The Return of the Donkey Jacket

How's this for a turn up for the books. We see that the donkey jacket has been making something of a return. By my reckoning this once staple piece of British workwear hasn't been in much evidence since the early 80s when it was adopted by skinheads - part of their puritanically anti-fashion and clean-cut aesthetic - as an alternative to a Crombie.

British workwear classic
Dexys Midnight Runners (above) wore them a lot during their Searching for the Young Soul Rebels period. The history of the donkey jacket as a garment for labourers goes back to the Victorian era. In the service industry era it has risen again.

The Watchgate

Instead of the traditional leather shoulder panels, the Watchgate woollen donkey jacket from Aubin & Wills — made in the UK by George Keys (1870) — uses waxed cotton from the British Millerain Company. I can't find any intel on George Keys. George, if you read this, please get in touch.

If you're attracted to British utilitarian clothing, you don't need to look like you're clocking-on for a shift in a mine (unless you want to). A navy donkey jacket with maybe a tattersall shirt underneath, a pair of mustard-coloured moleskin trousers and some well-worn oxblood brogues should do it.


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