About That Hacking Jacket

Hello-Hello, and belated greetings of the New Year to all of our treasured readers.

Today we have a look at a “timeless preppy office look” in a Forbes Style File piece.

The characteristics of a classic preppy look are very simple lines, good quality in fabrics, excellent detailing and elegant colors. Especially in the cooler months this style shows a lot of navy, camel, gray and sometimes red for a pop of color.

The post is accompanied by a number of collages.

Forbes Style File

Forbes Style File

Back to the piece:

Preppy style is by nature a bit sporty, but its key elements can add an effortless chic to your office wear when done right.

A great choice for a preppy office look is a classy Ralph Lauren blazer. My favourite one for this fall is the houndstooth version with its lapel collar and its elbow patches.

Forbes Style File

Forbes Style File

The author, Friederike Sperl, has worked in a broad range of office cultures (London, Mexico City, Frankfurt) and had exposure to a variety of office dress codes, be they written down or merely “understood”.  I like the way she selects the blazer as the staple to build a look around.

Another fan of the hacking jacket as a wardrobe basic? The Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) has worn this style for years; below we show her in a an oft-worn jacket from Ralph Lauren.

Rebecca English/The Daily Mail

Rebecca English/The Daily Mail

Below, a few jacket examples from Britain’s Katherine Hooker (the designer happens to be a favorite of Kate).

Katherine Hooker

Katherine Hooker

As a rule proper hacking jackets have a longer silhouette; they are generally made of wool in earth tones and they are somewhat fitted, nipped in at the waist. The garment will have angled flap pockets and a single vent. One of the three slanted pockets is a ticket pocket, and there is usually a breast lapel pocket as well. The jacket usually has three buttons, as well as shorter lapels than often seen on other styles. These examples via The Saddlery Shop illustrate some of the detailing.

The Saddlery Shop

The Saddlery Shop

The style is derived from the equestrian world. I’m not sure about the propriety of elbow patches; my guess is they would be a no-no at official events, like shows and hunts. Below, an example in action from Horse Country Carrot.

Horse Country Carrot

Horse Country Carrot

There are reasons for the different style elements. If there were fewer buttons the jacket would gape when its wearer was astride a horse, the single back vent provides ease of movement without detracting from the jacket’s lines, and the pocket flaps prevent things spilling out of one’s pockets.  As far as the material used, lighter weights can be used, especially for warmer climates.

Simply saying something is a hacking jacket doesn’t make it so. From examples shown below: the Banana Republic on the left is too short & lacks proper pockets; in the center we have another BR piece, the brand’s “pink Hacking Jacket” is also much too short (although I love that pink) while its lapels are too long; and while I adore the blue herringbone material used for the “C. Wonder “Hacking Jacket,” it is also too short, lapels too long, one too few buttons. etc.

/ /C. Wonder

/ /C. Wonder

Back to the topic of office attire, those interested in reading the entire Style File piece can do so by clicking here.

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Our other tidbit today involves one of our very first Anti-Preps and news that apparently publishers can no longer count on reality TV stars to sell magazines.

Sources say Jann Wenner paid $110,000 for a heavily retouched photo of Kim Kardashian in a white bikini, which he splashed on the Dec. 23 cover of Us Weekly under the headline, “My Body Is Back.” But the glossy, which usually sells about a half million a week, sold fewer than 400,000 copies, an insider with access to circulation reports told me.

“It’s over. The fatigue factor has really set in,” one magazine publisher told me. “None of the Kardashians, either alone or together, is selling.”

That is from Richard Johnson’s column in Page Six in December. Evidently it isn’t just magazines with Kardashian covers that aren’t doing as well, TV ratings for the family’s television show are down.

E!

E!

I had no idea. Back to Mr. Johnson’s column:

Marc Berman of TV Media Insights had a different explanation for why ratings of E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and its various spinoffs have sunk.

“It’s simple — overkill,” Berman said. “The Kardashians are everywhere. They never take a break.”

When “KUWTK” debuted in 2007, more than twice as many viewers tuned in than do today. The ninth season premieres Sunday, Jan. 19.

It kind of underscores the belief that too much of a thing can make it seem tiresome. I wonder if this is representative of a bigger trend….? Could it be the beginning of a retreat from the adoration of “celebrities who are famous merely for being famous” craziness?

4 Comments

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4 Responses to About That Hacking Jacket

  1. Such a perfect juxtaposition – a piece of clothing that is defined by function, and a group of celebrities who are defined by their lack of.

    Don’t I think I didn’t see what you did there:).

  2. Sometimes a blazer is just a blazer, right?

  3. Love it and adore the looks you have shown- have owned a few of these in my lifetime!! It’s very classic….hope you are well, wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!

  4. I like it! But only with the stripes or plaids, otherwise it’s kinda boring. Unless you combine it with some fun jewelry of course. Hm, might give it a try.

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