One of the most enjoyable parts of having bespoke clothes made is coming up with your own creations. Designing unique jackets and suits not only guarantees that you will never meet yourself coming the other way; it also allows you to express yourself in every aspect of their construction.
For my latest commission from my Hong Kong tailor, Edward Tam, I have designed a casual blazer with a twist. A three-button jacket in navy cashmere, it will feature patch pockets, a bi-swing back and a removable belt that buttons across the waist. The belt will overlap, using two buttons to fasten, and hang on two loops exactly half way around the waist – that way it will be able to fold over and button across the back.
It will also be half-lined. Although an autumn/winter jacket in the weight of the wool, the lack of lining across the back will make it cooler and more comfortable in the office – hopefully allowing me to wear it at my desk all day while working at a computer. (The bi-swing back will also help in this manner, giving quite a new use to a feature that originally helped you train your gun on an airborne duck.)
It is essentially a merger of a traditional blazer and a Norfolk hunting jacket. It will have a deeper, more blazer-like neckline than the original Norfolk, but will still have three buttons and feature a hidden button under the lapel, which fits into the working buttonhole on the other side. This way the jacket will be able to button all the way up against the cold, as the original Norfolks were designed to do.
Without bellows on any of the pockets, it will lack much of the bulk of a Norfolk jacket, yet it will retain that casual feel through the belt and the fact that the pockets are patched rather than sewn inside.
My hope is that the resulting creation will be smart enough for me to wear to less-formal meetings (probably with the belt removed, an open-necked shirt and cotton trousers of some description) and yet casual enough for the weekend (with the belt, perhaps the collar turned up and a polo shirt).
My fitting for the jacket will be tomorrow afternoon and the final product should be ready at the end of the week. Expect further reports on the success (or failure) of this creative endeavour.