A Handy Jacket

Open Style Lab, Spring2019

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"We have designed and made a military style jacket that caters for differences in body measurements on the left and right side as well as providing ease of donning / doffing with one hand use. It features pockets for functional requirements and patches for desired style."

Participated in Open Style Lab, which is an organization made for designing functional solutions for people of all abilities with their desired styles, this project was made possible in collaboration with with our client, Avi Golden, Charlotte, a Fashion student from Parsons School of Design and instructed by Grace Jun. 

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100% waxed cotton

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100% brushed wool

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adhesive velcro

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self-cased magnets

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3D-printed plastic


Inspired by the army combat uniform, our handy jacket contains features closely related to the military.

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We incorporated interchangeable patches with velcro that matches Avi’s personal experiences and preferences, as most of the combat uniform have shoulder patches and tabs. We decided to use dark and plain colors, when making the handy jacket to meet Avi’s preferred aesthetics.

Functional needs

Pocket is an important part of the jacket design in terms of both military look and Avi’s storage needs. 

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3 cups


3 cups


1½ cups


To customized the pockets based on his needs (mainly use with left hand), we transferred his usage of belongings into a journey map, which helped us to understand his storage needs better.


There are four pockets on our final product; the top two pockets have two entries. The central part can be accessed from the top, both opening toward the left side, which is easier to access using the left hand. The lower left pocket is a regular pocket for storage purpose. For the right one, we added a higher lining inside. In this way, when putting on the jacket, Avi can put his right hand in the pocket as a way to stabilize the bottom of the zip and use his left hand to zip up.


We worked closely with Avi to ensure we were satisfying his needs and wants throughout the production, aiming to satisfy our three primary design requirements; the ease of donning and doffing; the function of the pockets; and the overall aesthetic, as well as the necessity for comfort.

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a basic mens sloper alternation

Focal design requirement

ease of donning/doffing and comfort


to confirm the fit


a mens shirt sloper sewn in muslin

Focal design requirement

ease of donning/doffing, comfort and function


observe the magnetic closure, test the pockets and removable shoulder pads

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a mens jacket sloper sewn in muslin

Focal design requirement

ease of donning/doffing, comfort and function


confirm the pocket size and placement



a mens jacket sewn in waxed cotton canvas and wool lining

Focal design requirement

new materials, comfort and function


to observe how the new materials affect the comfort and the range of motion

Final product
Caring for the handy jacket


The wax coating on the outer layer of canvas retells water and other liquids, providing protection from staining. This is enhanced by the black colouring of the outer layer, which is ideal for hiding discolouration. The wool can be easily though airing out. All these factors mean that the Handy Jacket will not need to be cleaned very often at all. If it does need to be cleaned however it can be; gently scrubbed with a brush to remove dried dirt; dabbed with cold water and mild soap to target specific stains; or washed in a bucket of cold, soapy water.


Since the jacket is constructed using waxed canvas it cannot be ironed, however the wax acts

as a wrinkle resistant to it doesn’t need to be ironed. Therefore the jacket can be stored in

whichever way suits the individual- whether that be folding, hanging or simply placing over a



The handy jacket is made using high quality materials and construction methods, in hope to

provide the wearer with many years of use. If it does begin to wear, it can be repaired either at

home or be taken to a store. For example if that wax coating begins to disintegrate, it can be

reapplied by the use or be taken to a specialty shop which provides that service.