I own eight blazers. But this one...this one is my favorite. About four years ago - - maybe five. I saw a blazer much like this one. Unique in that it had hacking pockets with a ticket pocket. Not so unique in that it was single breasted. But unique, especially for a Yank, that it was double vented as opposed to the much more common single or center vent. By the way, I saw it in the window of Hackett near Lime St. A store I continue to love.
Upon my return to the states, I mentioned this unique blazer to some folks on a forum. I was pounced upon from all directions. The Trads hated it. "Not Trad at all!" "Must have center vent!" "Hacking pockets are not Trad!" The non-Trads didn't yell but calmly explained, "The blazer's origins are naval. While side vents are acceptable - -hacking pockets-- which derive from equestrian riding jackets--do not belong on a blazer. "
I posed the question to Jeremy Hackett, the owner of Hackett and someone whom I've always considered a Trad. Never heard back from him. Busy guy, what with his new book and all. By the way, "Mr Classic Jeremy Hackett" is a great book. I found it used at the Strand so it was a no brainer. A year or two goes by and I'm back in London sniffing around the summer sales on Jermyn St when I see it in the Turnbull & Asser window. A Navy blazer with hacking pockets. Only 850 pounds. Son of a ... I like it but not that much.
Couple more years go by and I wander into Turnbull and Asser on 57th St. And there it is. The navy blazer with hacking pockets. There's only one. It's my size. I throw it on and I'm looking at myself in the mirror. The salesman nods in approval. "That's not bad. Not bad at all." I ask, "How much?" "Three hundred but I'll see if I can get it knocked down to two fifty." He leaves me at the mirror and smile at my reflection. "TinTin, you magnificent bastard."
They knocked it down to $250. Pretty much threw a garbage bag over it with a plastic hanger but for two-fiddy who cares. Now that I own a navy blazer with hacking pockets I must re-visit the question. I email Jeremy Hackett again on his web site http://www.hackett.com/index.cfm?page=1016. I write, " I have been told due to the naval tradition of navy blazers, hacking pockets are a big no-no. Yet it looks great. What to do?" I guess since the book's been out he's not that busy anymore and he writes back, " Traditionally that would be correct, but unless you are a naval man then quite frankly I don't think it matters and I agree with you I think it would look great and a little bit rakish. Best wishes, Jeremy." Cheers to you, Jerry. There you have it. And now I have it. After almost five years.