The Drake's Riding Jacket is the sum of a range of influences: workwear, military, equestrian. Matthew Hranek has a detailed look.
I grew up in upstate New York, and for most of my time there I lived in duck canvas field coats. In the early 20th century there were scores of manufacturers producing all manner of duck canvas clothing for outdoor pursuits. If you were a dairy farmer or wing shooter you had at least a couple of field or chore jackets made from the hardy cloth. My personal favourites were the short hunting jackets from a brand called Duxbak, and I was also fond of the early Carhartt zip-up jackets with their cosy blanket linings and short, boxy shapes. Too often synthetic fabrics and unappealing design features have usurped the sturdy fabrics and wholesome, rugged designs of days past.
I have continued to collect – and more importantly wear – vintage outerwear of this ilk for decades. I now have my own farm in upstate NY, so they’re perfect for when I’m cruising in my John Deere Gator, or I can throw one over a tweed blazer in the fall. If I’m heading into the city I’ll often layer one on top of a Drake’s roll-neck jumper – a perfect combination.