The Hacking Jacket: a perfect blend of traditional and modern Posted on 22 Feb 18:10 , 0 comments
I confess that I’m devoted to my capes, they suit my shape and adapt to each different facet of my life. That said, I love designing hacking jackets. The cut itself is beautiful and there is lots of scope for lovely detailing, including my favourite Liberty print linings.
I live in the Leicestershire countryside where horse riding is a popular pastime and a way of life for some. It was natural for me to include a hacking jacket in the collection. I draw inspiration from the women I know who ride and they regard it as an essential item. However, I was surprised to find that in certain circles these stunning jackets are regarded as being solely for men.
I suspect that the people who hold this view have only come across the term on fashion blogs and don’t have a working knowledge of equestrian history. If they did, they would know that the term comes from the words ‘hack’ and ‘hackney’, which were a type of saddle used when riding for pleasure rather than in competition.
The shape was first designed in the 18th century when it was common for a gentleman landowner to spend his day riding around his estate to ensure everything was in order. These activities could take several hours so a jacket was needed to provide protection from the elements and freedom of movement. Most importantly it still needed to look smart when he arrived back home. The design was therefore created to be cut slightly higher at the front to stay clear of the saddle and with a single vent at the back, allowing the back of the jacket to spread out when seated. The classic slant pockets were also included as they sit straight when on a horse, allowing easy access to the contents.
The hacking jacket was born and swiftly gained popularity amongst the aristocracy and, later, with the general public. Its’ origins as the garment of choice for the landed country gentleman mean that it is often mentioned in the same breath as men’s sports jackets. However, I look at the shape and see the perfect outline for women. The cut is flattering for hourglass shapes but also creates curves in the right places. Best of all, as hacking jackets combine tweed, suede and a cotton lining, I’m able to play with pattern and offer you a practical jacket in a beautiful, vibrant colour palette.
Whilst its equestrian origins remain present in the design, this is a superb jacket for day to day wear. It looks perfect with jeans but can equally be dressed for business. However you wear it, you can’t help but feel smart.