Your typical double-breasted jacket has a six-button front, which admittedly is a very natty way to fasten a jacket but is rather too dressy for the majority of occasions. A four-button front, however, makes things just a little bit more slouchy, louche, and laidback. You might not think that ‘double-breasted’ and ‘casual’ belong in the same sentence, but you’d be surprised. A four-button DB can have the drape and easy-wearing feel of a cardigan, particularly if it’s very lightly structured (as ours is). It also pairs with all the same things a cardigan might. There’s no need to be beholden to wardrobe traditionalism and feel like you must wear yours with a tie and cutaway collar. The four-button DB is an incredibly versatile bit of clothing, one that goes with almost anything.
You could throw yours on over a t-shirt and high-waisted chinos. Denim and a polo shirt works particularly well, and that’s doubly true if you opt for suede loafers. Button-down shirt and some tailored slacks? Absolutely. It’s an ever-so-slightly more showy option than its single-breasted counterparts, so a DB effortlessly becomes the focal point of your ensemble. This means the rest of the outfit needn’t work too hard and can be pared down to the essentials. If you want to go the Julian Schnabel route, you could even wear yours over pyjamas. There’s really no wrong answer, but the simpler the better.
Our new four-button DBs are tailored in Italy to our house specifications, with patch pockets and a gently bellied lapel. A crisp linen will keep you cool, and also take on more personality the more you wear it in. Wearing the jackets for us is painter Hugo Hamper-Potts, who you may remember from our Artist Shirts series. We sat down for a short interview with Hugo, which you can read below.
Drake’s: Tell us a little bit about your painting practice.
Hugo Hamper-Potts: To quote the Beatles,
I Wake up, fall out of bed
Drag a comb across my head
Find my way downstairs and drink a cup
And looking up, I notice I am late
Find my coat and grab my hat
Make the bus in seconds flat
Find my way upstairs and have a smoke
And somebody speaks and I fall into a dream
In all seriousness, it’s not as interesting as that. I make my way from West to East London, open the door to the studio, look at what I’m doing or what I want to start and work until I deem it finished.
Has the last year of intermittent lockdowns been a productive time for you?
The last year has been extremely productive, despite it being so difficult for others. It brought me a lot of time to think, work and notice small intricacies in human relationships that I perhaps ignored living in the frantic surroundings of normal city life. It brought a long overdue calmness and beauty over the images I created.
What's your typical studio outfit?
If it’s cold, a battered old overcoat and tracksuit bottoms. If it’s hot, hardly anything at all, apart from my painting slippers. I’m a messy painter and get paint everywhere. Even my smart gear somehow gets paint on it.
Which artists have had an influence on your recent work?
Out of the old boys, I’d have to say Walter Sickert and Vulliard. Van Gogh and Rembrandt are always lingering in the shadows.
Out of contemporary painters, I visit my friend Josh Armitage’s studio and he always has stuff that deeply affects me. A great painter of the banal.
And lastly, what are you working on currently?
Sun’s out, greens out! Lots of figures in landscapes occupied in their own worlds, and a few portraits of good pals, as well as a few commissions.