Ernest Alexander is known for making some of the finest men's bags on the market, but five years after the brand's debut, it has expanded to include dopp kits, waxed canvas flasks, ties, and vests. Now they're getting into outerwear with the Grant, a lightweight hooded, multi-seasonal jacket you can wear to fend off cool mornings, wind, or rain, and then shake out and throw over your shoulder when the sun finally comes through the clouds.
"We wanted a great transitional piece," founder Ernest Sabine explains from his Manhattan design studio. "I'm always looking for something that's minimalistic – really clean lines and lightweight, giving you just enough protection when it's a little chilly out. It's a great layering piece for spring and early summer."
Like many of his bags, Sabine designed the Grant, made of a windproof and waterproof Japanese double-cloth poly exterior and cotton-nylon blended cuffs, after stalking people down the side streets of New York to eye small details he might include in the final product. The zip-and-snap double-front will keep out the weather, and the length adds versatility, allowing you to wear it to the office or over a t-shirt and jeans.
As the grandson of two Latvian seamstresses, Sabine brings old school qualities of durability and craftsmanship to his modern pieces, along with a look that can carry season-to-season as a staple of your wardrobe for those who don't feel a constant need to overhaul their closets. And while olive is traditionally a fall color, it works well for spring if you pair it right.
"Personally, I'd wear it with a chambray or liberty print button-down," Sabine suggests. "There's something nice about wearing a plain piece on the outside and having a pop of pattern underneath." [$295; ernestalexander.com]