[DEEP DIVE] EXPLORER SHIRT JACKET
Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE". In this series we offer a glimpse of the Engineered Garments skeleton, the root system of an otherwise opaque brand. We have been on a military streak lately, focusing on fatigues and army issued clothing. But today we take a look at Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki’s love for outdoor clothing, and how he expresses it through the Explorer Shirt Jacket.
Daiki’s love for fashion began with magazines. Loitering in his local Aomori bookstore for hours reading cinema periodicals, he discovered the adventure apparel featured in magazines like “Made in U.S.A. Catalog” and “Popeye”, sparking a lifelong obsession with these goods. He even joined his high school’s Mountaineering Club - less for his interest in ascending summits and more for his desire to wear his mail-order Jansport backpack and Sierra Designs parka. (Unbeknownst to him, the club forbade the use of non-approved equipment, so Daiki was stuck with the school-issued uniform).
This passion for rugged gear continued during his career as a buyer during the 80s and 90s, traveling across the United States on the hunt for fine products. Not only building an encyclopedic knowledge, he began to amass a literal encyclopedia after buying a lifetime of Field and Stream Magazine issues from a retiree at a Long Beach, California flea market. In a tearful moment, Daiki inherited decades worth of these issues, with the original recipient’s name and address still on the subscription label - heightening his emotional attachment to the genre.
For the remainder of his time as a buyer, Daiki flipped through the pages of these magazines, figuring out the best products to buy and expanding his understanding of the style’s evolution. It wasn’t until he started designing clothing that used the magazines for a different kind of inspiration.
The Engineered Garments Explorer Shirt Jacket is a direct reflection of this deep affection for expeditionary garments, an amalgamation of pieces from heritage American brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Woolrich, and Willis & Geiger Outfitters. Great importance is placed on the shirt jacket silhouette. The sides are punched out, in order to be easier to layer on top of a shirt, but is compact enough to fit under a coat - a stroke of genius adaptability.
Every inch of this item is carefully considered. Daiki chose to use an open collar, complete with front placket, for a traditional feel. (There are two ways to make a shirt jacket, with or without a stand collar, which will dictate if the shirt features a placket.) Open collar shirts don’t generally have a placket on the sleeve, but this one does, a nod to Pendleton’s Board Shirt. The buttons on the shirt sleeve are a bit larger than the buttons on the body, to emphasize its identity as a jacket first. The bi-swing back allows for better ease of movement, and the collar tab gives a signature Engineered Garments flair.
Two slash pockets, three 3-D flap pockets, and two smaller 3-D flap pockets populate the front of the jacket, in addition to the left sleeve and two back pockets. The smaller twin pockets on the front invoke the garment’s versatility - holding a cameraman’s film canister, a motorist’s sunglasses, or a fisherman’s lure.
This item is not only a personal expression of Daiki’s fondness for American outdoor recreation gear. There is a risk of forgetting heritage American companies’ massive contribution to fashion. Magazines deteriorate, conventional manufacturing methods disappear and memories slip away. Remade in the Engineered Garments vision, the Explorer Shirt Jacket reinvigorates the legacy of the brands which inspired it, preserving knowledge for future generations.
The Explorer Shirt Jacket is available in the following fabrics:
- Black Memory Polyester
- Dark Navy Memory Polyester
- Khaki Memory Polyester
- Grey CP Waffle
- Olive Cotton Ripstop
- Khaki Olive Leaf Print Cotton Poplin
Available for purchase in-store and online at nepenthesny.com.