As a bike commuter, I like this blazer Lands’ End Canvas released late last week.
Pedants might say it’s more appropriately called a “sport coat”—and they’d be right. The obvious connection is that the Madison is a “bike blazer,” paying homage to the sport coat’s origin as specialized attire for outdoor activities. I’m genuinely impressed by the attention to detail in this regard — it’s as if the Madison’s designers kept in mind all the quirks of riding while wearing tailored clothing.
The 3M reflective lining used for the undercollar, pictured above, is a welcome feature. Although I ride after dark with lights front and back, I’ve had a number of close calls with inattentive car drivers. It’s nice having something to catch the headlights of cars behind me — and it gives a pragmatic reason for popping your jacket collar beyond merely attempting a bit of sprezzatura. The corduroy collar is a smart detail in this regard, as it spares the back of the wearer’s neck from scratchy wool fabric.
I also appreciate the hidden, zip-close back pocket. There’s always little things I need to grab or put away while riding—keys, gloves, garage door opener. It’s often awkward leaving them in my pant pockets or reaching around to grab them from my bag, so having the extra pocket is appreciated. Granted, a jacket’s front pockets can also be used, so I like that the Madison’s patch pockets can be fastened closed with a button.
I didn’t really understand the point of the “button-up front hems” until Canvas posted a YouTube video highlighting the Madison’s features (I’ve embedded the video after the cut). Securing the front of the jacket keeps it from flapping in the wind as you ride. It’s a thoughtful addition that demonstrates the degree to which the designers thought through the practical considerations of wearing the jacket.
While all these features are modern reinterpretations of the sport coat’s roots in functionality, I appreciated that Canvas included nods to more traditional, sporty details. The fabric is a tweedy herringbone with a red and gold windowpane overcheck, and they’ve opted for single-button sleeves. I’m a bit disappointed that they chose to make the buttons functional, though, since it significantly increases the cost of alterations.
That aside, I’m very impressed with the Madison. To learn more about the jacket, see the video I’ve embedded after the cut, or check out the Madison Bike Blazer at Canvas Land’s End.
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