Some years again, I used to be having a drink with my accomplice, Gemma, and a pal, Nathan, who shared my curiosity in garments. Over a number of pints and packets of bacon fries we delved deep into issues political and philosophical, earlier than turning to the private, and nothing is extra private than model.
“What merchandise of clothes do you assume a lady notices first a couple of man?” requested Nathan.
“Their coat,” Gemma replied, with out hesitation.
Nathan and I had been each shocked. Lad’s mags had been insisting for years that ladies are consistently scanning males’s ft and judging them by their selection of sneakers – it was virtually as if the magazines did not know what they had been speaking about!
The extra we contemplated it, the extra sense it made. Many guys (and this was true of me for a time) have a ‘one-and-done’ coverage relating to outerwear, the entire of autumn/winter to be spent carrying the identical coat whatever the event. And, if that is the case, the coat you’ve got chosen to put on to work, on a date, and for an evening out can converse volumes.
If that really is the case (and I am breaking out in a chilly sweat simply occupied with returning to having just one coat), is there a greater candidate than a double-breasted overcoat? I do not assume there may be, and I do know Simon agrees, going as far as to say the double-breasted overcoat is perhaps his favorite piece of menswear.
And so, this information has been written to take a look at a number of the finest RTW choices in navy – arguably probably the most versatile color. I’ve targeted on coats that I have been in a position to strive firsthand in London – and my, how fortunate us Londoners are to have entry to so many wonderful choices inside a mile of one another. Nonetheless, I do know there are a lot of extra decisions on-line, and so, as at all times, the feedback part is open on your finest suggestions.
The Cordings polo coat is undoubtedly the workhorse choice on this information. Hewn from a sturdy Yorkshire wool (at 26oz the heaviest within the listing) it ought to simply shrug off being balled up within the nook of a pub or getting snagged by a department on a rustic stroll. It doesn’t really feel like probably the most luxurious fabric, however then once more, the cashmere choice on this information is 5 instances as costly.
I attempted the UK38 and it was a cushty match, even over the chunky Shetland roll-neck I used to be sporting on the time. The coat was longer than a Bollywood film, ending in the course of my shins; an unapologetic size for a basic coat and the longest within the information too.
The shoulders had been barely padded, however I’m happy to report that they didn’t seem as distinguished or as stiff as on Cordings’ web site (beneath).
The one quibbles I had had been on the design aspect. For instance, I discovered the coat’s matte, textured exterior jarred with the satin burgundy lining, which is emblazoned throughout with the Cordings crest.
Or how concerning the patch-flap breast pocket, which didn’t look like broad sufficient to foppishly stuff a pleasant pair of gloves into – as is de rigueur with a polo coat. (I do know, I can’t consider there isn’t a assist group for poor tortured souls like me both).
However these factors apart, I might advocate this coat to anyone that’s searching for a extra basic model and size, and a extra economical proposition.
Additionally out there in chestnut
I’ve been actually impressed with the collections launched by New & Lingwood of late. (I’m additionally irritated I didn’t give them a shoutout in my article on pink, as a result of I’ve not seen a model use the color so effectively – whether or not it’s pyjamas, robes or knitwear).
Their items are stuffed with character, or, within the phrases of the store assistant who helped me, “charisma” (wind your neck in Stefan, I’ll do the writing). Their double-breasted coat isn’t any exception with two standout components.
The primary is using a gently textured fabric manufactured from 85% wool and 15% silk, the latter injecting slightly lustre and magnificence to the coat. Consequently, the fabric is marginally lighter than the opposite coats on this information – nonetheless a lot snuggly, nevertheless it would possibly require bolstering with chunky knitwear in a chilly snap.
The second component is the shorter, Buddha-belly lapels which evoke the texture of an previous naval coat (though maybe that concept has been implanted in my thoughts by the model’s styling with a white roll neck – above). The shorter lapels (with a jigger button located close to the underside of the ribs) affords the skirt of the coat a beneficiant drop; it would look incongruous with low to mid-rise trousers, however I discovered it splendidly expressive.
I attempted a dimension 40 and that match effectively within the shoulders, had room for layers and completed at my platonic preferrred of coat size – a few inches beneath the knees. Usually, so long as the essential match of a RTW overcoat is nice, I don’t are inclined to fuss an excessive amount of with alterations. Nonetheless with its stylised lapel, darted waist and lighter fabric, I’d make an exception for the New & Lingwood coat to protect the sharpness of the minimize.
In my case, the form via the waist was ever-so-gently interrupted by a number of ripples attributable to extra fabric within the again. Stefan was as fast with the pins as he was with the adjectives and restored the supposed line, which may subsequently be altered by their in-house tailor.
The Anglo-Italian martingala coat has been a relentless for the reason that enterprise was based. It was additionally considered one of my first severe menswear purchases, having beforehand purchased overcoats at Excessive Avenue retailers akin to River Island, Zara and (this will need to have been in one other multiverse) G-Star.
I bear in mind searching Anglo-Italian’s earliest vary of merchandise (while making an attempt very discreetly to verify worth tags earlier than getting too excited or connected to something) when Jake Grantham (the founder) invited me to don their new overcoat.
The liner of the sleeve might as effectively have had a card swipe machine stitched into it, as a result of as quickly as I put my arm via I used to be offered. The substantial 25oz wool weighed heavy on my shoulders, however, on the identical time, propped me up straight and proud. It was a type of clothes that wasn’t simply pleasurable to put on, however revealed a mode of dressing that I’d been greedy at with restricted success for some time.
