Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Origins - Hacking Pockets

So, we've been coming at you with a lot of pretty lengthy posts, but this isn't college, we aren't here to give you loads of 'homework' and assigned reading, so let's take a quick break with a short post. It's been a while since we checked out a bit of menswear terminology, so today we'll take a look at the term 'hacking pockets.'

Hacking pockets is a term that refers to the positioning of the pockets on a suit jacket or blazer (rather than the actual pocket style, although I don't believe you will ever see this with patch pockets - just flaps and jetted). 

To understand the term when it comes to menswear, and why it's used, you have to understand the origin of the word. To 'hack' was once a British term (maybe still is?) for recreational horse-back riding. Therefore, you got it, hacking pockets referred to a style designed for equestrians.

A jacket with hacking pockets will have the pockets placed at a slant, rather than straight across. For riders, this served two purposes: first, it made it easier to reach into the pockets while horseback. Second, it helped keep things from falling out of the pockets while the men rode.

Straight Pockets....                                                                       ...and Hacking Pockets    
Photo Credit: Dragon Inside

Today, obviously, most people (even with hacking pockets) are not wearing their suits to ride horses, but the pockets are still in style. Largely, they are a throwback to a more casual, British, 'country' style jacket, but have become incorporated in day-to-day suiting to the extend that it's become mainly a matter of personal style preference. Some shorter men prefer these pockets as well, as they lend to a more vertical line through the suit, rather than chopping up one's height with horizontal lines a la straight pocket. Personally, I have some jackets with and some without, and don't have a strong preference either way. Regardless, informed decisions are the best decisions!

Now you know! Do you have a personal preference?

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