Live Action Getup: The (Genius) Packable Jacket

Always have a super warm jacket – without having to carry it under your arm all day.
This post is in partnership with Peter Manning. Clothes designed for the not-so-tall guy. Click here to experience the difference proper fit makes.

What is this?

I can still remember my dad breaking the news to 5 year old me:

“I’m not going to carry your jacket – if you’re not going to wear it, you can carry it.”

And I think there’s a practicality to how most men dress themselves, especially when it comes to layers, in a hope that they won’t have to carry their damn jacket around all day.

But that becomes incredibly hard when we’re in the part of the year that we’re in now where the mercury drops at some points in the day and in other points we’re sweating. So we’re always stuck trying to decide, “Should I take my jacket…?”

What if I told you there was a jacket you could stash in your bag and that was so small and light, you wouldn’t be left annoyed that you’re carrying a jacket around with you?

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slim stretch twill pants

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That’s where the packable jacket comes into play. I’ve had several over the years and they’re truly the definition of utility. Made of nylon and down feathers, these jackets can keep you quite warm while also being able to roll up tightly to be stowed when you don’t need it. And the best part? Since it’s nylon, it doesn’t wrinkle, meaning you can keep stashed in your bag all the time, so you’ll have it with you whenever you need it.

Five year old me would be so happy.

packable down jacket

Down Jacket: Peter Manning

packable down jacket

Hey, so really quickly, I just want to talk to the guys out there who find perfectly fitting clothes off of every rack: You won’t need to read the rest of this article.

Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way and lost zero of you let’s talk frustrations. Did you know that the current sizing conventions of small, medium, large, and extra large date back to the days of the Civil War as a way of simplifying the uniforming process for soldiers? This later seeped into the domestic market, slowly leading us to the situation we have now – 4 sizes, with the lowest not being that small, and the largest not accounting for the different shapes larger men come in. The practice of having clothing created for your body has all but been forgotten except by those with a penchant for menswear with money to burn.

And this problem is only compounded by mass fashion.

It's a frustration that many guys have had over the decades, including fashion icon Ralph Lauren who stands at 5’6”, yet surprisingly no one, including Lauren, have done anything about the plights that an estimated one third of men who are 5’8” and under face.

That is, until Peter Manning founded his namesake line.

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A complete line of menswear with dress and casual shirts, denim and chinos, outerwear, and even suits designed for guys that find themselves swimming in the traditional sizes. While their pants offer normal waist x height options (with an unheard of 26” inseam option), Manning has developed a proprietary sizing for the upper half, taking into account not only height but weight. The result is a J.Crew-esque line in style and price, for a group of men who’ve never had properly fitting clothing. With most traditional stores not going lower than a small in shirts or a 30×30 for jeans, it’s no surprise that Manning’s business has reportedly doubled every year since 2012.

Even for me a certainly average-heighted guy at 5’11 depending on who is asking, I find Peter Manning to offer a tailored fit. I prefer pants with minimal break, and that’s just not possible for me when wearing a 30” inseam.

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Down jacket: Peter Manning / Sweater: Gap / Oxford cloth button down: Peter Manning / Stretch twill pants: Peter Manning / Suede chukkas (similar): Cole Haan

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.