As a child, I have always been fascinated with hunting and military gear. My favorite pair of shorts as a kid was olive-green and “cargoed” and I literally wore them almost every single day. The cargo pockets, earth-tone colors and camouflage, all influence the way I dress today. One of my favorite pieces of shooting gear is the Norfolk jacket.
The Norfolk jacket originated in England and was designed as a shooting coat. Authentic Norfolk jackets are single breasted and feature box pleats on the back and front, gussets, and allowed the shooter to lift his arms without binding to the elbows. It is not sure whether the jacket was named after the Duke of Norfolk or Norfolk itself but, the jacket became popular by the Prince of Wales and Edward VII as they would wear it during shoots.
Traditional Norfolk Jackets
Left: Franklin D. Roosevelt Top Right: F. Scott Fitzgerald Bottom Right: Dennis Price in Kind Hearts and Coronets
Today, it is rare to find off the rack Norfolk jackets as they require a great deal of tailoring. The box pleats take time to make and it is hard to find an authentic version. Luckily, this season, one of my favorite designers, Thom Browne put a personal spin on the traditional Norfolk. Not only did he design a jacket for his namesake line but also for the two other lines he is involved with, Moncler Gamme Bleu and Brooks Brothers Black Fleece. I guess Thom has a thing for the Norfolk as much as I do.
Moncler Gamme Bleu “Norfolk Coat”
Moncler Gamme Bleu “Norfolk Jacket”
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece “Norfolk Jacket”
The Thom Browne Northfolk Jacket is a long ways away from a traditional one. The box pleats are all sewn down and a strip of material replaces the functioning belt. This jacket technically speaking is a “Norfolk styled” jacket as none of the embellishments serve a functionary purpose. Cool nonetheless, the Thom Browne version is made from a tweed herringbone and features tweed elbow pads, a storm collar and pleated patch pockets.