The Real McCoy’s: Modern authenticity, casual luxury

Monday, January 24th 2022
||- Begin Content -||

Although I’ve known The Real McCoy’s and been a customer for quite a long time, I’ve never really known the company itself very well. 

So it was niceduring a recent visit to the new shop in London to interview Emika Tsujimoto - the daughter of the Real McCoy’s founder Hitoshi Tsujimoto, and now the manager here.

One of the things I didn’t realise, for example, was quite how much of the Real McCoy’s product it makes itself. 

I knew it’d always owned some production, but given the breadth of the range - from jeans to horsehide, canvas shoes to cashmere knits - I assumed most of it was made in other Japanese factories. 

Actually, about 70% of the product is made in-house. When the company started, more than 20 years ago, it began with making just the A2 jacket. That’s gradually expanded, and the plan is to carry on doing so.

“My father is also insistent that all of our workers are locals, trained so that we create a pool of skilled labour in Japan,” says Emika. “The vast majority of other ‘made in Japan’ brands use temporary foreign workers,and that’s not so good in the long term.”

Emika herself (above) admits to not being much of a product person. She grew up in her father’s shadow, and learnt how to manage the business rather than the kind of quality details a customer might focus on.

“We have seven stores in Japan, so a lot of the work is managing people,” she says. “That’s my role now in London - to run the store and make sure we get our message across to everyone that comes through.”

Still, when I do ask Emika to highlight some quality points in the Real McCoy’s product, she’s not short of suggestions. 

The A2 jacket [below] is still very special for us, and the horsehide takes a lot of time and effort to get right,” she says. “For example, it takes a month of hand dipping the leather to dye it. And then one whole skin goes into each jacket - so we can take our pick of which leather we use on which parts.

“Most other brands will cut up a skin into as many pieces as they can, and for example hide a more wrinkled piece in the inside sleeve, keeping better ones for larger panels like the back.”

I thought this was interesting given my vintage horsehide jacket we covered recently - it doesn’t bother me, but that clearly wasn’t a premium product. 

Also, it reminded me of something a Northampton shoemaker told me a few years ago: that the difference in leather quality between a bespoke shoe and one of their shoes wasn’t that they bought worse hides, but that they had to use every single part of it, whereas a bespoke maker had the budget to pick and choose, and not use everything.

At The Real McCoy’s, the horsehide offcuts are used to make various things, including model animals. A row of these sits along the top shelf of one side of the London store.  


I told Emika that - I think correctly - The Real McCoy’s is attractive to PS readers because of its unswerving attitude to quality, which they value in other areas but can be lacking in casual clothing more generally.  

Her response, after a gracious thank you, was to talk about another piece from the range, the MA-1 jacket (above). Nylon isn’t my style, but it was still interesting to learn that they developed this particular nylon exclusively, recreating the original material which had more ends in it than any other, making it stronger and more wind resistant. 

“Then what you don’t see is that, behind the nylon is a layer of wool pile. Cheaper brands use a wool/cotton mix, which isn’t anywhere near as warm, and we also use cuts in ours, strategically placed in areas the wearer moves, like the elbows,” she says. 

“The most satisfying thing is that combination of wind resistance on the outside and warmth retention on the inside.”

Those two jackets are the kind of military reproduction The Real McCoy’s is famous for. But interestingly, in recent years they’ve been slowly expanding into other areas.

A good example is the mohair cardigan (above). It's a piece of the 60s rather than the 50s, and was made popular again in the 90s; it doesn’t fall neatly into the usual buckets of military, motorbike or sports clothing; but it’s really a beautiful product. 

I’ve never been particularly enticed by mohair knitwear - much as I love Nirvana, I don’t want to dress like Kurt Cobain, and the trend led by brands like Needles and Marni didn’t attract me either. But when you try on the Real McCoy’s version, you suddenly understand the appeal. 

Most mohair knits use a yarn which wraps the mohair around a synthetic core. This is flimsy and cold, just aiming for that distinctive fluffy look. The McCoy’s one is wool and mohair spun together, and has a really luxurious feel - open and malleable, but soft and warm. 

“I find the warmth great under something like a leather jacket,” says Emika. “Sometimes I just want to wear leather in the winter, but it’s not that warm - the mohair does a great job of insulating you.”

Emika describes The Real McCoy’s as a ‘uniform brand’, which is a term I’d heard before, but never really thought about. 

