Here at the Americanologists’ blog, we are constantly searching for interesting American-made products to share with our readers. Last night, I came across a men’s blazer with a back-story too good not to re-tell.
It’s called the Orvis Hopsack Travel Blazer and its claim to fame is that you can look as fresh as a daisy when wearing it, even after a long day of travel and activity.
The jacket earned its place in company history years ago, when the Chairman of Orvis, Leigh Perkins (above, with fish) caught a ride to the Key West airport with a fishing guide named Rick Ruoff. As they neared the airport, the guide’s sixth sense kicked in and he pointed to a canal, saying, “I bet there’s a tarpon in there.” Luckily, they were early for the flight, so they pulled over, started casting and landed a small tarpon. The chairman released the fish, continued on to the airport, still wearing the blazer, flew to his destination and headed off to a meeting where nobody was the wiser that he’s been salt water casting in it!
The secret to the jacket is the hopsack fabric. “Hopsack” is an old word that comes from the loose-woven fabric used to carry beer hops, but don’t worry, you won’t look like a grain sack in this jacket. The combination of polyester/wool defies wrinkling, resists stains, and packs well for worry-free travel.
There are three exterior and four interior pockets. The inside pockets are a button-tab pocket, a zippered security pocket, and two utility pockets to keep your passport, plane tickets, and documents.
One of the product ratings on the jacket, from a user named “Old Engineer,” was pretty convincing:
“I believe that I’ve owned my Orvis Blazer for well over 25 years. It still looks as sharp as it did when it was new. I wear it for many occasions and find that it is my “go to” sport coat. It’s both casual and dressy. It’s been at both ends of the northern hemisphere and everywhere in between. When I get off the plane, I’m ready for business or just wandering around. The pockets and other features set it above most other jackets. It has exceeded my expectations. I only wish it would be offered in black as well as the classic “navy blue”. I’d jump for another one, even though there’s plenty of life left in my blue one.”