David Pope

Starting Member
2
United States
North Carolina
Laurinburg
Over the weekend I became intrigued with a J. Press dinner jacket listed on eBay. Someone else bought it, but it got me thinking: if J. Press is so very traditional, why do they eschew the basic conventions concerning dinner jackets that I’ve read on this forum?

Specifically, why does their tuxedo jacket feature a single vent (hookvent) and flapped pockets when ventless or side vents and besom pockets are generally accepted as most traditional?

I remember reading an online article where Richard Press explained that the original purpose of the hookvent was to provide more coverage for their customers’ ample bottoms, so there wouldn’t be an unsightly gap. A ventless jacket solves that problem.

Is this simply a case of in-group signaling (“ah, my good man, I recognized you by your hookvent...”), where “being in the J. Press club“ trumps basic conventions?

Thanks for your insights.

David
 
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drpeter

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
143
United States
Wisconsin
Stevens Point
Very interesting, but, to me, not surprising. I own several J Press blazers and jackets, so I am as curious as you about the departure from traditional dinner jacket style and conventions. One clue to understanding this departure might be time: Have you any sort of clue as to when the dinner jacket in question may have been made? I ask because in the last fifteen to twenty years, dinner jackets/suits (or tuxedos in American parlance) have increasingly become more non-traditional, even to the extent of wearing a four-in-hand rather than a bow-tie, notched lapels and multiple buttons on the jacket, or wearing coloured bow-ties and cummerbunds. Given these departures, if the jacket is of recent make, perhaps J Press may have decided to change some things, like back vents and besom pockets, to reflect their traditional style, rather than dinner jacket conventions. Just a thought, that's all.

Dr Peter
 

Virtue Aesthetics

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
200
Canada
Ontario
Toronto
Is this simply a case of in-group signaling (“ah, my good man, I recognized you by your hookvent...”), where “being in the J. Press club“ trumps basic conventions?
This would only be possible if the majority of men were getting conventions right (as we know they aren't even attempting).

At your average black tie optional event these days, will more than 10% dress in proper black tie? I am doubtful