“It’s a way to describe these genres of clothing,” she says. “If it’s about uniforms in a broad sense, then it includes military uniform but also sports teams who wear the same things for training, and motorcycle clothing.” It also usefully includes workwear, whether for mining or herding cattle, given workers would usually wear similar clothing.

Emika is also keen to emphasise that the goal driving Real McCoy’s is authenticity. Which I admire and appreciate, but actually don’t think they always follow - in a good way. 

Being inspired by quality clothing and classic styling from the past is great, but it nearly always needs some updating. Flight jackets, for example, were made for men that spent a lot of time sitting in a cockpit, and wore exclusively high-waisted trousers. They were very wide and very short. 

I like The Real McCoy’s because they usually do a good job of making these pieces contemporary and wearable, without slipping into fashion. The current A2 is longer and slimmer than the originals, but at the same time, isn’t changed so much that it will need to be tweaked every few years, with fluctuating fashions. 

Which of course also means the customer doesn’t find their clothes look out of date quickly. 

“I think if you always have an awareness of clothing more widely, like my father has, then you don’t slip into authenticity just for its own sake,” says Emika. “We also try to improve the quality of products whenever new techniques make that possible.”

This usually means buying new, in-house machinery - which is always expensive. Emika says that when the company started doing its own loopwheeled products, old machines only existed for the smaller and middle sizes. Anything bigger required a new machine to be designed from scratch - no one historically was big enough to need an XXL sweat

The London store is actually the company’s first outside Japan, and it took a long time for Hitoshi Tsujimoto to be able to come over (given various lockdowns) and get it finalised. 

The other store, on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden, was actually run by a wholesaler and a franchise operation. Hitoshi wants this new, larger store to get across the various messages of quality and uniform clothing more completely - which is why Emika moved to London to run it. 

“So far I’m really enjoying living in London,” she says, laughing at the fact that all my oldest daughter wants to do is move the other way, and live in Japan. “There’s a wide range of people - more than you get back home.”

Now it’s possible to visit The Real McCoy’s in person - and not spend all my time scrolling through product lists or measurement tables - I’m sure I’ll be covering them more. If anyone has any questions of specific products, it might be best to leave them until then. 

Although if I can answer anything in the meantime, either on pieces included here or ones I already own, I’m happy to do so. 

The Real McCoy’s London is at 2a Sackville Street, open Monday to Saturday. 

Note: purchases in store are final, with no returns or exchanges, so make sure you’re sure before you buy! This does not apply online. 

Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi Simon,

Nice article. Do you have any photos of their wonderful, friendly dog?


Particularly endearing when they have to stop him/her helping customers in the fitting room. Agree – it’s such a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and this is another part of it

Gary Mitchell

Great! Never I did hear they were opening again (or the first time as Henrietta St was not really them as you say) I can add that to my list of places I need to visit on my fast approaching London trip


Interesting article, Simon. I’m quite keen to visit the Real McCoy’s shop and see some of their items in person after spending so much time on their website. Would you happen to know if they do alterations on products purchased online?
There seems to be a trend for Japanese brands using London as a testing ground for further expansion. I visited Jackman in Borough over the weekend and had an interesting chat with somebody there about the brand and their choice to open there as opposed to somewhere more conventional.


I have a question regarding this general trend, almost obsession-like, in menswear towards Japanese products. I think it started with Japanese denim a few years ago and since it has expanded to other workwear, streetwear, and even tailoring, with brands charging a huge premium for it. For example, Drake’s have started offering products in Japanese corduroy and Japanese linen, specifically marketed as such and demanding a premium to their non-Japanese counterparts. BLA sell Japanese, Turkish and Italian denim with Japanese denim selling for the highest price. I have both Japanese and non-Japanese denim. I have Ring Jacket products and European RTW tailoring, and to be honest I dont see much difference, I enjoy wearing them all. Am I missing something? Are Japanese products/fabrics etc really that much better?


The same thing with Japanese whiskey. It’s become hugely popular – and very expensive.


Yes the products are usually better because of the obsessive focus of the Japanese on process and detail. The problem with Japanese clothing is that youmay not fit some or all of it depending on your body shape. The Japanese form is quite different not just in proportion but in shape generally to the European one. That leads to a problem selling into Western markets. If you are a big or somewhat muscular guy you should just forget about it) You can thank me later)

Matt L

Hi Simon.
what do you think would be the durability of that MA-1 Nylon jacket? You have it following a leather jacket, I was wondering if a good enough nylon make could also, as the adage about leather goes, “last 30-odd years, with proper maintenance”?
I ask because ever since I saw a certain Attenborough documentary I have fought to avoid any plastic in my clothes whatsoever if I could get away with it. But perhaps if it lasts long enough it can be justified as consuming less plastic in the long run.

