Review: Pirate Coat

Rating: ★★★★½

Jack Sparrow did much to open up the world of pirate merchandise. Prior to Jack, finding online retailers of quality pirate clothing was tricky at best. Since Jack, a little online research reveals dozens, if not hundreds, of sources for pirate clothing. But Jack was a double-edged sword – his commandeering of many pirate “staple” items (bucket boots, tricorn hat, dropfront breeches) has led many people to associate these items with pieces of a Jack costume, no matter what the color or who’s wearing them.

This truth is perhaps most starkly apparent with the common frock coat. Be it blue, grey, brown, or black, it seems that most any knee-length coat with cuffs carries a bit of a Jack Sparrow flavor about it. But what are we to do if our goal is to NOT look like Jack? Perfect Pirate may have the answer… Continue reading

Review: Custom Sailor’s Short Jacket

Rating: ★★★★☆
Reconstructing History

In the winter of 2007, I had my first opportunity to visit Pirates in Paradise in Key West. Not only was it my first time visiting this pirate festival – one that enjoys a reputation bordering on the legendary – but it was also to be my first amongst true pirate reenactors in their element. As such, I wanted to try my best to look the part of a historical pirate. Being as the bulk of my pirate work involves modern and pop cultural elements, the lion’s share of my pirate garb has greater or lesser degrees of Hollywood flair, which usually suits me fine. But for Pirates in Paradise, I wanted something a bit more down-to-earth. Continue reading

Review: Cotton Pirate Waistcoat

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

To date, I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing several Flying Canoe products – a shirt, some slops, buckle shoes, and even sailor’s bags. If I were to select one over-riding feature that they all share it would without question be durability. To a product, each has been made from heavy duty materials, and the stitching is amongst the strongest I’ve ever seen – wear points are even pre-patched and multi-seamed, just to make sure. I’ve reviewed many fine articles of pirate clothing from several manufacturers, and Flying Canoe remains the hands down winner when it comes to rugged tailoring.

The Flying Canoe sleeveless cotton waistcoat carries on in this fine tradition. Being made from a heavy canvas material, it does bear some notable stiffness when fresh off the rack – a few washings and wearings softened it up a bit. It then remains on the stiff end of the spectrum, but not overly so. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Frock Coat

Rating: ★★★★½

The internet is swarming with folks seeking to emulate their favorite Pirates of the Caribbean character – almost daily, droves of Jack Sparrow look-alikes swarm our good ranks. Think of that what you will, but the sad fact is that bloody few of these Sparrow clones look much like him at all. Some of this is due to the simple truth that so few of us look anything like Johnny Depp, but more of it is due to the difficulties of capturing “the look.” For wearing a fairly basic pirate ensemble, it would seem that Captain Jack is actually quite difficult to recreate from a needle-and-thread perspective.

Perfect Pirate is one of the few businesses to get it right, and may well be the pinnacle of their craft. I’ve reviewed their shirt and vest previously, and found them to be exceptional in every respect. But now it’s time to check out the big dog itself – Perfect Pirate’s recreation of Jack Sparrow’s frock coat. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Shirt and Vest

Rating: ★★★★½

The internet is full of Jack Sparrow costumes, many of which do a fine job at capturing the basic shape and colors of his outfit. But quite often one thing is missing (besides Johnny Depp, that is.) One of the genius elements of the Jack Sparrow look is its bedraggled simplicity. The clothes looked period and well-worn. On the surface this is an obvious thing to do when designing a pirate captain, but it’s amazing how often it’s overlooked. And obvious though it may be, it’s also surprisingly hard to recreate. To make an outfit appear “period” while remaining visually interesting requires more than drab colors and old patterns – even little details such as hand-sewing, or utilizing course-woven fabric, can make a world of difference. Continue reading