Unstructured casentino coat – Rubinacci x The Rake

Friday, December 9th 2016
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the_rake_rubinacci_casentino-overcoat

Although some of the products aren't to my taste, I always keep an eye on what The Rake are doing in terms of collaborations. It's interesting to see a clear vision move through different brands and categories. 

One that caught my attention recently was the casentino ulster coat designed with Rubinacci

The coat is cut with a good deal more swagger than a normal ulster - with broader lapels, a slimmer sleeve and more nipped-in waist.

In fact, I was a little scared it might be too dramatic. 

But when I tried it on (always a nice advantage to the Rake offices not being far away) I was pleased to find that the proportions weren't over the top - particularly as I would often wear it open or with the collar popped up, so you rarely see the full sweep of the lapel. 

brown-casentino-overcoat

The coat also has some nice design details, like buttoning up neatly under the chin and the simple, turn-back-and-tack-down style of the cuff. 

In fact the simplicity of the latter point is perhaps its greatest attraction.

I love bespoke overcoats, but if there's ever a case for a ready-made one, it's in a piece that is entirely unstructured, with no canvas and no lining - as this is.

It feels like nothing more than a big sheet of casentino wool, that happens to fasten across the front, be turned back at the sleeves, and cinched by a belt at the back. 

casentino-coat-martingala-back

Given this, the core question is whether you like casentino.

For those not familiar with it, casentino is a traditional Tuscan cloth made of wool that has been beaten to give it raised curls, looking much like pilling on knitwear.

That texture makes it hardy, and the general milling makes it warm and surprisingly water resistant. 

Its roughness means it doesn't appeal to everyone - and among those that do like it, much of the reason is its history and tradition. 

I was always a little ambivalent about casentino, preferring the subtle texture of tweed for an equally weather-proof cloth, for example.

But seeing it more is turning me to its appeal, and I may well be tempted - particularly given the great brown, blue and green that The Rake are doing it in. 

Sizing note: the 40-inch chest fit well on me, but you couldn't fit all jackets underneath (perhaps just softer shouldered ones), and it is the smallest size. So there is the greatest size range for the larger guy. 

The casentino ulster costs £850. It was a limited run, so some sizes (eg brown in a 40 chest) are already sold out.

green-casentino-woolthe_rake_rubinacci_blue_casentino-overcoatthe_rake_rubinacci_unstructured-coat

 

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Bob

The back picture looks good and overall its interesting but the front/cover photo looks a bit like a sack. I realise its unstructured but does it look as shapeless from the front as the picture implies or is this another case of a photo being a poor method of judging fit/drape etc

Matthew Bishop

Simon,

First up poster, long time lurker here. So I must congratulate you on your blog. And thank you also; I’ve learned much and enjoyed all your postings very much.

I’ve just returned back from a decade in the Far East. I’ve had a look through your tailor recommendations and will try one or perhaps two. Can you recommend someone who can alter this Casentino which I tried last week? I’m rather taken with it, but as you say the waist needs to be taken in substantially.

Matthew

John

Hi Simon,
Thanks for this review. Funnily enough, I’ve already seen a very chic lady in Paris wearing either a casentino peacoat or a coat But I don’t remember anymore which one it was. I was enough intrigued by the texture of the fabric. Of course, at that tile; I didn’t know that the unusual texture was its defining characteric!
As to this Rubinacci × Rake’s oast just wonder whether at least a free floating chest piece wouldn’t help such a coat keep a bit structure in the long run. For over time it may lose a little bit iof its shape right at the level of the chest.
Otherwise, the blue one is really appealing!
John

PSNY

The lapels are huge. It is a very nice jacket though, especially in blue. Zaremba in Warsaw Poland makes a beautiful casentino jacket.

Sam

Hi Simon, were you to go bespoke on something similar – who would your London tailor of choice be?

Dave Carter

You’ve dismissed casentino in the past as a passing fad, but it is without doubt a handsome, practical cloth – it seems to be enduring the seasons and becoming a classic.

Richard

Love this coat. I purchased one and found it to run very small. I’m typically a US 38R and had to size up to a 42 in this piece to get the sleeve length correct and get it to fit over a jacket. A wonderful piece though. Well worth the money.

Arthur

Hi Richard, you had to size up two sizes? How does the coat fit without a jacket underneath?and did you have to get it altered in the waist? Thanks.

brendan

What is the half belt style called?

Joel

Would you recommend it as Casentino in England is hard to find and the coat is 50% off at the moment?

Giovan Battista

Simon,

do you remember what alterations you needed to make the coat fit better in the body? Did you take it in from the sides and/or from the back? Any issues with the position of pockets and belt?

Last year I tried sizes 52 (my usual size) and 54, but the shoulders where really too narrow – like someone already said in the comments – and I had to return them.

Today I’ve just bought a brown size 56 on sale on The Rake. The shoulders should finally be perfect, but of course the body will be giant, so as soon as it arrives I want to check with my tailor what can be altered to get a better fit (something between size 52 and 54 I guess), before the return deadline expires.

Thank you
GB

Giovan Battista

Hey Simon,
sorry for the late reply, but I waited until the coat was ready. I’m happy, everything went fine. I think we went down one size, just on the sides.

So:
– size 56 with perfect shoulders, back and sleeves;
– waist 54;
– my usual general size is 52 … quite a strange cut;

But I admit: had it not been on (a huge) sale, I would have returned it.
GB

Jay

The cut is kinda weird. I ordered mine at the rake last week. It’s size 56. My usual jacket/suits size is US 44 in most men’s wear brands like Hackett, Charles Tyrwhitt..etc. However, 56 is quite snug overall, and I’m happy about the fit.

Not sure if it’s because Italian tends to make clothes more narrow or it’s just Rubinacci’s house style.