Peter Hall

I used to repair nylon flying clothing and you can have success with using patches or either a two stage epoxy or a type of superglue However ,these were in military colours – green or black and were ripstock (and bodging a repair in flying clothing is not the same as mending a Real McCoys jacket).
For an expensive item of clothing,I would suggest it goes back to the manufacturer.

Gary Mitchell

Nylon wears fine, nylon with coating seems to degrade but I have flying jackets well over 30 years old, military jackets issued to me in the 1970’s and jackets from makers such as Paul and Shark that are all over 20 years old and all in perfect shape. One or two with repairs but that’s accidents not wear. Don’t know about the ethical arguments about nylon in general or the manufacture of same but speaking for wear and how long it last… my best guess is ‘forever’. Its same with all products though, I have a 1971 Porsche that no doubt was produced using lots of fossil fuels and harm to environment but I would argue its greener than buying a new Prius every 2 years. Nylon, its fine in my limited knowledge.
No animals were harmed (skinned) to make my L-2 flying jacket 🙂

Gary Mitchell

I should maybe add, for full disclosure, that many animals must have been harmed (skinned) to produce my leather jacket collection.

Matt L

Certainly that is true. But leather clothing can still be better than plastics and even cottons in the long run. When plastic clothes are made they release microplastics into the environment, and of course the clothes are waste plastics themselves when you throw them out taking ages to bio-degrade.
Getting through 6 nylon/polyester/whatever jackets in the lifespan of one leather jacket is pretty bad for animals in it’s own right.
Arguably many animals were harmed in the making of your nylon jacket from all the microplastics currently floating in the ocean from it’s manufacture. Some of those microplastics may currently be in a pregnant woman’s placenta:
Cotton and indeed all clothing still produces a lot of waste and dirties a lot of water per garment.
Then there’s the issue of where the leather comes form. Cow, pig and sheep skin comes from animals that are going to be killed anyway for their meat. Using their skin to make clothes can count as making sure we don’t waste too much.
That argument don’t hold for fur, as people don’t eat foxes and coyotes. At least not industrially.
We don’t get to wear anything that didn’t make waste. Human industry produces these things at a rate that it’s most certainly poisoning something, somewhere. But arguably wearing something that goes decades without being replaced is the best case scenario. The worst case is throwing out something that’s basically a huge lump of plastic shaped as a jacket, because it’s no-longer wearable.
Hence my original concern. I am aware that I have not covered every related issue here. Likewise, informed readers will know some microplastics are produced even when making leather clothes. My goal is to find the least wasteful path. Not buying as much, which means going out of the way for things that last.

Matt L

That’s a good question Simon, and I don’t know the answer. However hypothetically, if an animal is being raised specially for high-end leather, what do we think happens to it’s meat? It’s satisfying the same market demand as all other animal meat surely?


Anyone know if it’s true that an animal that grows with unnatural speed (aided by added hormones) will yield worse leather?


Those looking to source smaller calf hides (assuming for small quantities) could possibly benefit from contacting Dexter breeders as they are a naturally small breed of cattle and not subject to selectively breeding bigger animals for slaughter.
This breed is also currently undergoing a resurgence in numbers.


It’s extremely unlikely that the meat would be wasted, at least here. Not sure about further across and beyond mainland Europe, the United States and so on.
At the very least, any meat unused and about to rot would be given to a hound pack.

Gary Mitchell

Aye…. everything has a cost somewhere.

Theodore Chu

Goodness me – this comment I find highly disturbing, although not that surprising.
“My father is also insistent that all of our workers are locals, trained so that we create a pool of skilled labour in Japan,” says Emika. “The vast majority of other ‘made in Japan’ brands use temporary workers from places like China, and that’s not so good in the long term.”
Imagine South American and European companies having the same attitude to Japanese immigrant labour in the year 2022.

David Carter

My partner is Japanese and I lived there for many years. For all its great charm, negative views of foreigners are endemic in Japan.

