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What can I do with a shooting jacket . . . beside kill things?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bounder, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    I recently -- don't ask -- ended up with a bespoke shooting jacket. It looks pretty much like this.

    [​IMG]

    The differences are that it has no collar tab and that it has a button above each bellows pocket so you can get to your cartridges easily. It is also lovat and done up in very heavy cotton twill. Like the above, it has an action back.

    So where, apart from the obvious, can I wear this and not look like a complete prat? Apart from the bellows pockets and the action back, it could pass for a quite nice normal sports coat. In the States, probably no one would ever notice. But in the UK, I suspect I would be thrown out of Boodles, if I were a member, for wearing this anywhere except on a grouse moor.

    So how can I make use of this? I'd prefer not to take up rough shooting, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. I am particularly interested in the opinions of our UK members.
     


  2. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Don't go to formal men's clubs in such a thing, then. Sounds like it could be a fun coat for a casual day, weekends, or that summer vacation in the Irish countryside (do Brits do that, or is there still animosity there?). Certainly the action back would make it comfy for playing tourist. As long as you don't have the suede shoulder patch for the rifle butt, it shouldn't look too ridiculous.

    Do you never find an opportunity to dress a little more casually? That's when you could wear such a thing.

    But hey, what do I know. I'm a provincial yank.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011


  3. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Senior member

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    Well. . .I've actually worn a jacket like that while pheasant hunting the Borders. I think it would make a nice day coat while crusing the countryside. Don't think anybody would notice. Probably not something I would show up at the office wearing.
     


  4. CharlesAlexander

    CharlesAlexander Senior member

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    Oh man that is a beautiful coat, me want.

    The cut, the color, it's awesome.
     


  5. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I guess I'd say it doesn't belong anywhere within a city or town limits.

    Even in America most would notice the specifically sporting nature of the jacket.

    Strolls in the country, light hiking, stomping around a cemetery or historic country house, or just simple sightseeing all seem to be good venues for it.

    By the way - it's a great garment.....lucky you!
     


  6. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    :lookaround: Bloody Hell. No wonder they went out of business.


    Mine is slightly darker and (being cotton instead of wool) doesn't have the overcheck but, yeah, it is quite sharp. I think the thing that is really the issue is the action back. The bellows pockets (I suppose I could easily remove the extra buttons, though that would be kind of a shame) could pass for patch pockets but the action back can't be mistaken for anything except an action back.
     


  7. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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  8. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    This jacket would make it all the easier to return fire at the IRA, dear boy!

    In seriousness, wearing a heavy tweed jacket in London gets a few looks from some but is 99% OK, and wearing such an obvious sporting jacket would be conceived as eccentric yet not so inappropriate as to invite comment. As long as you shoot, then you're fine. I always find it a little odd when someone wears clothing that testifies to a certain sport and they have no idea about that sport whatsoever - certainly poseur.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011


  9. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    What is the lapel tab for?
     


  10. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    To close the neck against wind or rain.
     


  11. TheMetroKid

    TheMetroKid New Member

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    This.

    This jacket would look fantastic if you pair it with a blue oxford and nice chinos, go brown or black shoes.
    If semi-formal is the name of the game, this jacket is perfect.
     


  12. ysc

    ysc Senior member

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    With jeans and a shirt and you will be fine in autumn and winter walking in the countryside or more rural towns. If it is very obviously shooting/outdoors oriented you might look a bit funny wearing it in the city but I don't think it would be a problem. I wear a tweed jacket with quite 'sporty' features in London and don't feel out of place. I don't think you have to shoot to wear it. I wear a barbour bedale and I don't ride, just because a garment originated in a particular activity doesn't mean that's all it can be used for.
     


  13. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    Ich Dien is right, sort of. The original purpose of the tab was to close the collar against wind and rain. That is, in fact, the original purpose of the notch lapel itself.

    Tabs used to be a common feature on ordinary sports coats. Bizarrely -- and entirely because of the influence of SF -- I noticed RIcky Riccardo wearing them in the recent anniversary spate of "I Love Lucy" videos. Mine, however, doesn't have the tab though I do have a few jackets that do, including one very lightweight open-weave linen-silk blend on which it is so obviously vestigial that it is comical.

    Anyway, getting back to my OP, the consensus seems to be that I cannot wear this jacket anywhere that has paved roads. What about to an equestrian event like a point-to-point? Will people think I am likely to shoot the horses?
     


  14. CharlesAlexander

    CharlesAlexander Senior member

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    You don't need a reason to wear anything, as long as it looks good on you, imo.
     


  15. rossjamesparker

    rossjamesparker Member

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    I'm an Englishman, and I shoot occasionally. As such, I have jackets like this. In addition to shooting, they are totally appropriate for events such as point to point races, fishing and other country pursuits. Paired with a light blue or wool/cotton check shirt and jeans, cords or moleskins, they are fine to wear in country villages and towns. I would have no hesitation in enjoying a meal in a country puub-restaurant wearing this ensemble.

    In cities and urban environment, this would look a bit out of place. I doubt strangers would comment on it, as this would be somewhat rude, but a sports jacket would be noticed. That's not always a bad thing: strolling through Kensington on a sunny Saturday morning you could just be about to hop in the Range Rover for a trip to the country, I guess... or that's the impression you might create.

    I would never wear this to a formal event or situation. Remove any thoughts of wearing this to city restaurants, gentleman's clubs*, or the office.

    Incidentally, I was once invited to a stag weekend that revolved around shooting. I wore my shooting tweeds and cap - the others, being mid-20s city dwellers with little sense of good dress, wore jeans and t-shirts. They mocked mercilessly until we arrived at the shoot, where I blended in immediately and the three of them stuck out like sore thumbs.

    Regards,

    Ross



    *Some are more relaxed. I am sure you could have a quiet pint in the Savile wearing this - they are a tolerant bunch. But not the RAC or the St James clubs.
     


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