Friday, December 2, 2011

Old Knock Wardrobe: Tweed Jacket with Elbow Patches

There is no other item of clothing that is more closely connected to The Old Knock in the general public’s collective imagination (even if they are not aware of the existence of such a thing as an “Old Knock”) than the Tweed Jacket with Elbow Patches.  It meets all of the requirements for an Old Knock Wardrobe item: comfortable, durable, likely handed down from generation to generation, practical. 

The tweed jacket is a staple piece of traditional wear on both sides of the Atlantic.  No need to brow-beat that point.  However, the appeal to the Old Knocks is very apparent.  The sturdy tweed material will last for years of moderate to rough usage.  It will also keep the wearer warm from those cold fall and winter drafts.  The deep patch pockets can hold a wide assortment of supplies: pens, small notepads, small books, an apple or bag of jelly babies.

The Elbow Patches themselves should not be a mere fashion statement, but a testament to the long use of the jacket.  Ideally, the tweed jacket should have been made without elbow patches until one or both of the elbows wears through.  Then the patches are applied to add years to the jacket’s life.  Some Old Knocks, anticipating the longevity of the jacket’s usage, will purchase the jacket with patches attached, or will have their tailor attach the patches at that time—because every Old Knock knows how hard it is to find someone to sow patches on later, unless they are lucky enough to be married to a skilled Old Knock, or perhaps live with a spinster sister who is willing to fulfill the tailoring need.


  1. Hello:
    It is quite by chance that we have discovered your most entertaining and eclectic blog and have delighted in the variety of subject matter which you have covered since the outset. And whilst we should not, in all probability, be quite so enthusiastic for a jacket passed down from one generation to another, we totally concur with the spirit of the idea.

    We have signed ourselves as Followers.

  2. Welcome, J. & L. Hattatt! Sorry that I have not posted in such a while. Stacks of papers have been looming over me and I'm just starting to dig my way out before break. I hope to post again soon.

  3. After visiting my tailor over the break, I learned that affixing elbow patches really isn't that big of a deal--for them. For my man, I would have to go out and purchase the patches I wanted and he could sew them in for about $20. Not sure what this entails, I'm assuming that would be by hand (can't imagine that he would de/reconstruct the arms for $20). If anyone else has info on this, I know that there are several readers who would be interested.