March 14, 2017 by Ville Raivio
Jeeves Store, a fairly new webstore for the finer things in life, sent word to me some months ago. Now, the beautiful city of Bruges in Belgium isn’t a global nexus of style like Milan or Paris, but this Northern Venice is worth a visit for the sights alone, if not the niche haberdashers one can find. As for the selection, several stores stock the shoes that only Vass can make, but Jeeves has a somewhat different understanding with the company. They now offer the largest selection of leathers for MTO Vass shoes, not stocked before by the Hungarian establishment. Bresciani socks and Saphir shoe care goods are also on available. What sets Jeeves truly apart, as far as I know, is their custom glove selection and this attracted me.
Jeeves gloves are handmade in Transylvania, but arrive without bite marks or garlicy smell. The duly diligent make is explained better on the webstore, so it remains for Keikari to have a look at the process. First I had a look at the leather, model and lining selections, and then traced my hands on A4-sized papers. These were scanned and emailed to Belgium, then onwards to Romania. The example pair is the usual dressy glove model with three hand-sewn veins on the back of the hand. It’s made from Rust carpincho hide with a white rabbit fur lining and brass poppers on the wrist. They arrive without company tags in a discreet parcel, and Tom Brone, the Jeeves Store owner, double and triple checks custom orders in his emails to avoid disappointments.
The fit is close. This pair are the first carpincho (or capybara) leather gloves I’ve tried, so it remains to be seen how much the hides will stretch with wear. Like most models, the wrist portion is short and this does leave the skin cold in Finnish winter. An inch more of glove would improve the model greatly. The hand-sewing is close and even, and leather seams are turned neatly. Small extra seams, also known as quirks, are cut and sewn between the fingers to give a wider reach for the digits. Most gloves don’t have these because they slow down production and take up more material. Everything seems to be sewn with glacé cotton thread, the strongest option for glovemaking. Rabbit fur, while extremely soft and pleasant on the skin, is colder in true winter weather than I anticipated. The lining edges rub on some fingers. The carpincho likewise feel soft and lovely, the hides are free from nicks or cuts. Time will tell how they age, but so far my fingers enjoy the rabbit and my eyes enjoy the nubby mounds of the water pig.