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Complete Guide: Original Utility Field Jacket

INTRO

Hi, I’m Nick, the founder of FRAHM. I’m incredibly proud of this jacket - the first I designed and the first we launched, back in 2018. The reviews still average 5/5. Thank you.

We only makes them once a year and it sells out well in advance of it's arrival date, so you really should pre-order as soon as you can. That's a big step, so here's some help.

Here's the what, why, how, when and who of it all. 

Twin needle stitched cargo pockets for strength, with custom hardened stainless steel snaps & YKK zips.

ORIGINS

I’d always wanted to make a Field Jacket. I love the utilitarian design of this British military classic. Utility & style. A field jacket was always going be my first launch. I was very clear about what it would be, I’d been researching and designing this thing for years in my head!

What I also saw was an opportunity. The Big Brands were/are taking the proverbials. Stellar growth AND profit overrides quality, service and longevity. They are demanding a high price for an increasingly inferior, margin-heavy product, banking on past brand glories. But that's good for FRAHM - we can carve out a niche, knowing customers are looking for an alternative to the corporate same-old-same-old. Plus, it’s so much more FUN to design UP, not down. Quality & detail are what I love.

First, I needed to define what was to be achieved:

frahm utility field jacket navy

Designed to move & stay comfortable. Or stand in the middle of a road, because... because.

DESIGN BRIEF

I want a jacket that covers the maximum range of use in a British climate, from pub pint to dog walk to work meeting. Every man has that favourite jacket they grab every time. I wanted this to be that jacket.

This meant I had to be pragmatic. Widest use in the UK means a lot of mild to cool, changeable weather - overcast then sunny. Then wind, showers, drizzle - the unexpected. We get relatively little hot sun or freezing weather - so I worked within that wide band of climate we have for almost the entire year. 

Since the Original isn't warm enough for freezing weather, or torrential rain, we added have these iterations based on the Original:

The Waterproof Utility Field Jacket

 

The Ventile Thermal Field Jacket

Back to the Original: I would need to increase practicality - fit, movement, storage, even the ability to be washable. I don’t wear ‘normal’ waxed jackets anymore because their difficulty in care frustrates me. I move a lot - throwing kids above my head, running, jumping whatever - it had to move with me. With that movement comes heat and sweat - hence lightweight, very breathable fabric choices

This isn't my first rodeo. I have an awarded background in sports and performance garments that don’t show off their tech, with (humble hat on, honest) exhibits in the Design Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, plus I studied ergonomics and biophysics and uni. All this helps place the jacket in a utility, not fashion space.

All this performance had to fit into an 'adapted classic', not weird or fashion design, that had our own design cues, without being wacky or boring. Harder than you think!

frahm utility field jacket

Spot The Difference? :o)
The first design iteration - not too dissimilar to the end product. 

DESIGNING

Here’s my not-exhaustive list of what I wrote down, as the jacket came together on paper:

  • British but progressive
  • Vintage motorcycle & military influences
  • Masculine but not aggro
  • Classic & subtle
  • Clean, straight lines
  • Matt fabrics, not shiny, sticky or loud
  • Understated quality
  • Pleating to articulate shoulders and arms
  • Room to lift arms above head, sit down, etc, without discomfort, ripping or inconvenience (like undoing jacket)
  • Make it easy to use - washable, no need to iron, smooth zips, storage
  • Comfort - soft skin contact materials, breathable, water resistant, windproof
  • Venting to dump unwanted posture but not let in cold
  • Collar high, fitted to neck and skull, cosy, enclosing. Stiff but soft
  • Everything tough, especially consider zips, snaps, stitching - stress areas
  • Hand pockets in right place, soft lined
  • Create herringbone (British cue, looks great but not showy) trims & labels
  • No flapping cheap care labels - must be sewn in - quality down to last detail

FIT

CLICK HERE TO SEE SIZE GUIDE

Most men are not twenty-something fashion models with cheekbones that could cut diamonds.

I know from experience that fit is a worry and frustration for us all. I fit for real bodies, with lumpy bits.

Our measurements are the real ones, true to size. If you're a 42 chest, we've made a large for a 42 chest. Seems obvious really...Surely?!

I want room to wear layers, adding to the field jacket’s versatility.

