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Paddock Model Jackets - What is it and when to wear it

Updated on June 4, 2011

What is a Paddock coat?

The Paddock model jacket, or Paddock coat, is a rarity in modern wardrobes, but it's stylish enough to make a comeback at any time. Basically, it's a regular sports coat or suit jacket but cut in a way that has two buttons placed higher up in the jacket. 

For regular sports coats, the buttoning rule from top to bottom is "sometimes, always, never", meaning you sometimes button the top button, always button the middle button when you're standing and want to button your jacket, and never button the bottom button. For a two button jacket, the rule is "always, never", meaning when you button the jacket you always button the top one and never button the bottom one. 

Because the buttons on a Paddock coat are placed higher up, you actually can button both buttons. In fact, if you decide to button a Paddock jacket you should button both instead of just one. 

When should one wear a Paddock model jacket?

Because the Paddock jacket leaves a lot more loose material below the bottom button, it gives the appearance that the wearer is taller than he really is. This makes it a good choice for shorter men. Also, since the buttons are higher up, there is less tie and shirt showing below the collar. Usually, larger men want to show more of this area because it makes the body seem slimmer, therefore, the Paddock jacket is not a great choice for overweight men.

Who wears a Paddock jacket?

Some famous men who have been known to wear jackets with the Paddock model cut include John F. Kennedy and the late Duke of Windsor. JFK was actually about six feet tall, but apparently he wanted to appear even taller. Some of his political opponents, including Lyndon Johnson in the 1960 Democratic primary, were tall men, so in the days with limited television JFK could make himself appear as tall in the newspaper photos just by wearing a Paddock jacket.

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