A nod to collegiate apparel of yesteryear, the Club Jacket combines subtle details from classic letterman jackets with the masculine silhouette of a blouson.
A slice of Americana enters the Drake’s line-up this Spring / Summer by way of the Club Jacket. A casual classic with a rich history, this preppy staple has seemingly never fallen out of favour, reappearing over the decades in various guises from patch heavy sports styles, to carefully cut modern updates.
A hybrid of sorts, our version can trace its routes back to multiple sources. The letterman jacket immediately comes to mind. While various origin stories claim this iconic item, Harvard University makes the strongest case. In 1865 the college’s star baseball players were presented with uniforms bearing the letter “H” – the first time embroidered letters had been used as rewards. A successful season meant the letter remained yours, while a poor performance could see you stripped of your prize. Fast-forward to the 1930s and these sought after symbols were transferred from woollen uniform layers to the more substantial baseball jacket. This low-key sporting outerwear style would become a symbol of status and achievement across Ivy League colleges and beyond.
Skipping forward a few decades and the letterman jacket had spawned a whole range of college outerwear. Lightweight nylon rain jackets were decorated with team badges, while slightly heavier drizzler jackets offered a smart way to display your school emblem. Nothing sums up the era like the now ubiquitous images of campus life shot by Teruyoshi Hayashida for cult book, Take Ivy. This mid ‘60s moment is where the true spirit of Drake’s Club Jacket lies: un-ironed oxford shirts, shaggy dog sweaters, burgundy loafers, madras shorts and well-worn chinos the order of the day. The Club Jacket shifted from straightforward jock-wear to something more effortlessly elegant - traditional at its core but far from formal.
Our version channels all this history into a more pared back form. Stripped of any symbols or adornment, we hold onto that sporting feel with the iconic striped ribbing at cuff and hem. Our silhouette calls on original college jackets with a roomier fit in the body and wider raglan sleeves cut straight at the armhole for ease of movement. A nod to the drizzler with its zipped closure and standard collar, we’ve opted for a double zip to allow for a bit of versatility in wear and a sharply cut collar designed to sit perfectly over our shirts.
Corduroy has always been an important part of the Drake’s line-up and we’ve gone for a slightly different take on the fabric here, selecting a durable bedford cord in classic navy. With a similar look and feel to cotton twill, its subtle, finely ridged texture sets this piece apart.
Of course, our first styling suggestion is to channel some of that campus cool with an oxford – our regular fit in white, perhaps – staying true to that mid-century ivy feel. Equally, our rich, button-down madras shirts are the perfect option for those in the mood for a little era-appropriate check. Pair with our Beige Herringbone Chino or casual Off-White Selvedge Denim (the perfect excuse to go bold with your sock choice), and the only way to finish off – a pair of American classics – the penny loafer (ours by way of the French Alps).