The Trench Coat with casual wear

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Over the past three years, Permanent Style has gradually covered more casual clothing in response to requests from readers.

Guys want to know how to extend PS principles of quality, fit and simplicity to weekend clothing, and that makes sense. I’ve always done the same in what I wear off-duty - I just haven’t written about it as much.

Casual clothing is nothing new on Permanent Style: posts on quality denim go back to 2008, a few months after it launched. And of course the casual side of tailoring has always been a thrust: hence Friday Polos and Everyday Denim shirts.

But the balance has consciously moved a touch. Indeed, perhaps to something that reflects a full week: five days of tailoring, two days of casual.

In that vein, I wanted to show how I wear our Trench Coat, developed in 2017 with Private White VC, in a more casual guise.

It sits alongside the original launch photos - shown here - to make up pretty much a full style spectrum: worn with a suit and tie, with smart trousers and knitwear, and with denim and a sweater.

It’s something I wear all week, to the office and to the pub.

I’ve also been uncharacteristically organised and timed this post for a re-stock: the Trench Coat is available in small to extra large, on the PS shop site. Only six pieces though.

And it's currently in the pop-up shop on Savile Row, if anyone wants to come in and try a size.

The shots here are from Northern Ireland, where I travelled out to see Jamie last month and shoot around the coast. It seemed fitting to photography outerwear in this blustery setting.

The trench is worn with a grey loopback hoodie from Loopwheeler, jeans from Blackhorse Lane denim, a suede cap from RRL, and Chromexcel boots from Wolverine.

Despite the casual styles and materials, those same PS principles are at work.

I bought the Loopwheeler hoodie in Tokyo in June, in exactly the same style and size as the cream one I’d purchased three years earlier (and featured here). 

That first one had proved its worth several times over. It has softened with wear yet kept its shape; it has been washed several times with ease; and the loopback jersey is the nicest I’ve worn. 

The fit is perfect too. It’s shorter than most hoodies on the market, but not as much as vintage recreations - so it sits perfectly with the mid- to high-rise trousers I usually wear. 

The body shape is slightly slim at the waist, but larger in the chest, creating a slightly large, athletic look. The hood sits high and neat around the head. The ribbing of the cuffs and bottom hem are pleasingly long. 

I care about all those things, and appreciate all of them.

Style wise, it’s also subtle. A classic colour, with no external branding beyond a tiny label at the wrist. 

Although fit, quality and style are the most important factors, it’s also nice that the hoodie is made by a tiny production in Japan on an original loopwheeler (circular knitting) machine.

Same goes for the jeans. I’ve already set out all the quality points on Blackhorse Lane here, and the fit and style is the same as the heavy pair I had first from BHL, just in a lighter weight denim.

Actually, they're very similar to the hoodie in that respect, being a re-purchase of something I've used, tested, liked and therefore invested in again.

Again it’s not required, but it is nice that the jeans are made locally, in London, and so can easily be repaired and looked after.

The Wolverine boots have been covered, though briefly, in the piece on my favourite pieces of workwear.

They’ve recently had a scrub and a clean - to get rid of all the dirt that can build up in waxy Chromexcel - and are looking better than ever.

Again though, the same principles. A quality product, in a subtle style. There are no pretensions to be a hiking boot, no bright-red laces or other flashes of colour.

And finally, the cap. I’m not about to pursue the high/low dressing of wearing a baseball cap with a suit, but it's perfect with denim and sportswear.

I like the fact that it’s made from rough-out suede, which is hardy and has a lovely texture.

It’s from RRL, and ideally wouldn’t have the brand sewn into the outside. But it is subtle, and I’ve yet to find one as nice that's branding-free.

I guess the trench coat is the final piece, actually.

I’ve written at length why I like the colour and the cotton - and therefore picked them when designing with PWVC. Those things have only proved more true over time.

The cotton Ventile has proved water-resistant enough, but doesn’t rustle like a synthetic and wears in nicely: there is now subtle fading along the seams and edges.

And the muted olive green is smart enough for that grey suit shown before, yet works with denim and burgundy-red boots as well.

That probably seems like a bit of a rattle-through of these different pieces and their virtues.

But I hope it demonstrates the similarities of good casual wear and formal wear. And that I think about both in the same way.

Nothing here has the same craft as a bespoke suit, but then neither do fine scarves or knitwear. The materials aren’t luxurious either, but that wouldn’t suit the look.

