If you're a man and you live in a town, the chances are that some point you'll be the eternally referenced 'man about town'. Well, park your chai latte and minimize the Guardian app, this may well be the jacket you've been looking for. The Huez* Sports Tailored Jacket offers a great blend of sartorial elegance and technical detail that is great for the office, cocktail bar, little Jimmy's parent's evening and, most importantly, the travelling between. However, as with most good things in life, it comes at a cost.
The Sports Tailored Jacket is a take on a classic two button blazer, with Italian styling and manufacture to boot. The cut of the jacket is fitted, as you you'd come to expect from a piece of clothing with 'tailored' in its name, but just loose enough that it works comfortably on the bike.
At a glance there's nothing about the cut that would suggest 'cycling'. The sleeves and hem length are that of a regular jacket, so there's no giveaway long sleeves or dropped back. The sleeve length does come up a bit short when riding, but that's not a problem if you pair it up with a cycling specific, or longer sleeved, shirt underneath. All the cycling specific features are mostly hidden away so that the clean lines and sharp cut of the jacket aren't compromised.
The main part of the jacket is made of Italian bi-stretch merino wool, consisting of 78% virgin wool, 18% Polyamide and 4% elastane. The benefits of merino wool are no secret: it offers breathability, is highly flexible, and has the added benefit of being antimicrobial. The jacket is also treated with a Teflon coating which, although basically invisible, is a barrier to stains and scuffs. The polyamide gives the jacket that extra degree of durability and the elastane gives it the flexibility that allows it to move with your body when you're on the bike.
The lining is a mix of polyester (83%) and elastane (17%) and the entire front section is lined with viscose, a synthetic silk-like material, to help with protection against the wind. There's also a sewn-in mesh lining across the back of the jacket produced by Swiss fabric specialist Schoeller. This uses their E1 Absorption technology, a feature throughout the Huez* range.This absorbs sweat and transfers it away from the skin towards the outer layer where it can evaporate. Thats a really useful feature after one of those mad dashes across town when you're late for an appointment.
Although the jacket is designed as a two button blazer there is actually a third button at the top of the lapels, which allows you to button the jacket right up to your neck in colder weather. This button is really useful in chillier conditions and it keeps out the worst of the weather. However, the gap between the top button and the next one down is substantial and this does mean that on occasions the jacket can be a bit draughty in really cold weather. The single button does have its benefits though, it makes it pretty easy to close or open when you're on the move if you're feeling either too hot or too cold. Even for the occasional rider it's easy to fasten one handed, so there's no need to stop or for any risky no-handed riding.
One of the really nice features is the use of Darklight reflective tape on the cuffs and underside of the collar. Darklight looks pretty inconspicuous in normal daylight but when you shine a beam at it in dim conditions it lights up like a christmas tree. The Darklight trim on the undercollar is completely hidden away when you're wearing the jacket normally and the two strips on the cuffs are very discreet, just looking like a contrasting material detail.
The detailing is top notch, as you'd expect from high quality tailoring. The jacket features real horn buttons throughout. There are two pockets on the front with flaps to keep out any of that pesky moisture that falls from the sky, and two buttoned inside breast pockets for keeping things tucked securely away. There is also a single vent at the base of the back panel. The jacket is only available in one colour: navy blue, and sizes range from a 36 to 44 inch chest.
As this stage I can almost hear you thinking 'this is all well and good, but how much is this going to cost?' The Huez* Sports Tailored Jackets is going to set you back, ahem, £400. This is the part where you take a sip of your latte and shrug, drop your cup in disbelief, or just throw it down in a blind rage.
An item of clothing at this price is always going to split opinion. The jacket is well made, stylish and offers an array of technical specifications that sets it apart from your run-of-the-mill blazer. It truly is a jacket for all occasions and is a piece of Italian sartorial elegance, but £400 does seem on the steep side.
This is around about the price of a mid-range Paul Smith blazer, and Huez* will have to go some to obtaining the the kind of gravitas Mr Smith has accumulated. Shelling out a hefty wedge of cash on a relatively new brand is always going to a big ask for a consumer. It's also hard not to compare this to similar items from established brands and the equivalent offerings from Rapha and Vulpine come in a full £100 cheaper; certainly food for thought. Arguably the flip side of that point is that people already in the market for a £300 jacket won't mind shelling out the extra cash for something that's the right look and quality.
Well made jacket brimming with sophistication and quality technical detailing, almost overshadowed by the hefty price tag
road.cc test report
Make and model: HUEZ* Sports Tailored Jacket
Size tested: Medium, blue
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Huez* says: "We visualize a world where modern sportswear is so enriched with technology, that people are able to live in style and be more healthy than ever before...We deliver performance and style for the competitive road racer, everyday cyclist and for all you people who just like to have fun on your bikes."
"Classic two button blazer...crafted in Italy, the cut is trim yet unrestrictive and effortlessly sophisticated."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Classic two button blazer with additional button fastening at collar.
- Finest Italian bi-stretch merino wool with a Teflon® coating.
- Swiss-made mesh interior from Schoeller® with superb moisture management, flexibility and durability.
- The undercollar and cuff utilises Darklight brilliant reflective tape technology, for improved visibility when darkness falls.
- Fully working cuffs finished with real horn buttons.
- 100% Viscose front lining to improve wind protection.
- Front flap pockets to keep the rain out.
- Interior breast pockets on both sides.
- Single rear vent.
It seems very hard to justify the price. The materials and construction are of very high quality, but the brand is relatively unknown and it's significantly pricier than comparable garments.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performance was really good, comfortable and stylish.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks good and keeps the cycling-specific feature pretty well hidden.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No, not at that cost.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, not at that cost.
About the tester
Age: 29 Height: 5'10" Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: KHS Flite 100 Singlespeed/Fixed, Genesis Equilibrium 20 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
Oli has been a road.cc staffer since day one. He's the graphic design and photography force behind the site, and has got a keen eye for good quality, well designed cycling kit. You'll find him on his bike everyday whatever the weather, he's got a penchant for a steel frame and has had 'fit mudguards' on his To Do list for nearly 6 years now. Likes: cold toast, gin, rugby. Dislikes: fitting mudguards.