A few weeks ago, Davide (Taub, cutter at Gieves & Hawkes) and I began working on another bespoke project, following the leather jacket we completed back in August.
This time we decided to tackle the pea coat. I liked the way our leather jacket brought so many aspects of tailoring to bear on a casual piece of clothing, but in retrospect it was quite risky designing it from scratch. The pea coat, by contrast, is both a casual-wear staple and closely related to standard tailoring items such as the great coat.
We dug into the Gieves archive, both for great coats and military dress jackets, to create our initial design. It has an S-shaped sweep of buttons more commonly seen on a great coat; there will be a hidden pocket under the left-hand lapel to hold a mobile phone; the chest will be quilted inside to give it greater structure; and the sleeves will be cuffed with the possibility of embroidered details.
The back will have an open box pleat in the back, closed in the waist and then open again to the bottom. We eventually decided to go without a yoke – the second of the two options sketched at top. The panels holding the half belt are a design detail taken from an archived great coat.
Many of the old pea coats, and some modern designs, also have a separate panel on the front running around the buttons. We felt this was too fussy and had little practical purpose. On most recent coats, it was merely decorative.
The buttons will be vintage gilt, and we will aim to fit it over a casual jacket as well as knitwear – so the length will be slightly longer than a regular pea coat.
Above, Davide’s note to the tailor, which required some longer explanation on the back.
And below, the pattern chalked out. WDWR stands for ‘Who dares wins Rodney’, a reference to Lee’s (Webb, other Gieves cutter) pattern posted here last month, and a piece of gentle mockery of myself.