Andrew Hughes

Hi Simon,
Great article about my favourite brand. Over the last 5 years I’ve bought a number of their items and love the style and their ethics. The company seem to take pride in perfecting the products beyond the original. They are expensive and addictive. Don’t tell your partners!

Simon L

Really enjoy these articles.

Even though most of it is too expensive for me personally, I don’t think it’s completely unattainable if it was something I really wanted and it’s not unreasonable compared to a lot out there.

The important thing to me is they make a good case for why it costs as much as it does and understanding the product more is always appealing to me. Hope to visit someday!

Tim J

Totally agree!


Great article Simon!
One thing I would add is that from personal experience, sometimes items that are out-of-stock online are indeed available in the store. Another thing that the store can do is special-order items in from Japan – customer has to pay postage (about 6 pounds), and the order is non-refundable/exchangeable at that point.
I find the staff extremely helpful!


Yes! Just to share a bit more – in my case I was after the Joe Mccoy’s chinos (inspired by your excellent in-depth review). Online is only showing the 30W available. In store, they had a 29, and the team were also full of tips about the extent to which it will shrink on first (cool) wash, so advising to buy slightly large. We ended up having a detailed discussion on the fit of the 28, with various measurements too. In the end I went for the 29W which should shrink to fit (and can have waist taken in) thanks to the nice fit through the leg and taper down – but the team were so supportive in providing all kinds of added information that I would have felt confident going ahead with the non-refundable order in person if the measurements had looked more suitable. Really rare to see this kind of customer service, and a pleasurable reminder of the joys of experiencing this kind of thing in person after the past 2 years


Exactly Simon, that’s what I’ve done in the past. No different to knowing your size in a brand and that, if they remain consistent, you’ll be alright.
That said The Real McCoy’s do make changes to patterns between tops so you’re best off buying like-with-like.


Im confused Simon, at the article at the end it says “purchases in store are final, with no returns or exchanges, so make sure you’re sure before you buy! This does not apply online.”. That would imply all items bought in store are non refundable including the ones ordered from Japan. I assume you mean that you would be especially worried about ordering without having tried something on first?
Why such a draconian policy? I have tried things on stores multiple times, and despite giving it a good look over, the fact you are in an artificial environment with other customers and limited time often means you can overlook something usually in the matter of fit. That sometimes necessitates a return although I realise nobody wants to do a return including most customers)


I think brands in Japan and the U.S. that have this policy are missing a trick.
Allowing returns builds trust and goodwill in customers.
Imagine spending a very large amount of money £500-£1,000+ on a single item, getting home and trying it on again only to realise it’s not the best fit/whatever and you are unable to return it. I’d be extremely unhappy and would then resent that brand.
There is something about this policy that says “we’re not that confident and proud of our product” and “we don’t really care if you’re 100% happy with your purchase, we just want to complete the sale and get our hands on your cash”. It may not be the intention, of course, but it’s the net result.
I notice U.S. based stores have this policy with sale items – shifting risk to the customer because the brand/retailer has decided to reduce the price.

Caleb C.

I would love to know your take on the apparent tension here between high quality and sustainability. I am not judging either way but think the push pull you wrote about here with the horsehide interesting.
On one hand, the lower quality horse hide jackets use all of the hide, therefore, you would assume, would be more sustainable. Whereas the higher quality, (which may last longer and possibly counteract the sustainability issue), only uses part of the hide.

Caleb c

Thank you for the education. I assumed I was oversimplifying it. On the face of it, it seems straightforward. If you use less of the hide that is less sustainable and more wasteful, but, as always, it is more nuanced than that.


I don’t like everything they sell but I do have a few Real McCoy’s pieces and I don’t regret getting them at all. The prices are steep but I think the quality really does shine through.


It looks as if they’re next door to Sotherans, who always have a great selection of Japanese woodblock prints, which seems somehow apt.


Hi Simon, I was surprised there is no mention of their field jacket(s), such as the M65. I thought they were quite popular and I am certainly fascinated by it. I have read quite a bit about them, but they remain expensive. Did you see any of them on site/in the shop or potentially even discuss them with Emika?


Do you know if RM changed the cut on the M65 or if it is an exact replica?


Their M65 is nothing like the real thing. I can’t see why you’d buy theirs when you can get a beaten-up real one on Etsy etc.


