Oi Polloi

The Antiques Clothes Show: Sam's Camo Jacket

Published: Wed Mar 06 2013

We’re proud to present a new series on the hallowed pages of our blog, going under the ingenious title, The Antiques Clothes Show. We’re always going on about how with a bit of care, things will ‘last you a lifetime’, so now we’re going to prove the point by showing some of our favourite bits and pieces that have grown old gracefully, and have, in lack of better words, “a story to tell.”

To start things off we’ve got Oi Polloi’s Professional Clothes Describer Sam Waller to tell the tale of his camo jacket. Over to Sam…

One day, in 2004… after a particularly wet morning spent in Shap trying to build a watergate, me and my dad (of Noel Waller LTD, give him a call if you need a dry stone wall built in the Lakeland area) decided to cut our losses and head home. At least I thought we were heading home — after taking a right at the road end (and not the usual left), I knew it was going to be one of those long afternoons where I sat in the Hilux whilst my dad hassles the staff of Travis Perkins about the price of grit sand. Luckily this didn’t end up happening, and instead we drove to the world famous Penrith market to look at gasmasks and buy camo jackets for a rather reasonable price.

Unlike the XL high-viz Dickies jackets I usually worked in, this was a jacket that I could just about get away with wearing outside of work. And whether I was moping around at school or hacking around on my bike, if it was raining you’d best believe I’d be wearing this.

Nine years later… Not long ago I was talking to an interesting chap (that’s him above, but what you can’t see is that his sweatshirt was covered in different coloured paint and his cowboy hat was a darling shade of pink) who was particularly enamoured with it. After telling him I’d bought it from a market for thirty quid, he winced, remarked it was ‘a bit dear’, and went on his way.

Maybe a week later was riding down Oxford Road when I saw him again — although this time he was quite hard to see as he was wearing his very own camo jacket. When I asked him about the jacket he said “it was ten pounds but I told the man that I don’t like spending money so he gave it me for five, the only problem is that there’s no pockets for your stuff, so I cut some myself.” He wasn’t lying. He showed me the two slits he’d cut into the jacket where hand-warmer pockets might usually be found and then conjured up a roll-up from the bottom of the lining. I said that it wasn’t quite the same as having real pockets, to which he shook his head in shame and said “I know, I know.”

In summary my jacket was better than his (but then I had paid a staggering six times more money).