The barn jacket is a classic style whose relaxed lines and comfortable shape have made it a favorite for decades. Our Chicago Jacket has a similar stylistic feel though we have incorporated a number of refined details, including a curved waist seam and diagonal darted seams that continue into the pockets. The minutiae of design elements work together to create a truly sophisticated style.
Workwear came into fashion during WWII when women took over many of the jobs in factories and farms while men fought overseas. The taste for this style of clothes didn't go away after the war, but stuck around as activewear. In the 1950's, teenagers, spurred on by the designs from Pendleton, co-opted the look to wear with their new denim jeans. Today, brands like Dior and Ralph Lauren show barn jackets on their runways, most recently in variations of distressed denim.
I was inspired to create a Chicago Jacket for my sister. I chose a beautiful cross-dyed (barn) red linen (which we also have in black, mint, yellow and grey). A cross-dyed fabric is woven with different colors of thread to create a fabric that almost changes color in different lighting. This particular linen is made with orange and black weft fibers woven through red warp fibers. It is a medium-weight, smooth linen, but I envisioned something a little more rumpled. So after sewing, I hand washed it and let it hang dry. See the finished Chicago below, as well as our selection of cross-dyed linens.