but I really do think that some makers just objectively do better patterns than others. This is very clear in leather jackets. Brands like Freewheelers and Himel Bros. simply make better patterns than a brand like Schott. It’s hard to notice at first, but the more leather jackets you experience, the more you become aware of this. As far as fabric garments go, I think Ooe Yofukuten is easily one of, if not the very best in the Amekaji-heritage world. Not only do their jeans fit beautifully, but so do their jackets. Keep in mind, I can say this confidently because I am far from the only person who says this. Just about everyone that has tried Ooe Yofukuten garments absolutely raves about how excellent the fit is.
Speaking for just myself, this is one of my two best fitting jacket that I have in my opinion. My Freewheelers San Mateo is the only one that matches it. This O.A. jacket is nice and short, snug, but not too tight in the body while being relaxed enough in the shoulders and not too long in the arms. Everything just looks right with the fit. The sleeves are slim without being too skinny and everything is perfectly in proportion. The sleeves could be a couple of cm shorter, but it’s not a real issue.
Ryo shines with his pattern making and cutting and Hiro blows the rest of the world away with her stitching mastery. Seriously, the only other cotton garments that I have ever seen with stitching anywhere near this good come from Roy Slaper. Hiro is simply a magician on a sewing machine. Every stitch line is perfectly straight with a high stitch count that is incredibly consistent. The seams are also perfectly folded and everything is perfectly trimmed and finished.
There is no chain stitching on this garment and everything is done with lock stitching. Additionally, all the seems are felled and the seem inside the arm is taped, so no open seems or overlock stitching here and it is all well executed. Sure, there are many high end Japanese brands that can provide you a product without any technical flaws, but this goes well beyond that. This jacket is unnecessarily well made and I love that.
Materials are also unsurprisingly top notch. The thread used for construction is 100% cotton which I prefer over poly or poly-cotton by a vast margin. All of the buttons are beautiful corozo nut examples and the buckles are brass and have a cool design stamped into them. Most importantly, the moleskin fabric is extremely nice. It is a Japanese 100% moleskin fabric and I feel like the fabric is around 12oz. I contacted Ooe Yofukuten directly and they told me that it is the “maximum weave density moleskin that is on the Japanese market. In my opinion, it may be over 12oz.”
They obviously know more than me, so perhaps it is 13 or 14oz. I would personally guess 12-13, so it is a nice lighter mid weight. It feels lighter than my 13 and 14oz denim jackets, but then again, it is also quite a dense fabric, so it could be just as heavy as either of those. Interestingly, they used the brushed/softer side on the outside instead of on the inside. I actually like this because using the brushed/softer side on the inside would make the jacket warmer and I personally would not like that so I’m glad they used the smoother/unbrushed side on the inside. I think it also adds to the jacket’s unique look. The fabric is fairly stiff, but not overly so at first and the outside is soft to the touch from the outset. What I really love is how the sleeves crease only after a few wears, almost like a leather jacket.
My only true complaint with this jacket is that I wish the fabric was just a little lighter. However, the jacket drapes perfectly as is, so it may be better that they chose the exact fabric that they did. My reasoning is that if the jacket were 9 or 10z, I would be able to wear it in even warmer weather and therefore be able to wear it more. However, that is purely selfish reasoning and it absolutely is not an actual downside to the jacket at all. Basically, I just want to wear it more in the climate that I live in.
As it is, I can wear it in weather up to around 76F/25C with just a t-shirt which is pretty good, but it is more comfortable around 70-71F/21-21.5C and below. The issue for me there is that under 70F/21C, I am more than likely going to wear a leather jacket. Still, this jacket is wearable in warmer weather than my leather jackets and that does help me wear it more. As I mentioned before, the air holes under the arms and the non-brushed side being used on the inside does help the jacket feel a little cooler in warmer weather. If you do want to wear this jacket in colder weather, it would probably function slightly better than the average denim jacket due to the density of the moleskin fabric, thus repelling wind a bit better.
The design, cut, and color make this jacket look great with just about anything I could possibly pair it with except for anything black of course. Aside from that, it works brilliantly with olive, darker shades of brown, and of course blue. Right now, I mostly wear it with jeans, an ecru henley, and brown boots. I also love how it looks with my cacao chambray chinos from Mister Freedom and it’s also perfect with my olive Buzz Rickson HBT trousers as well.
It probably looks great with a regular shirt, but so far I’ve only worn it with t-shirts because I just think that’s how it looks best. One of the reasons that I love leather jackets is that I think they look so bad ass and I feel like I look cooler when I wear them, whether that is actually true or not. I simply feel happier and more confident when wearing them. This is the first non-leather jacket to give me that feeling.
As you can tell, I absolutely and unquestionably adore this jacket. I love it so much that I pre-ordered the same jacket in the olive color which should be delivered around August. It may sound lame, but I really do think there is some sort of magical husband and wife power to Ooe Yofukuten’s greatness. There is family history in what they do and the fact that each of them specializes in a different aspect of the process has allowed them to master each of those aspects to become among the very best at what they do.
I genuinely believe that Ryo makes the best patterns for fabric garments of this type in the world and Hiro is the best sewer of fabric garments currently sewing right now. Together, they make unbelievably great clothing. It is no wonder they are so popular and that everything they make sells out so quickly. This is an extremely hyped up brand right now, but honestly, they may deserve even more hype than they actually get. They’re just that good.
If you are interested in this jacket, you may have a chance to pick it up from Standard and Strange soon when it gets back in stock. At $425 it is not cheap, but given everything about the jacket, I personally feel that it is more than worth it. Ryo and Hiro could easily charge more than they do and still sell out of everything they make. You can also shop on their own website HERE. If you like denim and Amekaji-heritage clothing and haven’t owned anything from Ooe Yofukuten, I would suggest you look at picking something up from them. There are a lot of great brands out there, but this is one that I can unequivocally recommend to everyone. As always, my links are not affiliate links. I gain absolutely nothing from recommending this brand to anyone. I just feel that strongly about how great Ooe Yofukuten products are.