And so, it’s with a heavy coronary heart that I inform you expensive reader that (after a number of winters of denial) I not too long ago offered the coat to a fellow (slimmer) fanatic. Alas, amongst the martingala’s many properties stopping weight acquire wasn’t considered one of them, and I needed to settle for that the IT46 was just too small for me and I might by no means once more put on it with the supposed repose.
Had been I to get a alternative, an IT 48 would do properly. Certainly, within the intervening years, the one factor that has modified is my physique, the coat stays because it was: patch flap pockets, turnback cuffs and a extra discreet lapel than something provided by the opposite manufacturers on this information.
Nonetheless, it was the small print of the again of the coat which initially fired my creativeness, as I’d by no means seen them on a Excessive Avenue coat earlier than: an motion again to permit ease in movement, a buttoned rear vent, and a half-buttoned-belt to nip the waist simply so.
On reflection, maybe I used to be too hasty and will have enquired if Anglo-Italian would contemplate a part-exchange?
The Edward Sexton prime coat is a comparatively new addition to their vary of RTW coats and is patterned after a coat that Edward himself used to put on (beneath).
It’s, as with a lot of the Sexton vary, an announcement piece: full-bodied lapels swelling via the chest and demanding consideration be paid to the robust, roped shoulder. And, as with many statements, they’re finest made when you recognize precisely what it’s you need to say.
In different phrases, for those who’re tentatively constructing a extra tailor-made wardrobe (within the method that I used to be once I bought my Anglo-Italian coat) the Sexton prime coat could overwhelm the remainder of your wardrobe. For everybody else, it’s an outstanding choice – steeped in Savile Row historical past – at a great worth.
I attempted the UK 40, the primary time I’ve ever placed on a Sexton garment, and was jolted by a frisson of pleasure. I felt the beginnings of a smirk creating on my face, an unintended consequence of figuring out you look rattling good.
The coat was good via the shoulders, however, owing to the thick folds from a very lengthy jumper and the thick folds from a very lengthy lunch, it was too tight via the waist and seat when buttoned.
The coat has a number of hallmarks of Savile Row tailoring: hand-made buttonholes, pick-stitching and beneficiant inlays. And so, I may simply have let loose the waist by an inch or two to permit me to button the coat extra freely. Nonetheless, the recommendation from Dominic (Edward Sexton’s Inventive Director) was to dimension as much as the 42 and produce the waist in to protect the Sexton hourglass silhouette.
Of all of the coats I attempted, the Thom Sweeney mannequin was the one I might have walked out with on the spot. (An act I’ll have contemplated had there not been a employees of pesky, youthful assistants who seemed like they may run fairly quick).
That is partly due to the match – the IT48 was completely lifeless on for me within the shoulders, sleeves (that are often a shade lengthy) and waist (which is often a smidge tight).
The one observe of warning I’d sound is the size, which is gently flirting with being on the shorter aspect – tremendous for those who’re beneath six foot (and on the age of 43 I’ve not too long ago accepted that I’m unlikely to develop past that threshold), however, any taller and also you would possibly threat exposing the knee (and also you wouldn’t need to set tongues wagging within the native Parish, would you?).
However my essential purpose for favouring this coat was the composition. While the opposite choices on this information are predominantly long-established from wool (a fabric that’s effectively represented in my coat wardrobe) the Thom Sweeney providing is constituted of 100% Loro Piana cashmere (a fabric that’s tragically much less effectively represented).
And so, I may simply envisage a major, central hook of my coat rail being cleared to make room for the Thom Sweeney coat. Nonetheless, for those who’re out there for a one-off coat buy to be worn frequently and with no care then I’d recommend a hardier and cheaper wool (akin to these utilized by Cordings or Anglo-Italian) is perhaps a more sensible choice for you.
Additionally out there in ash oak
The Anthology, in collaboration with Everlasting Fashion, have developed a terrific polo coat. My solely purpose for not that includes it in the primary physique of the information is as a result of there’s at present no RTW navy choice – it’s solely out there in herringbone donegal tweed ($1950) and camelhair ($2050).
Nonetheless, prospects can fee a navy polo coat by way of MTO, and, having seen it on a few mates (together with The Anthology co-founder, Buzz – above), I might wholeheartedly advocate it.
One of many pleasures of engaged on these guides is that it offers me an excuse to pop into outlets that I have not visited earlier than. And so, I not too long ago discovered myself within the Cifonelli showroom on Clifford Avenue for the very first time. The vary, as you’d count on, makes use of a number of the most luxurious materials on the earth – it’s definitely not low cost, however, when in comparison with a number of the luxurious manufacturers housed on close by Bond Avenue, it all of a sudden seems fairly affordable.
Their double-breasted coat (€3,600) is an effective choice for anybody searching for a extra luxurious piece. The coat is constituted of a really mushy, thick, spongey, double-faced wool (which you’ll see because it’s unlined) and has some hand-sewn particulars just like the milanese buttonhole.
As is attribute of Cifonelli, the coat does match fairly near the physique and excessive within the armhole, so I discovered sizing as much as IT 52 provided the most effective match. For those who too end up with any match points, it’s price noting that in-store alterations are included within the worth.
You may need extra luck in your native retailer however I might count on an identical mannequin (constituted of a double-faced melton wool) to be out there most Autum/Winters.