In the United States, we tend to call the best business and formal
looks and fits “European” or “Italian” or “British,”–

Edwardian Cut Brown Flannel Sport Suit

sometimes for good reason, and sometimes merely as a shorthand for saying that a look is “good” or “exciting” or somehow intangibly different from the basic relaxed New England look that we are used to seeing in the shops.
But if there is one area of tailoring that is truly American, it is sportswear.

To a certain extent, we inherited our love and notions of “sports” from the British. But sport always meant something a bit different to Americans than it did to the Brits.

Crown Shape Pockets and 1920s Style Cuffs

To the Brits “sport” centered around the country estate and the hunt—activities that one would do as a gentleman of leisure when outside of the city.

For Americans, this idea of sport was quickly eclipsed by the idea of strenuous activities that one did often for the sake of health and entertainment.

Crown Shaped Breast Pocket with Embroidered Crowsfoot Tacks

The tennis court, the golf course, the beach. Sailing, skiing, riding, fishing and even flying.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries men wore sport jackets for all of these activities.

Slim Fit Box Pleated Pant

Jackets with “action backs” to allow for a freedom of movement.

Jackets with throat latches to keep out the cold.

Shawl Collar Hand-Stitched Vest

Jackets from linen for the heat and sweat or from waxed cotton to keep out the rain.

The ideal man was not a man of leisure but a man of activity who needed to be ready for anything!

Suits made from matched cloth were replaced by separates.

Plaid Seersucker Sport Jacket

A jacket in one fabric, and a pant in another. Plaids, houndstooths, herringbones.

Eventually sportswear evolved into our basic everyday casual clothing. And in the late 20th Century came to mean nothing more than  jeans and a t-shirt.

Linen Moto Vest

But now, when more and more men are trying to dress up and look good, an older, more authentic vision of sportswear has become relevant again.

Linen Back on Tweed Vest

We want to dress better.  But we don’t want to be limited by the way that we dress.

We want durable fabrics that we can wear anywhere.

We want a full range of movement so that we can drive, throw a ball, or put away a bottle on the top shelf.

Most of all, an American aesthetic is about not being constrained.

Shawl Collar Donegal Tweed Vest

We buy big trucks instead of little cars, so that we can (at least in our imaginations) drive a rocky road to a forlorn mountain cabin or pack up all of our belongings to move to a new town.Vest and Pant In Japanese Wool
Part of what Denver Bespoke and AJ Machete and Sons are about is a striving after an authentically American vision of tailoring.

We aren’t interested in recycling English and European fashions, either as a vision of James Bond or a British gent, or that perfectly spontaneous and romantic looking fellow at the Italian cafe.

1920s Style American "Swoosh" Breastpocket

We want something a bit more rugged.  Maybe a bit more rustic.

Copper Stitching and Buttons with Herringbone Shirt

Something that fits in with the Rocky Mountains and the American West instead of the postcard version of a European capital.

Retro Tweed Pant with Wide Waistband

Retro Tweed Pant with Wide Waistband

So we call our suits “American Suits”.  But basically they are just suits for men who do things and who want to look good doing them.

All of our pieces our completely custom made.  And we are one of the few tailors anywhere who work in a sportswear aesthetic and can make any detail that you have seen anywhere.

So contact us with all of your questions and ideas. We would love to make something for you.

