The Oddest Jacket

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Inspired by a post I saw at Breathnaigh, I recently bought a Needles Rebuild jacket. It’s easily the oddest piece of clothing I own, and I say that as a guy who walks around town in a motorcycle jacket. For those unfamiliar, Needles is one of the brands under Nepenthes – a Japanese company that operates as both a retailer and parent company to a number of labels. In addition to Needles, they have Engineered Garments, South2 West8, and Sonic Labs. The company’s founder and director, Keizo Shimizu, designs Needles and Sonic Labs.

The Needles line feels very eccentric and bohemian. It includes this “Rebuild” collection, where individual pieces of clothing (often vintage) are deconstructed and used to “rebuild” new garments. Given the construction and designs, each piece is totally unique, even if the sensibilities across models and makes are the same. Take this BDU field jacket, for example. There are snap button pockets (presumably from the cargo pockets of BDU pants) on the interior side of the left lapel. One is so strangely placed that it’s in the middle of where the lapel folds over, which causes the lapel to sit strangely. Snap button pockets have also been used to reinforce the elbows, and there’s one pocket – upside down, even – placed right next to the patch hip pocket. Should you unbutton it, a ribbon previously used to cinch the waist on a pair of pants will unravel and fall out, reminding you that you’re in the Willy Wonka world of field jacket designs.  

I’m told by Pete (of Breathnaigh) that these pieces never really go on sale, and that their prices just keep on rising. It might be a moot point since, as I mentioned, every piece is unique. When I contacted The Bureau Belfast about their stock, they showed me the photos of the three mediums in this jacket they had left, and none really looked the same. I decided to just buy the one I liked most.

The Needles Rebuild collection has other pieces like this. There’s this flannel shirt, for example, which has been constructed from frayed, mismatched strips of shirting. There are also a couple of Led Zeppelin t-shirts made in the same way. Neither are things I think I can pull off well, but they do look cool. This BDU jacket though? I’ve been wearing it with 3sixteen jeans, a Buzz Rickson sweatshirt, and some Red Wing 9030 workboots. For the most part, it just looks like a rumpled field jacket until you look closer. It’s only then that you notice this is an odd jacket.

(Photos via The Bureau Belfast, Silver & GoldKippleland, and me)


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  1. justmenswear reblogged this from dieworkwear
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  4. bonescoffee reblogged this from dieworkwear and added:
    Hello! May I ask how did you size for the Needles BDU field jacket? Do you find the measurement chart corresponds to the...
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  7. nonday reblogged this from dieworkwear and added:
    Those pockets
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