I want it to move with me and have space, but be fitted enough to be flattering, smart and to stay smart. Great tailoring does this.

I’m average height, but I know tall men who can’t find anything that fits - so we'll do Tall sizes.

Shorter men will need sleeve alterations - we'll do that for free. 

MATERIALS

  • Outer: British Millerain of Rochdale, Lancashire, provide their awesome machine washable Staywax waxed cotton in a medium weight 230 gsm grade.
  • Lining: Cotton Cashmere lining - ultra soft, warm but not stuffy, odour resistant
  • Zips: Custom hardened stainless steel in gunmetal finish from YKK
  • Snaps: Again, custom gunmetal finish hardened stainless steel, from Como in Northern Italy.
  • Cuff, collar & hand pocket lining: Very soft but hardwearing pure cotton moleskin

Complete Guide To The FRAHM Utility Field JacketHandmade by talented people who care. Personal nicknacks are everywhere. This is a community, not a sweatshop

MANUFACTURE

We don’t work with the cheapest, we work with the best. Not just that, we work with friends, people we can trust. We help each other. That’s important.

We use factories in the EU. This may come as a shock to some, who think we should make all our jackets in the UK. We would if we could do it to the standards we desire - but our partners work, kindness and understanding of our aims is unparalleled. Above all, the quality is the best I’ve ever seen, from the dozens of factories I’ve worked with in my career. We only use the best.

They're building handmade jackets with pride and care. We know what we’re getting, from whom. Nobody is getting shafted. That stuff matters a LOT.

BUYING

We all need to feel safe buying online. We know we have to create trust.

It’s worth knowing most of our customers have bought 2 or even ALL of our jackets!

  • Reviews: We never edit or remove any. All are real. Please do check them out - we are touched, not just by the positive scores, but the detail and passion within
  • Returns: If you pre-order, you can get a refund at any time. If you don’t like it, we’ll refund 30 days after we sent it out (which means we have a chance to sell it to someone on the waiting list)
  • Sizing & exchanges: Sizing can be intimidating, but it is easy for us. Best thing is to live chat us from the website, but you can call or email. We can always help. If you do have the wrong size (very rare if we advise), we can also sort that no problem
  • Loyalty & Referral scheme: We know we must look after you to thrive, so you get bigger bonuses as you go. It’s the box on the bottom left if the website

Frahm utility field jacket

The Original Utility Field Jacketis lighter weight than an old style waxed jacket, making it far more comfortable and pleasant to wear, as it's not weighed down by sticky wax that gets everywhere.

 WEARING IT:

  • Dog walk
  • Pub
  • Work
  • Meetings
  • Restaurants
  • Space travel*
  • Not for torrential rain, but showers and persistent light to mid rain.
  • Temperature range from cold (freezing with layers) to warm. Best in cool to mild range. All but freezing and hot weather.
  • Again, widest use possible - most British/temperate weather.

 *FRAHM Original Utility Field Jacket cannot be pressurised.

 

 I'm really not sure how to caption this... Something about ease of movement?

CARE

Machine wash cool in non-biological liquid. No conditioner as conditioner kills performance (it suffocates any performance characteristics by coating it), if you do, just rinse the jacket and it’ll be fine.

No need to re-treat, but the fabric will slightly fade (rather nicely we think) with washing and wear.

We offer a Lifetime Guarantee on faults. That doesn’t cover stuff like running through a plate glass window or washing it in hot bleach.

Frahm utility field jacket

Can be worn in dense forest wearing sunnies. Though try not to linger furtively in ferns like Chris - its weird

SUMMARY

Phew, that was a lot. Hopefully everything you could want? Here’s a reminder:

  • We deliberately don't make enough, just once a year
  • Pre-ordering is nigh on essential, the earlier the better
  • We give £10 from each jacket sold to mental health charities
  • Pricey yes, but amazing detail & long term value
  • Designed to be the widest possible use all-rounder
  • Built for far greater quality, fit & detail than the big brands
  • Fit is Real World
  • Everything is made by talented people we know, that are good, kind folk
  • Our service is staff that I train personally, and we keep our promises
  • Lifetime guarantee.
  • Use it (almost) anywhere
  • Easy to look after, for years and years
  • Bloody hell, look at those reviews!

Thanks for listening. Grab us anytime on live chat.

Nick

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