The Paddock Cut


March 2, 2013 by Ville Raivio

The Paddock cut is a rare sight. Pictorial examples are scarce, mostly harking back to the first decades of the 20th century. The earliest dated picture I found of the Paddock cut is from 1925, portraying the young Prince of Wales. Some pictures from L. Fellows and similar illustrators show jackets and suits in Paddock cuts, and notable wearers include the likes of the Duke of Windsor, John F. Kennedy and Anthony Eden. This eccentric cut has never been favoured as much as its easy cousins, the two- and three-button cuts. Even single-button cuts, which have become rare in jackets and suits of today, have seen more popularity in decades past. The Paddock’s name may come from the inspection lot, the paddock, on horserace tracks.

NPG x27879; Edward, Duke of Windsor by Hugh Cecil (Hugh Cecil Saunders)

The young Prince of Wales sporting a Paddock cut in 1925


The_Paddock_cut_on_Keikari_dot_com2As recorded by Laurence Fellows

The style is characterized by its notably high button stance: the jacket is fastened with both two buttons. The lower one is placed close to the natural waist, the other one an inch or two higher. The Duke of Windsor, given his visible position as the arbiter of Western men’s style, took liberties and buttoned freely. In pictures his jackets and suits are seen with both or just a single button closed. All Paddocks are, naturally, single-breasted. On the picture below, Anthony Eden is seen favouring a rarefied Paddock with peak lapels instead of the regular notch ones.

The_Paddock_cut_on_Keikari_dot_com4Peak lapel Paddock with Eden’s signature Homburg hat

The_Paddock_cut_on_Keikari_dot_com3The Duke of W. with a victor in polo coat

The Paddock’s high button stance gives the torso an illusion of added height, and examples surviving to this day are both suit jackets and odd jackets. I have never seen a real-life Paddock walk by or read of a modern maker who still cuts in this style. Perhaps this is due to the look’s eccentricity; things not often seen become more or less dated or odd. The cut is different and will always stand out. Looks come and go, fashions fade, only some of the many stick. The Paddock is not one of them. Still, a reader looking for something whimsical can opt for a Paddock or two with the help of a skilled tailor. Buttonholes struck a bit higher, buttons sewn in place and the cut lives to another day.


Brothers Kennedy with JF in a Paddock jacket


The DoW escorting a pug


The Duke’s take on gardening in style

Photos: original uploaders


  1. Ville Raivio says:

    Hello there,

    I wouldn’t call that jacket a Paddock model. The distance from the gorge to the hem looks so short that this jacket is likely a 21st century cut in vogue at the moment. The short, slim lapels also point to this fashion cut. In effect, the man in the picture is wearing a teen jacket.

  2. Ville Raivio says:


    while I could not find any more infromation on the paddock cut among my style library and reference publications, your keen eye does offer a clear explanation for the origins. Riding must be the main factor for any raised button stance.

  3. Michael Czeiszperger says:

    Perhaps the paddock cut is aping actual riding jackets, in which the buttons have to be higher because the bottom of the jacket flares out when sitting on a saddle? Here’s a modern example:

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