Climbing Trees & Running Away From Danger

Climbing Trees & Running Away From Danger

(Image by The Nines)

Jackets and beautiful accidents

Something special happens when you discover something great by accident. On a whim I decided to sample our Rodeo shirt in our heavier, cotton drill just to see how she vibed. What came next was quite unexpected.

There’s just something romantic about an old-school cotton work jacket. With no lining or structure, it’s comfortable enough to wear over the top of a warm layer or without when the sun comes out. Sturdy and dirt-resistant it looks better the more it’s worn. Add a few patch pockets and you’ve got something to carry your gardening tools, paint brushes or even a sandwich! It’s classic and utilitarian style means you can wear it casually on a worksite, in the studio or spiv it up to around town. If the jacket gets dirty – no dry cleaning necessary! Just throw it in the wash and it’s even better than before 🤙.


A special history and a worker’s right

The cotton work jacket has a fascinating history. It first appeared in the early 1900s in Russia and France when workers grew tired of ruining their valuable woollen clothes working in factories. They wanted something to protect their home duds and went to their unions to demand it as a right. Soon every industry had its own special version.

The cotton work jacket has its origins in 19th century France - (Image by Heddels)

The work jacket popularity quickly spread through Europe, the UK and America with everyone from mechanics, shop keepers, labourers, artists and medical workers using them to keep nasty spills from wrecking their treasured shirts, ties and jumpers.


Climbing trees and running away from danger

All I ever wanted to do at SÜK was make clothes you could do anything in. And when I say ‘anything’ - I really do mean all the important things. Even as a kid - my yard stick for good clothes (which were always men’s clothes by necessity) was to be able to climb a tree and run away from danger. Like when somehow a snake sneaks into your bedroom and slithers across your foot 😧 (a story for another time!)

I also wanted to look good, but I gave that away knowing that my teenage-reubenesque bod looked a bit daggy in men’s gear. Now that I’m in the business of making great feminine workwear - I focus on the practical sides of producing clothing. But I still make sure to circle back to my kid-thinking. Can I climb a tree and run away from danger in these overalls, this jacket or this pair of pants? The answer must always be YES.


I can’t stop talking about the Bullant

I once had a design for a feminine, western inspired boiler suit, but let's just say that not all my exciting ideas turn out well. In other words, the suit BOMBED. I sampled it several times and just couldn’t get it right. I was forced to leave it on the sewing room floor. I then had this wild idea of redesigning it into my DREAM JACKET. Little did I know that this coat would become our Bullant Jacket and the base pattern for our Rodeo and Western shirt as well.

The Bullant started as failed sample for a western inspired boiler suit (left) that was resigned to the sewing room floor. After a wild idea and lots of iterations, it became the Bullant Jacket. My beautiful husband modelled the first sample after it was finally finished!

I’ve already gushed about our Bullant jacket, named after one of the toughest and most regal ants of Australia. The Bullant is golden, glossy and wacks a mean punch. What a perfect name for a tough and feminine jacket to really make you feel unstoppable - but I’d like to define her handiness before comparing her to our Farrier Shacket. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The Bullant features:

  • 100% Fairtrade cotton
  • Heavy weight canvas, (which acts as a great wind break, is heavy duty, soft to the touch and completely machine washable)
  • Big curved femme breast pockets. Nice and deep, handy and goooood looking
  • ‘Utility strap’ above the bust pocket. With larger slots for radio attachments, paint brushes, chisels etc
  • 2 patch pickets at the hip
  • Fitted for a woman (!!!!) - this honestly feels like a world first in the hardy-&-fly jacket world.
  • Satisfying back waist adjuster to synch in the waist if that’s your thing.

Is it a shirt, is it a jacket or just a wonderful accident?

Now let’s talk about the Farrier Shacket. This style came about by beautiful accident. After sampling our Rodeo Shirt in our heavier cotton drill, everyone quickly fell in love. Because it’s quite simply, a heavy weight shirt. Our fabric makes it beautiful and the pattern, whilst comfortable and uni-sex cut is designed for breasts and waists and hips, which is really hard to find in a good shirt, let alone a heavy weight and durable one.

The Farrier is named after the most necessary trades when working and living with horses. Its also one of the most demanding on the body. You need to be strong, but also soft and in tune with the beings you work with, much like this garment. 

Let me give you the stats on this bad girl:

  • 310gsm, lightly brushed, 100% fairtrade cotton drill.
  • This means it’s a touch heavier than regular workwear AND still soft to the touch like it’s already been worn in – in that perfect comfortable way.
  • 2 deep bust pockets with snap closures so nothing goes missing
  • 2 hip patch pockets
  • Unisex design but made for feminine proportions.
  • Heavier than a shirt in such as satisfyingly way, whilst lighter than a jacket.

Start-up surprises

A discussion about jackets can’t happen without mentioning the Isa Shirt. This style was another happy accident and an early one when I started SUK. I was obsessing over our (now perfect) boiler (Ringer) suit collar. Something about it wasn’t sitting quite right - so I had the bodice made up so that we could work out what was going wrong with the pattern pieces. We got the issue straightened - but I also fell in love with the fit and feel of a cropped drill shirt paired with my sük work pants. I wore the sample to death.

I wore the Isa shirt sample flat stick for many years. We obsessed a lot about the details - including where the locker loop needed to go

The resulting cropped shirt doesn’t get her dues. Named after the first place I lived near, the great working town of Mount Isa. This shirt is perfect for dusty days spent growing up on cattle stations, whilst cropped and breathable enough to suit the heat.

She pairs perfectly with all our high waisted work pants and works great over our overalls. She’s made from the same heavy weight cotton drill that makes her LUSH. The ISA shirt also addresses an issue that pops up: some people find themselves needed one size ‘up-top’ and another size ‘down below’. The ISA shirt delivers a full body fit akin to the boiler suit, but in a way that doesn’t compromise on fit. Our community can get fully kitted out with the same waist synch and incredible bust shape as our overalls and boiler suits.

Sometimes these great styles are obsessed over and sometimes they are nothing but a romantic accident. Either way they answer a question, or a need for our community that wasn’t available before - durable and good look clothing that you can climb a tree and run away from danger in.

~ Mimosa x


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