Eric Adams, and his wife, Kathie, have been operating Adams & Sons Clothiers for nearly five years. Located on the riverfront level of the Hampton Inn, the shop is a really more of a design studio than a retail store.
Though Adams & Sons is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday, Eric spends a lot of time traveling the southeast, meeting clients in their own homes or offices. As a custom garment source, he helps his clients curate their closets by helping them select superbly crafted pieces that suit their unique tastes and lifestyles.
Recently, with the debut of a signature item and a separate label, the couple celebrated the launch of a new branch of their business.
Brit and Blue, Adams’ new label, is named for its design concept, which the proprietor says is “the melding of blue-collar sensibility and British luxury.” While Adams said there is “a laundry list of products being worked on,” for the line, it currently centers around one; the Signature Hacking Jacket.
Fashioned of duck cloth, typically used for farm and utility clothing, the jacket has the general shape of a sport coat with equestrian-style pockets and a silhouette that its inventor said is reminiscent of the type of blazer often sported by the legendary actor Sean Connery.
“The idea for this particular jacket was something worthy of a separate brand,” Adams said, adding that the jacket was “really different……an aristocratic piece made of a working man’s material.”
The J Peterman-like product description reads, “Simply put, this jacket is for the refined rogue who gives a damn about working hard and living well.”
The term hacking jacket is derived from the word hackney, which was a saddle horse used for pleasure riding. Gentlemen required a jacket that could be worn for informal riding, as opposed to hunting or jumping. Freedom of movement, access to pockets, and the ability to retain its shape after a ride were all necessary qualities. From these, the hacking jacket was born.
Since the jacket is equestrian at its roots, it’s fitting that the Brit & Blue version is now available at the newly opened Keeneland Mercantile store in downtown Lexington.
“For our state, there’s not a more visible way to make a debut,” Adams said.
The Signature Hacking Jacket, which is manufactured at a company based in Mississippi, is also available at the main Keeneland store at the famous Lexington racetrack. Adams has also partnered with several premiere men’s stores in locales such as Charleston and Bristol, Tennessee.
“We’ve already sold quite a few, and about thirty of those were just from me having the coat on and people saying, ‘Holy Cow! What is that?’ and wanting one immediately,” he said.
Off the rack, the jacket retails for about $995, with custom fit versions available for $1,195.
Britandblue.com, which will include an e-store, will launch in June. In the meantime, anyone interested in the Signature Hacking Jacket can obtain one at Adams & Sons or at Keeneland Mercantile in downtown Lexington.