Trendy Jackets
Trendy Jackets

JACKETS – part 1

A jacket is a short, lightweight overgarment generally made up of sleeves and some form of collar with a center-front fastening, closed by a variety of means. The lenghts, fabric, cut, and purpose of the jacket has evolved throughout the centuries, from its origins as the doublet of the Middle Ages to the vest and knee-length coat ensemble championed by King Charles II and, eventually, the tailored garment of contemporary fashion.

While the elite continued to prefer the long coat as a formal garment, the laboring classes wore a shorter jacket for reasons of practicality. By around 1840 the shorter jacket was considered acceptable informal wear for the gentleman, particularly with the introduction of sporting jackets such as the Norfolk jacket.

Before the nineteenth century, women tended to only wear shawls, mantles, or cloaks outdoors. However, the Victorian-era Rational Dress Movement, which espoused the wearing of practical clothing in place of the restrictive corsets and crinolines, popularized the tailor-made jacket that was based on masculine tailoring. From this point onward, the jacket remained a key element in every woman’s wardrobe.

THE BLAZER

jacket blazer
jacket blazer

An informal jacket appropriated from male sporting dress, the term ‘blazer’ is thought to have originated in England with the red sports jacket of the Lady Margaret Boat Club (1825), the rowing club of St. John’s College, Cambridge. Loosely cut to allow greater movement in play, the colors may indicate affiliation with a college or university, a British independent school, or a sporting club. The three-colored striped blazer was worn by mods, a British youth subculture, in the 1960s, and is the favored garb of the preppy. Single or double-breasted, with flat brass buttons, the blazer, in contemporary fashion, is an essential item of both men and women’s wardrobes.

THE BLOUSON JACKET

blouson jacket
blouson jacket

So-called because of the loose, informal shape resembles a blouse, the blouson is a twentieth-century jacket that is voluminous in shape but is pulled in around the waist with an elasticated or drawstring hem at the base. The arms are also typically voluminous with a similar elastication at the cuffs. They are usually fastened with a zipper and have a small, upright collar.

 

THE BOLERO

bolero jacket
bolero

A short jacket, the bolero is usually worn open and features a curved center front. It originated in Spain, and became popular in the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when it was worn over a princess-line gown, exposing the parallel vertical seams and emphasizing the waist. During this period it was frequently decorated with elaborate military-style passementerie (trimmings and edgings such as tassels or fringing) or beading. The bolero also became part of a dress-and-jacket combination in matching fabric, popular during the 1950s.

 

THE BOMBER JACKET

bomber jacket
bomber jacket

Leather flights jackets with high wraparound collars and zipper closures with wind flaps, frequently lined with fur, were first distributed by the U.S. Army with the establishment of the Aviation Clothing Board in September 1917. The D-1 leather flight or ‘bomber‘ jacket was first worn by the U.S. Air Force in World War II, designed for the uninsulated cabin of airplanes. The jacket was appropriated by hip-hop stars in the 1980s, and is similar in style to the preppy varsity jacket.

 

THE DONKEY JACKET

donkey jacket
donkey jacket

An item of British workwear, the utilitarian credentials of the donkey jacket reside in the coarse woolen cloth and the reinforced panel across the back of the shoulders. Reputedly created by John Key of Rugeley, for the Manchester Ship Canal Company in 1889, the name may derive from ‘donkey work’, meaning grueling, mental labor. The donkey jacket was worn in the 1950s as a declaration of solidarity with the workers and the ‘angry young men’ of the era.

 

THE DOUBLET JACKET

doublet jacket
doublet jacket

The doublet was the staple component of the male wardrobe from the beginning of the fifteenth century to the second half of the seventeenth century. Cut from velvet or satin, the waist-length jacket was worn with a codpiece, created to cover the genital area. In 1570 padding was introduced to the doublet – mimicking the lines of contemporary plate armor – and was stuffed with bombast, rags, horsehair, and flock to form an overhanging ‘peasecod’ belly. Modern takes on the doublet include Franck Sorbier’s fairy-tale jacket, for his fall/winter 2013-14 couture collection.

 

THE DRAPE JACKET (TEDDY BOY)

drape jacket teddy boy
drape jacket teddy boy

Edwardian aristocratic dress revived by the tailors of Savile Row in the 1950s was appropriated by the British working-class youth subculture, the teddy boys. Similar in style to the zoot suit, this long-line jacket had a drape front and was cut in bright-colored fabrics, with narrow velvet lapels. A steel tail-comb featured in the breast pocket, used both as a weapon and to groom the signature D.A. (‘Duck’s Arse’) quiff. The jacket was worn with string ties, narrow ‘drainpipe’ jeans, and crepe-soled shoes, known as ‘brothel creepers’.

 

THE HACKING JACKET

hacking jacket
hacking jacket

Worn by both men and women, the single-breasted tweed hacking jacket was initially designed for horse-riding, or ‘hacking’. The name is derived from the word ‘hack’ or ‘hackney’,  a saddle horse chosen for informal pleasure as opposed to a horse used for jumping or hunting. Tailored with long single or double vents at the back to accommodate the rider sitting astride, the jacket features slanted flapped pockets. American designer Ralph Lauren produced contemporary versions in his appropriation of British aristocratic dress.

 

THE MANDARIN JACKET

mandarin jacket
mandarin jacket

This style originated from a Western interpretation of dresses worn by mandarins in Imperial China, especially during the Qing Dynasty, as part of the traditional garment of Manchu. Following the Chinese revolution of 1911, a black mandarin jacket and a blue long gown were officially designated as a ceremonial outfit. The short, unfolded stand-up collar of the jacket – typically rising vertically from between 1 and 2 inches (2 and 5 centimeters) – is a style frequently adopted by contemporary designers.

 

See part 2 HERE

4 COMMENTS

  1. I enjoyed the article. It’s amazing how fashion rotate as well.. style from decades are coming back with a modern twist. Great post thanks for sharing

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