The overcoat commission from Graham Browne – a grey herringbone DB, Bateman & Ogden 600g – was ready this week. Russell returned it initially to the coatmaker because he wasn’t happy with the finishing of the pleats, but the extra week’s wait was worth it.

The pleats in the side seams had been cut as separate pieces to the main coat, then attached to the inside afterwards. While this is easier to cut – as you don’t have to build the excess into the coat pattern – it creates a sharper edge both at the opening to the pleat and inside. My polo coat was cut as a single piece and the pleats have a tendency to roll outwards as a result, even when tacked. This was the first time Russell has attempted a coat cut in this way, and he was justifiably pleased with it.

The coat was half lined – I wanted the style of a double breast without all the warmth, as this coat is intended to be a good step cooler than the polo. You can see the taping on the seams inside, which is particularly useful at covering the join between the different sections in the pleats.

The half-lined overcoat is an idea I took from Piombo, a Milanese brand that has just started to be stocked in the UK in Trunk. In common with many Italian outfitters, their coats are usually unlined or half-lined to enable the use of heavier cloths while remaining suitable for south European temperatures.

Elsewhere on the coat, the buttonholes were all sewn by hand at my request (only some of the standard Graham Browne suits have hand-sewn buttonholes, depending on the coatmaker). Russell says he’s now prepared to offer that to any customer that wants it. Generally, he is also taking on new coatmakers that do hand felling on both buttonholes and linings along the bottom edge – even one that does the lining’s side seams by hand. Currently there is no extra cost, only the potential for a slight delay if a coat has to go from one maker to another for finishing.

As I’ve said, a new overcoat makes a man feel wonderfully complete. This feeling is enhanced in bespoke as its sculpting effect is played out on a larger scale. Russell’s overcoats seem to give me a particularly broad chest and shoulders, coupled with a narrow waist and skirt, despite being cut quite close to the jacket underneath.

Makes you feel almost heroic.

 
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Anonymous

Can you tell me about the benefits of the pleats,and are they individually cut as one would find on a kilt.
Bourbon-Parme

good coat

Seb

Amazing coat! I’ve been looking for a place to get a custom overcoat in my native Washington DC, but the tailors I’ve found quoted me at least double £900 (conversion taken into account).

I am not opposed to buying off the rack, as it’s already winter I’m without a proper warm coat, and you’ve pointed out it is probably too late to get a coat this season. This leads me to a very specific question: I’m looking for an overcoat in the style of a Greatcoat cropped at mid thigh with hand warmer pockets, a half belt at the back and a center pleat, ring any bells?

Barak

Simon,

Great post. I’m in the market for an overcoat, and considering a number of options. Any thoughts regarding turn-back cuffs on coat like this one? Also, while I know a double-breasted coat is generally warmer, is it a tad less versatile because it needs to be kept buttoned when worn?

Barak

One additional query: Where does a herringbone overcoat fall in the hierarchy of formality? E.g., is it suitable for business wear, for wear with pinstripes?

Barak

Simon,

What kind of thought do you put into the buttons on your overcoats? Don’t black buttons limit the coat’s wear to black shoes?

Barak Cohen

I suppose a dark gray might work as well: They would be dark enough for business wear, but compatible with both black and brown-colored shoes.

Barak Cohen

I’m fascinated by the pleats, which I haven’t seen before in US coats. Are the pleats on both sides of the coat?

S

Simon,

I note that you say in this piece that one can get hand sewn buttonholes from GB if you ask for it. I have been a customer of Russel’s for 7 years now, and I think the button holes on all my coats made by them are handsewn. So I thought that this was standard for them, or at least is now?

Thanks,
S

Dennis

I live in Toronto, longer and colder winters, 72, retired, mid town , lost my partner 7 months ago. I need a wool winter overcoat to the knees. I know a good fabric store that has links to tailors. What weight and lining is best so that I do not feel it in my shoulders or neck. Any other tips. Just list. The tailor will get it! Replacing the one and only wool coat that has seen better days. I have quality black and brown dress shoes.

I am 5’9″ 160 lbs and fit. I was thinking of navy blue. I have a dark tan complexion and very close cropped, scant, 50% grey hair. US size 40 to 41 Jacket, Pant Waist 33″ Length 30″ to mid laces. Thanks

Abalfazl Takrimi

Dear Simon
I have ordered a bespoke heavy (600g) double breasted 6*2 overcoat in dark navy herringbone.
I decided to determine the overlap and the button height myself because I didn’t like my Tailor’s taste.
So I need contribution to get the best results.
I would like to know how can I determine the waist button height in overcoat ? If I measure my overcoat length and multiply it with proportional button height ( eg. 60% ) can I get the ideal waist button height or the proportional button height varies individually? ( I am 180cm tall )
Another one which is very important for me is the overlap. Lapel width is 10 cm. I am not so sure about Its belly ; how much overlap do you think is ideal ? I think 11 or 10 cm is good. The vertical distance between buttons are 10 cm as well. Is it good in your idea ?

Best
Ebi