grey double breasted overcoat notch collar

  
For men who – for reasons of economy or laziness – want a coat that will go with everything, this might be the perfect candidate. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d recommend it.

It was made for me by Stile Latino, the Neapolitan brand founded by Vincenzo Attolini. Vincenzo is part of the famous Attolini tailoring dynasty in Naples, being one of the three sons of the founder, Cesare Attolini. He left the company to create his own, younger and more innovative brand 10 years ago. (Full details in the interview with Vincenzo here.)

The coat was made to measure, based on a design you can see pictured in that original post. Like the original, it is entirely unstructured. Not just no lining, but no shoulder padding, no chest canvas, nothing. It is just stitched cloth.
  

unlined grey overcoat

  
The design of the original was a little too loud for me, being an enlarged black-and-grey houndstooth. Those coats look great on their own (as a reader commented at the time) but mean everything else you wear has to be toned down. Not what you want in a coat.

Most of the 40-odd cloths I could pick from for my coat were also unusual, but often in their texture, rather than pattern. The strength of Stile Latino (and, to be fair, several other Neapolitan ready-made brands, such as Salvatore Piccolo) is their variation of texture, colour tones and finishings.

The grey wool I selected is unusual for its extreme milling. Most cloths will go through a milling process as part of their wet finishing, which explodes the fibres and often binds them together. It is a key part of the character of flannel.

But this wool has been milled in such a way, and then steamed off, that the surface is pretty much just fuzz. It creates a very soft, spongy effect – and a casual style. People who touch it instantly say how soft it feels – although it’s a very different softness to cashmere.
  

milled grey wool coat

  
The spongy material and unstructured make are the main reasons it bridges formal and casual clothing. It’s also helped by the combination of styles: double-breasted, but patch pockets; great-coat lapels, but slim.

It could work with both jeans and a suit, and I’m sure this casual, knitwear-like style is a reason I’ve had so many compliments when I’ve worn it.
  

stile latino grey overcoat

  
But if I was going to recommend a coat that bridged casual and formal wear, it wouldn’t be one that stripped out all the structure.

Better to completely change the style of the coat (like a pea coat); to pick a cloth and cut that sits between the two (like a tweed raglan-sleeve); or to retain the structure but at a light, Neapolitan bespoke level.  

The problem with a complete lack of structure is that the coat loses all drape and line. It’s more sweater than coat. I understand the appeal – it looks sartorial but feels very relaxed, lightweight and comfortable. But I’d make that casual/formal bridge in other ways. (It is also likely not to age well – is already turning up at the cuffs.)

The fit, by the way, was fine but not perfect. It is a touch too big in the back and the sleeves are an inch too long. I deliberately asked Vincenzo to pick the length, as I thought this was a fundamental part of his style, but I would have it a good two or three inches longer.

Interestingly, it has a very high, small armhole. Usually a good thing in tailoring, but combined with the lack of structure, it makes it very difficult to get on.  
  

Stile Latino grey double breasted overcoat

  
Price: €1900 ready made, €2400 made to measure.

I will review the jacket – also from Stile Latino – on Friday.

Both are worn with:

  • Grey shirt from Simone Abbarchi
  • Green chinos from Incotex, at Trunk
  • Brown bespoke oxfords from Gaziano & Girling
  • Navy cashmere watch cap from small shop in Naples (I forget the name)
      

grey double breasted overcoat

Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Néstor

It looks very nice Simon, though I’ve had the same problem you point out with regards to the lack of structure with a Boglioli overcoat I bought three years ago.

David Craggs

The best item in this combo is by fare and away the watch cap – I’ve just lost mine and this would have made a perfect replacement!
I agree with you completely about the coat. I bought a similar structure from Cucinelli a few years ago and although the cloth was dramatically superior it lost all shape. Ironically, it too drew a lot of compliments but I never felt particularly comfortable.
I replaced it with a limited edition from Zegna (something they did for their centenary) that bridged the casual/formal brilliantly. It’s a double breasted grey with a half belt in the most fabulous cashmere and unlike the Cucinelli it is actually very comfortable.

JH

I’ve seen it mentioned a number of times that a high, small armhole is desirable in tailoring but never seen an explanation of why that’s the case? Great photos on this post by the way – nice work @jkf_man.

Jimmy Conway

Hi,

Having seen your other outerwear commissions ( the Cifonnelli top coat, Gieves pea coat and leather jacket spring to mind) I can’t help but feel this is one of the weaker bespoke items.

Condolences,

Jim

AO

Really like this coat Simon.

I see where you are coming from with regards to it being a little too casual, but I think that part of that is that your style is smarter and more formal than that of the average man. For the guy in his 20’s looking for something to wear with jeans, boots and knitwear on the weekend, the very wooly fabric and complete lack of structure are perfect. I often wear a peacoat in this scenario bit even that can prove too stiff and formal at times. It’s not until you start experimenting with flannels, cords etc that you realise just how casual jeans really are! The price of the coat however is another matter. ..

AO

Further to my previous comment, I would like to share a thought that I had earlier in the year, which has solidified into a cornerstone belief of my sartorial ideology (if that doesn’t sound too pretentious!).

