My favorite lightweight jacket is Taylor Stitch’s Ojai. Here are a few terms I’ve seen used to describe it:
- “updated version of a French workwear jacket”
- “looks and feels like a vintage military jacket.”
- “a great interpretation of a chore coat”
- “functional work-bench jacket”
- “an unstructured blazer”
I’ve been wearing this jacket for many months, and I’m wild about it as a jacket for spring or fall.
What’s interesting is that it’s available in not only different colors, but different fabrics, about four or five of them depending on the time of year. The Olive color is the most popular, but it’s always available in a range of other materials. Exactly which materials varies hugely throughout the year, but I’ve seen this same 8oz cotton in Charcoal, Tobacco, and others, and there are many that have included herringbone and boiled wool.
But here, we’re looking at the best known version, the Olive Ojai. Here’s why it’s a must have for any guy’s fall wardrobe.
Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket Aesthetic
- Chore coat/French workwear jacket
- Loose, unstructured fit
- Roomy pockets
- Thick ringback buttons
This kind of jacket is sometimes called a chore coat and sometimes a French workwear jacket because it seems to have first appeared in France in the late 19th century.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a chore coat is an increasingly popular type of jacket that’s dressier than a trucker jacket and less dressy than a blazer, with the idea being that the loose fit, thick-ish material, and roomy pockets made it ideal for tough physical work. And just like jeans, which were also invented to be workwear, the chore coat has evolved into a staple of the modern man’s wardrobe.
Because this Olive color is really popular, sometimes people say it’s like an old military jacket, but I would strongly disagree. A big part of why I adore this jacket is that you’re able to wear this cool, green color without looking like you’re pretending to be in the military, an aesthetic that’s due in no small part to the big, thick, round, wood-colored ringback buttons.
There’s a lot I dig about this jacket, but the buttons are what really elevate it above your classic chore coat and make it more interesting and stylish. They make it stand out but not too much, putting the Ojai in that really nice sweet spot in men’s fashion where it’s different, but not obtrusively, offensively different.
It stands out, but it’s still masculine — that’s what I like in my wardrobe.
[Related: The 10 Best Jackets for Fall or Spring]
Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket Cotton
- Organic cotton
- 8oz thick
- Breathes well
The material for most Ojai jackets is organic cotton, which is a big deal for the brand. It doesn’t mean it’s stronger or anything, but it’s worth seeking out for other reasons:
16% of all pesticides are used on cotton, but none are used on organic cotton. Its production produces a lot less CO2 — some estimates say up to 46% less — and uses 91% less water than conventional cotton.
The material is 8 ounces per square yard, so it’s heavier than all of your shirts, except maybe a burly flannel. It’s pre washed to give it a nice soft feel, and it’s 100% cotton so it breathes very well. There’s no high tech moisture wicking elements here, but it’s a great material for breathability and for getting work done.
As for other details, there’s one chest pocket with a pen compartment, two hand warmer pockets with second pockets running over the top of them.
Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket Price
The 8oz versions of this jacket cost $188.
The price, I think, is justifiable given it’s made from organic cotton and it’s just so damn versatile, but whether or not it’s worth it for you is your own decision.
Taylor Stitch Ojai Jacket Pros & Cons
Let’s wrap this up:
- Good weight for an unstructured jacket
- Very versatile
- Buttons elevated the simple look
- Roomy fit, not “modern” or slim
- Made in China
Chore coats can be a bit shapeless and this is a pretty shapeless jacket, and I do prefer a slimmer, more V-shaped fit than the boxier “classic” fit that Taylor Stitch always uses, but but the lightness of the material keeps it from sitting on your top like a shapeless rectangle. (If that’s not too much of an oxymoron.)
But it really is a versatile jacket that works great with an Oxford cloth button down or with a slubby t-shirt. I really like this jacket: it’s sharply tailored, it’s old and new in all the right ways , it’s casual but dressier than a trucker jacket or a denim jacket, and it’s insanely versatile.
Truthfully, if I didn’t kind of have to buy various jackets from various companies because I review them? I’d probably grab the Ojai jacket in Olive, Washed Charcoal, and Indigo Boiled Wool for colder weather, and call it a day. It’s a really great jacket that looks cool, but isn’t trying to at all.
And that’s the kind of clothing men like.
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