I receive many queries on the advisability of elbow patches on new Harris tweed jackets.
I am not against patching up old tweed jackets to mend a hole on a sleeve.
I think patching clothes demonstrates love of a particular garment and is a charming sartorial practice. It hints at sage frugality and the muted nature of Old Money, which, by the way, hardly exists anymore because now it is New Money that everyone imitates.
A repaired tweed sports coat has dignity.
However, buying a new tweed coat with patches already affixed strikes me as painfully presumptuous on several levels.
1. Those who would deem to buy a pre-patcher are most often the type of person who would rarely don the jacket in question frequently enough to wear any hole into the elbow
2. If one did indeed wish to fake the impression of heavy use, the ridiculous symmetry of having TWO elbow patches, one on each arm, reflects a lack of understanding. A well lived-in jacket will always experience asymmetrical distress. If you smoke a pipe, perhaps the right side pocket will have burn marks on it. If you like to ponder like the thinker atop logs, stone fences, and lean against concrete walls whilst texting with your right hand, well then, it's the left that will be worn out. Just not both
3. Have you ever noticed elbow patches make your arms look shorter? The patch is an aesthetic sacrifice applied to a jacket far too loved to be thrown out. The wearer doesn't want elbow patches, he needs them.
Buy the tweed coat. Earn the patches, just like in the Scots, I means, the Scouts.