Esquire recently joined Jeremy Hackett at an Aston Martin track day at Goodwood, Lord March’s boutique race circuit in Sussex. It provided an opportunity not only to drive some great cars but, more importantly, to discuss winter clothes with one of the best-dressed men in the fashion business.
How did the Hackett-Aston connection come about? “David Richards, who owns Aston Martin, has been a Hackett customer for a long time. We were approached about sponsoring some clothes and it’s been a great fit. We couldn’t ask for more than to be associated with what’s probably the most iconic British brand. It’s perfect! And it works for them.”
Are you a car man? “I like them, but I’m not obsessed. I drive a Range Rover, and I sometimes borrow an Aston, which is a real treat - I always go for a trip to the country.”
What’s your dream car? “I had dinner with David Richards recently I explained that I have two dogs and it’s almost impossible to get them into the back of a DB9 or a Vantage, so I suggested he make a shooting brake. They disappeared after the Sixties, but with so many people with dogs, or golf clubs, they could be useful, but still sporting. The Hackett shooting brake could be nice.”
What do you wear to get you through winter? “I had a flannel suit made recently; it’s an 18oz cloth and it’s beautiful. It’s a grey Fox Flannel, I was down at the Fox factory and found this bit of old cloth and there was enough for one suit. It was the first double-breasted suit I’ve had made since the Eighties. Double breasted suits are back but they’re slightly different now, a little neater, a little shorter.”
What other fabrics work on cold days? “It’s good to get the tweed out - Hackett wouldn’t be Hackett without tweed. The first tweed that I’ve designed for Japan, called Tokyo Tweed, has just been made in Scotland. It’s an exclusive design for the town - it’s a marled grey with a navy and cornflower blue over check. It’s about 16oz, so it’s a proper cloth.”
Is there one item you couldn’t live without? “I have a wardrobe full of navy blazers. If you only have one jacket it should be a navy blazer. It doesn’t need to be double breasted with brass buttons like something from the yacht club. It could be in cotton, heavy canvas, or unstructured so it can look relaxed. But it’s a good basic to start a wardrobe with, you can dress it up or dress it down; it can take you anywhere.
Describe your ideal overcoat “I’ve just had a tweed coat made. It’s like a covert coat, single-breasted with a fly front. I’ve put turn-back cuffs on it - they’re a foible of mine. It’s a little shorter than it might have been a couple of seasons ago.”
Will we ever see a return to hats for men? “I’d like to think that men will wear hats again. In fact they do wear hats, they just wear the wrong ones, baseball caps. A proper hat completes an outfit; a soft trilby adds a nice attitude to a man.”
Do you ever wear a bow tie, aside from with evening dress? “When I wear it casually I feel I’m trying too hard, when I wear it with a suit it just feels right, old school I suppose.”
Tokyo Tweed is available now for bespoke clothes, and will be part of Hackett’s Autumn Winter collection.