Custom Denim BlazerWe specialize in custom tailored suits and overcoats.
But we love to make vintage-style sportswear as well.Denim Blazer
Our Editions ‘36 pieces are constructed one-at-a-time from authentic heavy weight woolens and cottons to create pieces with the same durability that garments had in the 1930s.
The pieces are totally unstructured and quite fitted with high armholes for extra movement.
We can also add back pleats and gussets for “an action back” with even more movement, depending on the activities you plan on doing while wearing the jacket.
We can also make jackets from waxed cotton (for those who want a waterproof jacket).  Wool Shirt Jacket
Wool Shirt JacketWe wax the cotton in house, starting with a blend of beeswax and paraffin and gorgeous cotton fabrics that are woven in the US from American cotton.
These pieces are perfect for use as rugged workwear, hunting and fishing, or for keeping warm during a commute.
I originally designed these pieces so that I could wear an amazing looking jacket for meeting with clients, and then turn around and start sewing or repairing a machine without needing to take off my jacket.
waxed cotton blazerWaxed CottonBecause each piece is custom made, you can choose each and every detail as well as the fabrics.
We can make pieces with notch lapel, a peak lapel, a convertible collar—just let us know what you might like and we can sketch this for you.Railroad Denim Duster
Most of these jackets are made unlined with both serged and felled seams similar to a denim jacket.
Railroad Denim DusterBut we can make the pieces with french and satin-bound seams for those who like a more lux look or with a full lining for a slightly higher price.
Corduroy Frock CoatThe pics show some of our blazers, shirt jackets, and dusters.
The dusters are constructed using the same method as the lounge and shirt jackets but feature ultra slim frock-style waist seaming.Corduroy Duster
Like all of these jackets, they are made to be worn for activities of all types and can be cut with a duster style vent, armhole or center back gussets, and the details of your choice depending on how you will be wearing the pieces.Plaid Hunting Jacket
Plaid Hunting JacketThe dusters pictured are made from gorgeous wide wale American woven cotton corduroy.
A corduroy is the perfect fabric for a unlined jacket, with lots of sheen and also durability and wrinkle resistance.
Another great choice is a denim.  The railroad denim/ticking stripe jacket has wonderful vintage look.
We can also make any style of our unlined jacket in a plaid.  Plaids can be matched to your surroundings and break up the human silhouette for great traditional camouflage.

Striped Denim Blazer

Combing outerwear and more business style details is a great way to dress well while living a more active lifestyle.
Many of the details on our jackets are taken from the 1920s and 1930s when wearing a sportcoat was a must even in active situations.
To order a sportswear jacket, just send us an email with some information about what you might like (aj@denverbespoke.com).
Or check out our Etsy Store, where some of the styles are for sale as made-to-measure pieces.
Once we hear from you, we are always willing to start sketching up a design that contains all of the elements you might like.

Torchwood RAF Greatcoat Captain Jack Harkness

Custom Camelhair Coat ala "Captain Jack Harkness"

Captain Jack Harkness Coat
There are lots of great winter coats in the stores.  But what we offer is something a bit different.
You dream up the perfect coat, and we will work with you to craft the perfect style and pattern.
One customer for whom we made a coat recently wanted a early-to-mid century style RAF greatcoat like the one that Captain Jack Harkness wears in the television show, Torchwood.  But he also wanted it made from a couture fabric, so that it felt and looked a bit decadent.

Sherlock BBC coat in black

A Combination Frock and Trenchcoat similar to the one in the BBC series Sherlock

We found the perfect 100 percent camelhair fabric to make the coat from.  It is a very dark charcoal with subtle heathering.  He also wanted a vintage look metal buttons, and red chevrons embroidered on the epaulettes of the coat.
Another customer wrote us early this season with a request that we make him a coat somewhat like the coat that Sherlock Holmes wears in the BBC series “Sherlock.”  The coat in question has a full skirt, a Victorian frock style back with a decorative belt, and a modern front with flap patch pockets.  We made a similar coat for him from a black wool melton fabric.
A Tweed Peak-Lapel Overcoat
A third customer was also interested in a “Sherlock” style coat, but decided on a more simplified back with a single box pleat and peak lapels in the front.  We made this coat from an Irish donegal tweed.
We specialize in rather bold looks and are one of the few shops in the world that can create any style in any size.  Let us a bit about what you want and we will send you sketches, designing the perfect coat for your sensibility.
Custom wool full length coats start at $725.  Muslin fittings, expensive fabrics, and labor intensive details can sometimes add a bit to the price.
Contact A.J. for more information and to get started designing a custom coat of your own: aj@denverbespoke.com