It all started with an Instagram caption. This particular caption was written by none other than our very own Universal Works co-founder David Keyte, who proclaimed to his insta-followers “Favourite faded T #worninnotwornout”. This was in reference to an old, but still very much loved, Satta x Universal Works T-Shirt that had proudly made it’s way back into David’s daily get-up. “Worn in, Not Worn Out” an unassuming statement to some, but one that got us all thinking about the wonderful messages we often get from our customers, sharing their love for the cherished and sometimes slightly battered UW garments that they are still wearing with pride.
Much like a vintage French work jacket, we like to honour the marks that come from years of wear. It’s an indication that we've done our job properly if our customers continue to want to wear and repair their Uni Works garments. It makes us smile when a person is so into a garment that they are willing to forgo box-fresh expectations in favour of an old overshirt or trouser that fits just right and, to them, can’t be replaced.
To those who’ve taken the time to share these sartorial memories, we salute you! For us, clothing is there to be worn and to be loved!
In our latest journal some of our team put forward their favourite “Worn in but not worn out” UW garments -some even date back to our very first collections. Enjoy!
Ashley from our Coal Drops Yard team,
For my "worn in, not worn out" item I chose the NW jacket in green moleskin. This jacket says a lot about me. Growing up my dad only wore a Levi type 2 jacket; I mean that's still all he ever wears . To me, his identity is wrapped up in that jacket, almost like it's his uniform. When I picked up the this jacket I wanted it to be the same kind of thing for me. Something that I would continue to throw on again and again. Last winter our CDY neighbours and friends at Blackhorse Lane Ateliers hosted a pop-up event with London-based craftsman, Giulio Miglietta, who specialises in chain stitch embroidery. At the time I worked along side a team member who loved illustration, tattooing and all things craft really. We bounced off each other and learned a lot together. We both ended up getting jackets worked on, which was fun. So I guess it's also become a bit of a memento of times passed.
I am not precious with it, though, the more it gets beat up the better it gets. Clothing is meant to be worn and loved right?
Vix from our Marketing team,
"This beauty is a favourite of mine. I just love the striking worker blue colour! It's actually an early prototype of our classic twill MW Fatigue Jacket, which is inspired by an old army jacket. David tells me that the bleach patch was a happy accident that was born through a miss communication with our factory during the development process, after they mistakenly added an arm badge - It's a tad battered but that's part of its charm."
Co-founder Stephanie wearing three items from the archive,
"The shirt is from our very first season (AW09). I don't wear it too much, it has more sentimental value to me -although now I might start wearing it again. It has a slimmer shape than I like to wear these days, but the styling features are great, - especially the curved front hem and square back which we had to change as it was unpopular with our early customers - shall we bring it back?
The jacket is fab, our classic Bakers Jacket in a knitted tech mesh fabric (SS14). An unusual UW piece and useful as it is nice and airy! This fabric is never going to look worn being a nylon and polyester mix. The pants are the UW Kyoto work pant in ‘Italian Denim' from SS19 (the first season we made this style). It's not a true denim but an indigo textured fabric which is wearing nicely as time goes on and remains a summer favourite of mine. I'm wearing Saucony x Universal Works shoes from a collaboration we did for AW15, seen here with a styling addition!"
Michael from our warehouse team,
"The shirt is from a football team called FC Bohemia, which was formed in 1992 following a tournament on the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham. David joined that team in 1995 and has produced many shirts for them over the years. The team is still going strong today - including some of the original founding members - and we still have two games a week on the forest. David and I think that the shirt I’m wearing is at least 10 -15 years old and remains a firm favourite of mine."
Allan our customer service guru,
"I have this trucker jacket in Kuroki denim. David had a few stonewashed in the production process, and I ended up getting this one which I love. I grew up in the 70's when everyone had a denim trucker style jacket, normally Levi’s, and this is just a classic piece and looks even better now that it’s a bit battered with wear."
Alison from our production team,
We would love to hear from you!
Do you have a much loved UW garment that you'd like to share with us?
Tell us more and send a photo of it too, email@example.com.
Please note by submitting via this email account you are confirming that you are happy for us to feature this in future journals/ social media posts.