37 responses

  1. kathy
    February 4, 2014

    As you know, I love it in the photo, but had a feeling it was going to be narrow through the shoulders/back. Is it worth you getting the large and having the sides taken in a bit?

    02/04/14
    7:22 am
    Lisa said...

    I thought about it, but the fabric is heavy and somehow I didn’t feel confident a seamstress would be able to cope.

  2. Frances/Materfamilias
    February 4, 2014

    My GF wore a very similar jacket, perhaps darker blue, while teaching her painting classes in France. Hers had aged so that the heavy fabric had roughed up a bit into texture with even more depth, a hint of nap. She pinned a vintage scarab brooch to it, and I found it entirely covetable. Too bad about the back — I echo Kathy’s suggestion/question. . .

  3. LauraH
    February 4, 2014

    “Broad back”…does that mean wide shoulders or is there more to it?

    02/04/14
    7:23 am
    Lisa said...

    It means broad shoulders – I was just fooling around with language:).

  4. Flo
    February 4, 2014

    What a perfect description, taken from the listing: “French chore jacket”! I adore it, particularly the detailing at the wrist, and the blue is not an ordinary blue, we can see that as well. Ding, ding, ding.

  5. cara
    February 4, 2014

    It’s a little severe for me but I do love the Bill Cunningham connection. Actually, I can see it working with very skinny jeans, ballet flats and my camera. And thank you for the link!

  6. Sandra Sallin
    February 4, 2014

    Rats, broad shoulders. Cool looking. Aways wondered where to buy it. Thanks for sharing your find.

  7. Flo
    February 4, 2014

    You may have seen this already in today’s? But you may not so, risking redundance: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/02/03/the-casual-couture-of-the-average-american

  8. Bungalow Hostess
    February 4, 2014

    I am in the too boxy camp…if it were softer fabric worn open with a scarf it might appeal to me more. Somehow I think you could style it better if you were happy with the fit. I know you would!

  9. AggieK
    February 4, 2014

    Bill Cunningham is my favorite part of the NYT. And I loved the documentary of him. But I can’t believe he would pay $400 for a cotton jacket. Did you see his apartment? It’s nothing but a bed and filing cabinets. The bathroom is down the hall.

  10. Cynthia
    February 4, 2014

    I am sort of intellectually drawn to jackets like that but they never look great on my body. I too have a broad back, and they hide any shape I have if they’re big enough at the shoulders and hips.

  11. Nora Minassian
    February 4, 2014

    To me this is a very masculine jacket especially in a canvas. If I was to wear this shape I would feminize it a lot by wearing something really slim in the bottom and add a belt to show your waist underneath. Also some necklaces and crunch up the sleeves….then I think maybe I can get away with wearing it.

    02/04/14
    10:40 am
    Lisa said...

    The masculinity suits me. Tomboy:).

  12. Duchesse
    February 4, 2014

    Cunningham buys his jacket- a French streetsweeper’s- in Paris, for I think $40ish. (He buys them in bulk and it’s all he wears to shoot.) Did you see the doc “Bill Cunningham’s New York”? Delightful and moving.

    I always wonder when institutional clothes like this are offered with hefty price tags- is this an improvement on the original functional piece- or is someone fleecing us?

    02/04/14
    10:39 am
    Lisa said...

    Well, if you factor in the price of a ticket to Paris. And assume you are amortizing that ticket over the few who want that type of jacket…

    02/05/14
    5:47 am
    Duchesse said...

    Lisa, you might ask a friend traveling to pick one up; I did further research and found it’s apparently $20. Let’s assume you would look as good in it as Bill, but if not you;re not out a bundle. That “cost of a ticket” argument has justified a number of too costly purchases in my past ;)

    02/05/14
    8:07 am
    AggieK said...

    @Duchesse,

    I’ve pictures of him also wearing a 69/40 coat, probably when the weather is worse.