Simply, an absolutely integral, but almost never mentioned in online menswear circles part of looking great in your clothes is to be in good physical shape. A man who is at the very least trim, or even better athletic, looks for my money better in a well altered low to mid end RTW garment than a man who has let himself go does in the finest Savile Row tailoring. The jacket can be properly suppressed at the waist, lending an imposing V-taper to the wearer, with broad shoulders and a smaller waist. Trousers can be slim to elongate the silhouette and add to this effect.

I suspect the reason that this is never mentioned is a mixture of two things. Firstly is the obvious point that we are reading style and not fitness blogs. I still think it is worth mentioning. Secondly, at the end of the market that this blog and others tends to focus on, the majority of men who are able to afford such clothing are older, and therefore both better off financially and unfortunately in worse physical shape than their younger counterparts. Nobody wishes to tread on any toes or cause upset, but it is worth mentioning.

Thank you for your writing this year and have a fantastic New Year. Here’s to 2016.

Anonymous

AO, I am 50, lucky enough to be able to buy fine clothing, workout 4 times a week, cycle at least 200k per week and weigh in at 71kg. How do folks like me fit this outrageous stereotype? ?

PF

And your point is what, exactly? Fit guys look better in everything. They can spend their lives in Banana Republic and look great. You may not ant to “cause upset” but you’ve managed to do so beautifully.

From a craft POV, I’m glad to see that so many younger men have both the disposable income– and more critically, the interest in bespoke clothing– to support what had been a dying tradition. But don’t write us old guys off. You’ll find yourself here soon enough. And Simon, it wouldn’t kill you to post about fat guys in bespoke.

Joseph

I realize this is a somewhat older post, but I couldn’t resist. Sorry, Simon.

Tailoring, and menswear in general, should be exacting, but not discriminating. It should follow a person’s, unique bodily quirks, preferred fit and details while doing its best to underline the best and conceal the worst. Making people of all shapes and sizes look their best is the greatest showcase of the client’s self-awareness and wisdom and the tailoring house’s artistry. This is, arguably, the true value of bespoke and other forms of menswear in terms of their relationship with the male physique. (I also find this true for women’s style, although the focus of the thread is on men’s tailoring hence the male pronouns.)

Joseph

Or, for another way to say it, the combination of the client’s insight and the tailor’s craft adapts the clothing to the human body, not the other way around. That’s why it’s called tailoring in the first place, and it should not serve to alienate people who don’t fit in the idealistic models of fitness.

Anonymous

Love the colour and texture of the material (a bit like boiled wool) but the positioning of the patch pockets doesn’t look right – it adds width to the hip area which isn’t flattering – even to a slim figure such as yours. This aspect is furthered by the double-breasted construction – if single it might have worked – its a small detail though. You are correct on length, 3-4 inches longer or shorter (coat or jacket) and the silhouette would have been more harmonious. I also wonder if, overall, the fabric may be too thick/shapeless to fully work with the proposed cut. Points aside as a weekend throw-on it looks ideal.

Tom

Simon / Nestor,

same problem here with lack of structure, although mine is a few levels down quality / price-wise being a Suit Supply ready-to-wear garment.

How’s the wool as a wind protector Simon? Also what make is the knit cap you are wearing?

Regards,
Tom

MD

Simon

The coat looks great, as does the hat. What is the advantage of having unlined sleeves? Whenever I have worn a garment with unlined sleeves, it was slightly uncomfortable, and difficult to get on and off.

Thanks

John

Hi Simon,
Actually, I usely do not like short overcoats. But anyhow, I just like this one. It definitely looks chic to me! I think it could be really fine to have it on while queueing before a museum, with a navy rollneck or instead a lovely green or dark Brown scarf of the type of Begg & Co’s, or heading to a pub or even to a theater.
For sure it’s a versatile item.
The only real issue that may be of concern is how it is going to age.
John

Patrick D

Love the coat. Are his RTW clothes sold anywhere in London?

TreyByDay

Vincenzo did you a major solid on the length. It keeps the look and you fresh and it’s energizing to see you in pieces that slightly augment your normal trajectory.

I think a longer length would have weighed it all down. As is, you look more virile and youthful wrapped in a inviting cocoon.

Anonymous

Simon, Happy New Year to you and the readers! A bit of an open question but, can you recommend any style of coat that can be worn in a more casual context. I rarely wear suits, so it needs to be something that can go with shirt and knitwear or chunky knitwear. I also only really wear jeans and chinos. I’ve already got a peacoat but want something that’s longer, say just above the knee. I’ve been thinking of a double breasted casentino with a half belt and gauntlets. Thoughts?

Anonymous

I’ve also been thinking about H&S boiled wool and loden. Does it make a difference if the coat is double breasted or single breasted? Also, would you go for grey rather than navy (given the casual nature)? Would I be correct in assuming that the double breasted would look more formal? I guess given that I intend to have a shirt shoulder with flapped patch pockets, it shouldn’t make too much difference.

Joel

Any advice on where to get a Casentino cloth overcoat?

Peter

I have s Hugo Boss overcoat that has similar qualities and limitations but I do find on a cold day in the North teamed with an oversized scarf it becomes my best friend.

Kaarel

Really like the hat, for me the best piece in this post.

Le Cut

Are you supposed to leave on the tag that is located at the bottom corner of one of the sides? I’ve never known what to do with them.