Introducing: The new PS Trench Coat
I'm so, so excited to have this trench coat back and available again on the PS store.
Why? Well primarily because I've been wearing it over the past few weeks, and I'd forgotten what an exciting design it is. That collar; that length; the pleasure of buttoning it all up under the chin.
It has such drama, yet it's so intensely practical (as all the best menswear is). The lapels are that size so they button all the way across the chest; the chest pocket is asymmetric because it makes it really easy - and satisfying - to store your phone and there.
(For those that will ask early, the coat is only available here, and costs £915 plus VAT - a reduction on last time.)
The other reason is the tweaks we've made to the original design seem to have worked out well. The big one was the fastening of the belt.
I always liked the fact our belt didn't run all the way around the coat: it made it look less like an old man's rain coat and much cleaner, more modern.
But the way the belt attached to the front edge was a little fussy, with a heavy buckle that had to be fastened inside when not in use.
Our solution is to replace that buckle with a simpler version, akin to the ones used on the waistbands of trousers. It is light and discreet, so it doesn't have to be hidden away; and to fasten it all you have to do is feed the belt through, and pull it taut (see above).
The resulting mechanism is quick and easy, and has a much more relaxed feel. It's a simple cinch, like tying a wrap coat.
You can use the belt without the buttons - for speed - or do everything together. Either way, the belt usually then stays in place. If it needs to be more secure, perhaps when there's more bulk underneath, you can tuck the end of the belt behind itself (second image above).
That's probably a lot of detail for anyone that hasn't heard of this coat before. Let's zoom out a second.
The Permanent Style Trench is a waterproof coat made in cotton Ventile, with taped seams.
It takes design inspiration from both a despatch rider's coat (such as that angled chest pocket) and a traditional trench, and comes with a removable wool/cashmere liner that makes it wearable most of the year.
A collaboration between Permanent Style and Private White VC, the coat was first introduced in 2017. It is made at the latter's factory in Manchester, England.
The other small changes we've made this time include a popper to keep both sides of the throat latch secure, and a more secure liner. The liner now has more attachments inside, and larger buttons.
(I find that lining so useful. I've had so many waterproof coats over the years that could only be worn one or two seasons because they didn’t have a removable lining.)
I also felt the navy colour suited darker hardware and didn't suit the D-rings. So we changed the former and removed the latter.
I think the new blackened hardware is pretty cool myself. (You can just see it in the image below, with the Private White symbol on it.)
For everyone that didn't read about it the first time, what else is special about the PS Trench Coat?
First, the material. Cotton Ventile is perfect for a coat like this. It doesn’t have rustle of synthetic waterproofs, but it is entirely waterproof once the seams are taped. It also ages really nicely - softening and fading slowly at the seams, like other cottons.
This new navy is smart enough for any business wear, yet also looks great with just trousers and knitwear (as shown below) or dark denim.
The length also continues to please me.
Trench coats have been cut shorter and shorter in recent years. This not only denies them the swish and swagger of a long coat, but it's highly impractical. In the rain, water simply streams off the bottom and onto your knees as you walk.
So ours sits definitively below the knee. There is also a small, hidden flap at the bottom of the coat, which allows it to be fully closed across the knees if required.
Throughout the design process, the guiding philosophy was not to skimp on any detail. Details, after all, are what a good trench coat is all about.
So it has:
- Big hip pockets, with wool/cashmere lining in the front
- That angled despatch chest pocket
- A great throat latch on the collar (giving protection right up around the chin)
- In-set sleeves on the front of the coat, to give a cleaner appearance, but raglan sleeves on the back, to aid movement
- Gun flaps on the shoulders at the front, and a saddle piece across the back
- Dark-brown horn buttons, fastening that double-breasted front all the way up
Of all these details, I particularly enjoy the throat latch: I had forgotten how closely we engineered it so there is protection right around the chin. You can almost nestle your neck down in there like a turtle.
The combination of raglan at the back, set-in sleeve at the front, is also something I had completely forgotten about until I started wearing the new navy version.
And I love the saddle piece across the top of the back.
From the rear, it is this piece, the cinched waist, and the length that give the coat such style.
Let's finish with some testimonials. These are from readers that owned and loved the first iteration, and left comments on the launch articles.
“I took delivery of one of these amazing coats last Friday. I think its absolutely awesome – the cut the design the fabric and the build quality. Very very pleased,” Andy.
“I have to write again about this because this coat is an absolute masterpiece. The Ventile fabric is off the Richter scale. It doesn’t rustle like some other waterproof fabrics, keeps every drop of rain out and breaths really well. To top it all, it looks achingly cool. I was waiting for a train at Waterloo and had three enquiries as to where I got it. I should be getting paid for advertising it!” David.
“I had the good fortune to snap one up in the first round, but it’s only now with the rain that I’m making regular use of it. And it’s a joy in every way! The combination of quality, practicality and style is streets ahead of the Aquascutum coat it replaced. Thank-you Simon.” Dominic.
Sizing and delivery
The sizing measurements are set out below. Note that in these images I am wearing a medium (4) whereas in previous shots I wore a small (3).
I think this demonstrates how much most people can wear two sizes with this kind of coat - given its raglan fit and ability to cinch the waist as much as you want.
It's really a case of how close you want the coat to be, and what you will wear under it most of the time. I liked the small, but it was tight over a suit. The medium is better, and never looks big because of that belt at the waist.
|Measurements in cm||XS/2||S/3||M/4||L/5||XL/6||XXL/7|
|Shoulder to shoulder||42.5||44||45.5||47||49||50.5|
|Centre back length||118.5||119||120||121||122||123|
I know that I'm above average height, and that therefore the coat might be a little too long for some people. This is easy to alter, as the coat is unlined (and the removable lining considerably shorter than the full coat).
At least 10cm can be taken off the length of the coat without causing any issues. Private White VC offer a great service in their store for this, or it can be done by a local alterations tailor.
The sleeves can also be shortened, but only by about 1.5cm. More than this and the end of the sleeve gets too close to the cuff flap and will look odd. But 1.5cm will make a noticeable difference.
They can also be shortened by more than 5cm if you want to remove the flap, but I doubt many people will need that.
The sleeves can be lengthened slightly too, by around 1.5cm, though there is a small chance of a mark where the fold was. Adjustments to the body are not really possible unless you are willing to give up the taped seams.
The coat is available now, in size XS to XXL, on the PS Shop here.
Other clothes pictured:
- Double-breasted corduroy jacket by Sartoria Ciardi
- Charcoal trousers by Cerrato
- White twill button-down shirt by Luca Avitabile
- Cashmere club tie by Ralph Lauren
- Bespoke oxford shoes by Yohei Fukuda
- Charcoal felt fedora by Optimo
- Navy cashmere polo sweater by William Crabtree
- Grey flannel trousers by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury
Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt. Video: Itch Media