Levi’s may be known the world over for its denim, but the company has diversified by spending the last several years releasing excellent American staples – leather jackets, cardigans, T-shirts – as part of its Made & Crafted line. This premium collection aims to wed excellent craftsmanship (shirts are hand-sewn using single-needle construction; leather is hand-waxed) with classic design. Now, the ultimate U.S. brand is having a go at the raincoat market, which has been dominated by the Brits since Scotsman Charles Macintosh invented waterproof cloth in 1823. Levi’s new Mac offers both a clever new pocket system and a rugged build perfect for both London and northern Wisconsin.
The three-quarter-length jacket maintains its hyper-minimal, straightforward look thanks to a hidden horn-button placket that keeps everything tucked in just so. The waterproofing, black cotton twill coated with brown acrylic, is both robust and attractive. The shade is closer to dark coffee or river otter fur than it is to plain grey. But the coolest feature is definitely the exterior side pockets that reach into the interior of the coat to access large sidewall pockets that can accommodate iPads, newspaper, or other working-man sundries. No need to mess with unbuttoning tricky layers in stormy weather. That’s an American innovation thank you very much. [$398; benchandloom.com]