Let’s be honest about this: You probably don’t spend a lot of time on horseback, or making your way through the underbrush with a rifle at the ready and a grouse in your sights. And even if you do, you probably don’t do all this in a tweed sport coat. But you should have that exact jacket in your arsenal, nonetheless.
Because despite its origins—the first examples of the breed were indeed hacking jackets for equestrians and shooting jackets for hunters—the tweed sport coat is no longer something reserved for the sporting life. In fact, with a slew of modern options out there that play as well in the office as the outdoors (and fit a damn sight better than the versions of yore), it’s something the works for guys of all walks. Still, yours should pay proper respect to the tradition that birthed it, and you should feel free to opt for details that speak to its heritage. A throat latch, elbow patches, slanted pockets—these are all fair game. Just don’t go overboard on the whole “rugged” angle. In all likelihood, that jacket is going to spend more time at your desk than it will on the local horse trail.
Which isn’t to say you should baby the thing. The beauty of all those intricately woven fabrics churned out by makers like Donegal and Harris isn’t just their good looks, though they do have ‘em in spades. It’s the fact that they’re nigh-on bulletproof. They were designed to be subjected to all manner of cold and wet in thorny back woods, and keep on kicking regardless. Which means that whatever you can throw at your tweed jacket, it can handle. Oh, and if you want to step out on a blustery, rainy day and skip the topcoat, you’re in good shape there, too.