Any kind of hard graft deserves its own piece of outerwear. Whichever way you earn a crust, there should always be space for a great chore jacket in the wardrobe.
Enter the Bakers Jacket, a Universal Works core classic that hovers comfortably in the “I’ve made an effort” part of every stylish man’s wardrobe.
Purposeful, practical and pretty much timeless, it’s the one garment most blokes would struggle to live without. Its continuous inclusion in the Universal Works collections comes down to the sheer wearability - people love the shape, the pockets, the comfort and the fact that it feels a bit, shall we say, ‘iconic’.
The Bakers Jacket’s origins are deep rooted in UW founder David Keyte’s personal history books. To unravel the spark of inspiration, he takes us back to November 2008 and explains, “When I was working on the designs for the first collection, I had 25 years’ worth of ideas stored in my brain. I’d worked with some of the best names in U.K. men’s fashion, but never on my own terms, or on my own collection.
I never wanted the Universal Works collections to be about high fashion or excessive design, but instead, about working clothes that reminded me of the simple, stylish, weekend garments I watched my father and uncles dress in when I was a kid. They weren’t rich, but liked to wear good clothes; with a nice bit of tweed and polished shoes on a weekend. But it was the everyday garments of their working lives that influenced that first collection. In reality, what they were wearing was probably dated by the time I saw them, as they were still dressed in fifties and early sixties clothes in the seventies!
I began with a simple everyday “Work Jacket”. Back then everybody’s idea of a work jacket was the French blue version, the US Chore Jacket or Engineers Jacket. The one I designed was in that same mould but I remembered the curved sleeves of my dad’s work jacket from years of wear so I added darted sleeves to achieve this more ergonomic shape. Essentially it was the same simple work jacket I’d had in my head all those years except with a few more considered touches.
Once the jacket was taking shape, the pattern made, samples in work, I needed to give it a name. The Work Jacket would have been the obvious choice, but I wanted it to be a nod towards my old man, and not only did he work really hard he also had a skilled job; he was a Baker. So that was it, the Bakers Jacket was born. It is a hard-working simple jacket, much like my Dad was a hard-working simple guy, what you saw was what you got.
Tongue & cheek stop motion movie on the development of the Bakers Jackets made by Allan Buxton with Universal Works.
The UW Bakers Jacket isn’t an ode to those generic “heritage” manual work styles, it’s more like the bread my father made - a great everyday staple. We make new iterations every season in a variety of fabrics and I hope we continue to make it for a few more years to come.”