This is perfect for a walk at the weekend - perhaps down the harbour, perhaps jumping over rock pools - where tailoring would not be.

Photography: Jamie Ferguson

Trench Coat available on the shop site here

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Kevin Tan

Hi Simon, just wondering where you got that Loopwheeler hoodie in Tokyo? Some friends and I are planning to go next week and hoping to check it out while I’m there.

Kevin Tan

Thanks, Simon! Looked it there address online and it’s at Sendagaya.

Will check them out. Cheers.

Anonymous

Thanks. Which model is this from BLA?

Steve

Hi Simon.

The trench coat looks really nice. I have a question on sizing . My chest is 113cm and shoulders are 47cm. I would intend to wear it both casually and with a suit. Do you think a L/5 will suffice for me? Thank you.

Michael Smith

The final image of the kelp is stunning, Jamie should sell it as a limited edition!
If you were assembling your outfit from scratch it could have been your “mood board “.

In fact you almost disappear in the photos as the colours and hues of the outfit are so well matched to the location.

Modern camouflage without the military references.

Mike

Adam Jones

I have a pair of Chromexcel brogue boots in a similar shade. What did you use / how did you clean them – mine took a battering last winter so need a bit of TLC this year.

Bobby

Nice scenery! Was this shot in County Down?

Christopher

Dear Simon,

great combination and inspiring for the coming autumn! Cause I am not a resident in UK, I would appreciate if you could recommend an alternative brand for jeans. I know that Blackhorse has an online shop, but I like to try and see the fit.
The trench is definitely my favorite item, but I would prefer it in a shorter version. In my opinion it would be more suitable and could be worn for commuting to work….
As Loopwheeler hoodies I choose the version of Merz Schwanen, I tried to find the Japanese one online, but was not successful…I guess it was a good choice.

Christopher

Thank you Simon for your recommendation!

Rich

The trenchcoat and the loopwheeler look great, however, I don’t think I’ll ever be in the position where I can justify spending £170 on a baseball cap!

Owen

Have a look at Varsity headwear. They make caps for all seasons. Linen, cashmere, denim, alcantara etc.

Anonymous

Huh…? No, this doesn’t look good. The coat is great, just not as a foil to the casual. The colour works, but the cut and style don’t. Not from a narrow, formalist perspective but just from the viewpoint of good style. From the back it looks good as the shoulder cape element gives it a ‘duster’ look which is casual enough make it work. It fails from the front as it doesn’t have a loose silhouette, nor a cloth soft enough to drape in a casual way. The ‘gun flaps’ add to the awkwardness. It’s as if dad grabbed the first coat on the hook to match his casual garb. As an example see Barbour’s take on its classics;
https://www.barbour.com/uk/icons-re-engineered?p=1
The Haydon, I suggest, would have been a much better foil for the ensemble as cut, cloth and texture all support the casual form.

Jason

Hugh…?
Sorry Monsieur Anonymous but comparing ‘The Hayden’ to the ‘PW/PS’ Trench is like comparing a sow’s ear to a silk purse.
‘The Hayden’ is clearly an essential for the ‘Rugby Club’ crowd and would certainly be somebody’s Grandfather’s go to garb. It is completely devoid of any style be it from the back, the front or indeed from an aerial perspective.
The ‘PW/PS’ trench drapes beautifully at the front and looks great cinched, un- cinched or open and works perfectly in any environment be it ever so casual or formal.
The collar is also an absolute killer and should be flaunted in all scenarios.
Although I’m not keen to see the masses sporting them, it is an absolute essential for any self respecting flaneur !

Anonymous

Jason
You always comment beautifully, but I am afraid repeated use of the term “flaneur” smacks of the pretension I come to PS to avoid!

Matt

Nonsense. You couldn’t be more wrong. The trench has casual details, like the press studs at the wrists and a style of pockets not normally seen on dressier trench coats. Plus the fabric and colour are more casual. If anything, it works better with this outfit than it does with tailoring.

Jason

A great shoot showing clothes at work in a beautiful environment.
I can’t concur enough regarding the versatility of the PS trench. I love mine to bits and often wear it walking the dog or at the coast.
Personally, I would never wear a hoddie with it. Apart from the fact that they are a style abomination, they don’t allow you to flaunt the collar which is one of the key attributes of the trench and something that any self respecting flaneur would surely want to do.
It looks much better with a roll neck sweater. I often wear mine with an Inis Meain boat builder which makes for a killer ‘not trying at all’ look and allows for that essential popped collar flaneur flaunt.
I also love the way the trench is ageing. It’s one of those pieces that the more hammer it gets, the better it looks. Bravo to Simon and Private White for developing and manufacturing this coat . It really is a staple.