  13. Barbara
    February 4, 2014

    For an alternative, go to Lee Valley Tools and search Irish Denim Work Jacket. $85.00. The catalogue shows it on a woman as well as a man. I’ve only seen it on a male friend and it looks much better in person than on the page. Of course, the blue isn’t the same as the French jacket but it looks really good on. You could dip it in a dye bath to blue up those white threads. And you can phone them for a shoulder or upper chest measurement. Somehow I can’t imagine a French workman paying over $400 for a work jacket.
    Barbara

  14. Karena
    February 4, 2014

    The jacket would definitely look boxy on me! Everyone should watch The Bill Cunningham documentary; it is Priceless!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

  15. Lisa
    February 4, 2014

    All right. You guys made me do my homework. Here’s a link about how much Bill Cunningham paid, and how the price worldwide has risen. http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/04/dropping-knowledge-bill-cunninghams-french-workmans-jacket.html. And here, in additional to the Irish link (thanks Barbara) is the closest I can find in the US. But it’s cotton/nylon, FWIW.http://www.hickorees.com/brand/le-laboureur/product/bleu-de-travail-french-work-jacket-blue. $150. And there you have it.

  16. Tracey
    February 4, 2014

    Hey Gals wise up: the pic of the Hickoree’s version has none of the magical allure and fine detailing of Lisa’s original pic. It just looks like a plain ol workman’s coat, which of course, it is. But the Steven Alan version is so…Parisian! Can’t you guys see that? I think it’s totally adorable. Come on Lisa, you can make this work for you. Pair with slim leg dark denim jeans (not those BF jeans) and a simple slim fluid scarf laid under the lapels. Ooh lala. We all need a bit of beauty in our lives. And we don’t want to look like workmen who are on a lunch break. These jackets are two different animals. Rant over.

    02/05/14
    5:49 am
    Duchesse said...

    I do see it but I still say, break in one of the real ones, add your own touches. But then I am someone who thinks $225 jeans are not worth it. A lot of it is attitude.

  17. lauren
    February 4, 2014

    have you tried the actual le laboreur jacket bill c wears? i suspect (given that it’s cut for a man) that it might accommodate your shoulders (i have the same issue).

  18. Candace
    February 4, 2014

    Your first photo shows the jacket in such an exquisite shade of blue. I would wear this jacket as much as possible just to be surrounded by that beautiful blue!

    02/04/14
    4:04 pm
    Flo said...

    Truly.

    LPC’s jacket is a bona fide Bunny Mellon grande dame I’ve-got-to-get-to-my-topiary-greenhouses-now-are-there-any-more-questions uniform.

  19. lauren
    February 4, 2014

    …and that’s what i get for not reading the last smattering of comments: redundancy. sigh.

  20. MyEmptyBag
    February 5, 2014

    perfect description! I like it very much!

    xxx

  21. coulda shoulda woulda
    February 5, 2014

    It is odd that the curvier one is the more the boxy jackets highlight this – it becomes negative space fashion. I wish I could have such an uniform style literally and figuratively as it must be great to accessorize it as well. Times like this i wish i could sew…

  22. vicki archer
    February 5, 2014

    Cute… just wish by wearing that jacket I could shoot like Mr Cunningham… ;) xv

  23. That’s Not My Age
    February 5, 2014

    I like it but I’m holding out for the Ines de la Fressange/Uniqlo collaboration which has a similar workwear-inspired jacket.

  24. Lisa
    February 5, 2014

    Eeeeeeeee!

  25. Aya in Couturgatory
    February 6, 2014

    Hahaha! ‘Mao-like’. I had a similar thought when I looked at it: there are certain styles I avoid as a woman of Asian descent, because a jacket cut like this paired with a cadet cap, and, well…

    I do hear you on the broad-shouldered and two different sizes front. Double high-five if you are also broad in the ribs/latissmus dorsi.

  26. Susan Partlan
    February 6, 2014

    That jacket used to be my idea of a dream jacket. Things have changed!

    Bill is a cutie pie.

  27. Rob Halligan
    April 3, 2014

    I found your piece when googling for info on the jackets Bill Cunningham wears. I’d already found a Mao jacket in the back of my closet that seems remarkably close to the French worker’s jacket. The main difference I see is that my Mao jacket waist is more fitted – more like a wind breaker’s than a sports coat’s. Some of the French jackets seem to have a sports jacket type collar. I think I’ll keep looking for a French worker’s jacket.

    …Makes me wonder if the Chinese copied the French or if the similarity is a coincidence.

    04/04/14
    8:16 am
    Lisa said...

    I wonder too.

  28. inky
    July 6, 2014

    You can pick ’em up cheap here…
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/195452355/french-work-jacket

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