It is one of the most popular fabrics when it comes to the tailoring of spring/summer men’s jackets and blazers – they go with a shirt and a silk bow tie on casual work meetings, with a polo shirt and a t-shirt on more informal situations and with a thin sweater when temperatures go down. It is suitable for any occasion.
If good weather is coming and you want to renovate your wardrobe, a garment in Hopsack could be the right choice: find when and how to choose it.
Let’s start from the origins of the word; the term comes from the end-of-the-Nineteenth-century-English hop-sack, the sack for hops, and it has referred for some time to jute, the fabric in which the hop-carrying bags were made.
With the passing of the years, the use has changed and Hopsack is today a fabric for clothing, characterised by a very open weave. Its special weave is basically a variation of the common plain weave in which the warp and weft create a simple checked pattern.
This special making creates an informal, sports and bright in aspect fabric, with a quite curious wavy effect: a summer alternative to flannel or tweed which are used in winter blazer tailoring.
When and why you should choose it
The weave structure, more open and loose, makes Hopsack an extremely lightweight and breathable fabric, recommended for unlined garments, such as blazers, in order for its properties to be highlighted. The quite rough aspect makes it the perfect choice if you are looking for a casual and incredibly crease-resistant outerwear.
What to wear in the office? You can choose a plain Hopsack, so that you can easily match your clothing. A blue double-breasted Hopsack blazer, for example, is the passe-partout of good weather. Want to know more about how it matches? Read our special post on the men’s style icon!
If you want to make your free-time wardrobe more stylish, choose a patterned Hopsack – with either small and subtle micro designs where the weave stands out or big patterns, such as the overchecked. It is the right option for a clearly more casual garment, to wear on your free time with chinos in light colours or jeans and a polo shirt!
Warnings: things you need to know
Due to its open weave, this fabric is really delicate and sensitive to rubbing – this is the reason why it is less used in elegant trousers tailoring. Hopsack trousers risk indeed damaging or snagging easily on the crotch.
To conclude, the very loose and airy structure does make it breathable, but not heat/cold-proof. That’s why it is considered as a summer and spring fabric, less autumn and definitely not winter.