Juan Huertas

Hi Simon, great pictures! I am the happy owner of your trench coat and love it dearly. I am looking for a second raincoat, perhaps more formal. I saw you tried the Drake’s beige twill raincoat, which looks lovely. I wanted to get your thoughts on it. Any insight in addition to what you wrote on Drake’s would be greatly appreciated – particularly regarding style and make. Thank you very much!

Anonymous

Im also considering this Drakes coat. How would you compare it to a classic Burberry like the Westminster? Which one would you choose? Thanks.

Anonymous

Thank you. In the US, both coats are roughly the same price (around $2,000). Do you mean that you get better quality for the money with the Drakes? Thanks again.

Dave

Great photos and styling. I saw the trench coat appear on Private White’s website a few days ago and decided to finally take the chance to buy one. The weather is turning rainy here so I can’t wait for it to arrive. But my one trepidation was whether it would look good with casual clothing — you’ve put those fears to rest; these look not just fine but downright cool.

Would you wear this coat with sneakers? I’m currently limited in shoe choice due to a knee injury.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

What quality clothing stores would you recommend for women who like classic menswear clothing? So far the only reliable ones I know of are O’Connell’s (NY), Purdey, and John Smedley. This would be for knitwear, shirts, outerwear, not just accessories. Thanks

Colin Tate

I love the cap. But £170 seems an incredible price to pay for a baseball cap!

Paul Boileau

Interesting post. For those of us of a certain age the trench coat has become sullied by memories of Frank Spencer. Perhaps now is the time for its renaissance? I have a classic Aquascutum trench coat but always felt self conscious wearing it- I thought I was channeling Alain Delon but I suspect the effect was more Inspector Clouseau. I never thought the beige was particularly practical so the brown is a nice change of pace. Perhaps I will bust mine out when the rain returns…

Anonymous

Jason etc. mistake casual tailoring for style. It’s a symptom often seen in preppy types who don’t understand street style, athleisure, or designer couture. It’s a problem with menswear wherein only one realm is appreciated and the others dismissed out of snobbery. As such when casual style is approached the streams become confused into something that wishes to cling to formality but ‘has a go’ at casual or leisure wear. As for the grandad comment: any visit to Barbour’s in London will find a noticeably younger crowd than Jason interestingly imagines. As a footnote, to many the term flaneur is an insult, similar to fop or popinjay: terms any self respecting man would wish to avoid.

botz

for the caps the Japanese brand Hender Scheme has put out beautiful suede caps in a variety of colors a few times without logos, likely not cheaper than the RRL but sometimes the one wrong detail is just a dealbreaker

Simon

Just picked up my BHL jeans this afternoon. Great service as had a different pattern made as I was between sizes. Lovely chat in the shop and factory..thanks Simon for bringing them to my attention!!

David

Well after much anticipation (aided by customs), my trench coat had arrived. And actually wearable, even for one not quite as handsome as our gracious host! The color is a mysterious and beautiful shade, a warm brown that is almost reddish, yet also almost green. It does not clash with green trousers.

I was afraid it would be heavy, but although obviously heavier than their surprisingly light Ventile Mac, it is much lighter than a typical overcoat. Still not something you’ll want to carry around just in case.

I am wondering whether I ought to size down. The shoulders seem bang on, the front shoulder seams hitting where a jacket would, but there’s a lot of extra in the chest and under the arms, even some with the liner and a blazer on. When worn open, it shrouds and drapes my body rather than sitting open as in these photos—for this reason I can’t see wearing it as just a jacket when the rain stops, it feels suitable only for being rained upon. I wear the belt at the third or fourth hole. Overall there is a slight impression of friar’s robes. Simon, I know this kind of question is impossible to answer, but any advise here?

David

Thanks Simon, that was a great tip. With the belt cinched in the back, I find the cut very flattering. Less friar’s robe, more tailcoat. I’ll probably reserve belt-in-front for when I’m wearing it over something with a lot of structure. Still suspect a 4 might be better for me, dithering about asking them for an exchange. (If it wasn’t overseas I’d probably already have done so.)

