Throat Latches

FASHION  |  THE KNOWLEDGE  |  Throat Latches

It's that time of year when I find myself contemplating my winter wardrobe and blowing the dust and mothballs off my favorite clothes for the coming cooler months. Seeing a couple of jackets and overcoats that I have inspired me to post something about throat latches...

I am not referring to equine anatomy here of course, but rather to the tailoring term that has borrowed it's name from the equestrian world (in part due to the introduction of the throat latch to equestrian garments). The throat latch is a fabric extension to the left lapel notch of tailored sportswear (tweed jackets and such like). The extended piece of fabric has a buttonhole and corresponds to a button that is discretely fastened to the underside of the right lapel. This allows the wearer to fasten the upper part of their jacket across the chest and thus prevent exposure to the elements. This was of particular attraction to the upper class gentleman when riding on a particularly brisk day. Similarly, many lighter jackets (such as the infamous Harrington jacket from Baracuta) also feature throat latch designs.

Many designers have incorporated the throat latch in their countrywear ranges and these little design flourishes may also be seen adorning great coats and chesterfield overcoats. I prefer to keep them to tweed, as with their original design. I do have one tweed jacket with a leather throat latch that I am particularly fond of. This shooting jacket from Hackett is not dissimilar.

Refrain from having your tailor add this detail to business or formal suits - it's a silly way of showing that your suit is bespoke.