Thanks for making this coat, it’s fantastic and I’ve not seen anything else like it. In fact I’ve been looking for years for a really long, covers-everything rain coat that looks good. Here it is. Most products are fungible against close substitutes, but some would leave a void in their absence.

Rain is forecast for later this week so I’ll probably post about its function at that time, assuming I decide to keep the 5.

Rups

As a Tin Tin fan I always wanted to recreate his look of a beige raincoat, with brown corduroys and usually a white shirt peeking out under a light baby blue jumper. Is this outfit not a perfect example of wearing a raincoat casually? There is something so aesthetically pleasing about it too, the baby blue jumper is playful and light, and complements the chocoalate brown trouser perfectly. The raincoat is practical and stylish. Is this the best casual outfit in terms of practicality and fun loving stylishness? I think it may well be.

Rob

After two winters of indecision, I finally decided to buy the trench coat and it seems all of the UK has been rewarded with two months worth of rain! At least I stayed nicely dry.

The coat is fantastic Simon yet another perfect execution which fills a gap in the market that only the obsessive knew existed. I think I’ll get the sleeves shortened next summer, but otherwise I very am surprised how well it fits. Bravo and thank you Simon.

(Ps I purchased through PWVC, I hope you get the same share as through the PS shop)

Daniel

Hello,

just wondering if any of you could help me with sizing?

I am 6ft at 90-95 kg and have broad shoulders. Normaly, I am between EUR 52 and 54, most cases struggeling with shoulders and shoulder holes – especially with British brands.

Would you recommend choosing L oder XL?

Many thanks, Daniel

Gab

Hi Simon,
Can you tell how much stretch did the BHL denim gave, and which size you took?
By the way, you might want to check the lookbook page of your website, as at least some of the links are not functioning correctly.
Cheers

Gab

I’m afraid most of them. Try the brown tweed coat, for instance

Anonymous

Hi Simon, I tried again after having cleared my cache, and it still does not work. The brown tweed (fourth page) for instance leads to the white PS oxford . I tried with Chrome & Safari, same result. To be honest, I’m really no IT expert, but as far as my competences go – though it may not be much – it does not work.

Gab

Yes apologies I meant it leads not where it is supposed to. I just tried again with my phone, none of the first 8 pics leads to the right place (didn’t try further). At least two leads to the white PS oxford; some leads to the next picture page. Hope my description makes sense.

Gab

I warned you I was no IT expert 🙂

Carl

I wonder about the benefits of cotton sweatshirts/hoodies compared to wool. I have one “tough/sporty” hoodie in merino wool and one more luxurious (Luca Faloni cashmere). A shop that I wants to support is now having a sale of a Sunspel loopback hoodie. Is there any situation where you think the loopback hoodie is a better material than wool?

Oscar

Hi Simon, what are you thoughts between your trench and the Coherence Marc coat (as you have both). I love both of them but I think that owing both would be redundant. Do you see one of them more versatile that the other? one more/less casual? better finished? (anyway waiting for your new trench version before pull the trigger!) Thanks!

Ronnie

Hi Simon,

Looking for a pair of boots myself… I live in the Netherlands and tried a pair of Thursday boots. I loved the look, but they are too small and thus I have to return them which costs me over 40 bucks. I therefore don’t want to look outside Europe for a new pair.

What is your opinion on the 8111 Iron Ranger in Amber Harness from Red Wing? See: https://redwingamsterdam.com/products/8111-iron-ranger-amber-harness?gclid=Cj0KCQiA7NKBBhDBARIsAHbXCB5fjgWnJBGBt3fALQ9zNVyLeCIOJfkCFsUXPJSd-IovdlIlw9BbeooaAi0mEALw_wcB

Or these from MRQVIST? https://myrqvist.eu/collections/boots/products/tjarno-dark-brown-calf?variant=34212615585837

I am looking for something versitile for fall/winter. It rains a lot here in those seasons, and I am done with either wearing white sneakers or having no grip with dress shoes lol.

Any alternative (max 330 eur) suggestions are welcome too ofcourse.

Kind regards!

Mike

Hi Simon,

What do you think (quality and style wise) about the Italian brand l’impermeabile? I noticed a nice coat sold by John Simons:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEcEZWzJJjH/

BC

Hi Simon,
Re: sweatshirts, have you tried the heavyweight zip hoodie by 3Sixteen? I’m curious how it measures up.