I love Real McCoys and own a few sweaters and chinos from them. I’ve only bought online as I am not in the UK, but am surprised that in-store sales are final. Simon, do you happen to know why a store would do this? Thanks


Thanks Simon, that’s very interesting. Wow, i didn’t know about the 70% returns rate at Net-a-Porter. I know they have a policy that if you keep returning items then they might block you, and i am sure many people buy something just to try it, with the intention of returning. Like you say, must be tough for small businesses.

I agree with what you say about encouraging the customer to carefully consider a purchase. However, i’m sure we have all made sizing decisions that we realized are wrong when we get home. Hopefully RM will consider an exchange process in these cases, even if a refund is not possible.



Simon I think net a porter does have that policy. Look at ‘Repeated Returns’ drop down here:
Also, John, I think its completely fair to buy something just to try it, especially if the product cannot be found in a physical shop. I think bigger retailers like Mr Porter, Asos etc simply price in the cost of returns. Yes its a waste of petrol and packaging and other resources. So is a physical shop and travelling back and forth from it. Maybe one better than the other who knows.


Hi Zo, thanks for your message. Personally i don’t think it is fine to buy something from stores like this if there is no intention to keep it. As you say, it is a waste from a sustainability perspective (especially if an item is being shipped around the world), and not helpful to the company or other shoppers. Of course, if someone wants to try it with the possibility of keeping it then that is absolutely fine. My criticism is when someone buys something to try it knowing that they will be returning it. Thanks again.


Just building on this point. I did once have an online discussion with Mr Porter re sizing. They apparently (at the time) had no issue with buying the same item in two sizes with the intention of one being returned. According to my wife she has done this with some brands as well with their prior consent.
Also bearing in mind online returns are a legal obligation not a favour.
Yes some abuse this process, I suspect for a few instagram pictures, hence it’s quite right to suspend/ cancel accounts.
The RM have some good looking pieces, however in my opinion they have got the non exchange condition wrong. Perhaps it’s just a customer expectation in the UK. Very high end brands such as those located on Bond St or sold through similar department stores offer exchanges at the least.
RM may in their own interests consider a rethink.


Yeah I’ve done that too. Was buying a coat from SEH Kelly, and asked to come to their showroom. They told me to order multiple sizes and colours and return what I don’t want (or all). When you abuse the process for instagram photos, then IMO that’s borderline fraud.


I agree.


Yes, this is very interesting information. I have been buying clothes online for about 10 years, about one orders a month and have never returned. Everything fits well. It is hard to believe. I just don’t want to do paperwork, go to the post office or call a courier.
Just before buying, I very carefully check the size chart on several sites, look at photos of real users and models and compare them with my sizes. So the risk is minimized.
But placing an order, knowing in advance that you will return it, is at least disrespectful. To put it mildly.


No, I don’t think it is disrespectful at all. I would think any small brand selling online would want their potential clients to touch, feel, experience what they do. Even if the person returns the product, they may purchase something else in the future..or they may spread the word. I would also argue that the bigger shops that offer free delivery and returns, and a generous returns policy, specifically encourage this behaviour.


I understand your point of view. I always had enough photos and reviews on the forum or blog to make the right choice, as I said above. But what about the attitude towards the environment, no matter how “too caring” it may sound? Waste of excess packaging, fuel, tires and heavy metals during transportation, which enter the environment, if these are also deliberately return orders… Simon had a separate article about this, if this is offtopic, I apologize.


I would suggest RM look into this policy since consumers have a legal right to return purchased goods to a shop for any reason. It’s also illegal to mislead consumers about their rights – such as displaying a sign that says “no refunds” etc. Regardless of their policy, they are required by law to accept returns. What their policy is in Japan is irrelevant.

Nick Jackson

Physical stores are only required to exchange, refund or repair faulty items. If the item isn’t faulty it’s at the stores discretion. Online you can return anything, just for the fun of it.


Net a Porter are largely to blame for returns due to sizing. If the sizing guides were more detailed I would make fewer returns. There is a lot of laziness and vagueness around product details and detailed size measurements on many if not most online stores. And that’s without discussing size variances across different colours of the exact same item,
The Bureau Belfast measure all their items individually and do not rely on brands’ measurements or generic size guides. I’m sure they don’t do this out of boredom.
I rely on being able to take away/order an item and try it on at home a few times with different outfits over the course of the first few days of buying to ensure I’m happy with it and do not suffer from buyer’s remorse.
The lack of engagement, product knowledge and good service of many stores has meant online shopping has filled the gap for me. If I could not return, I would not order.


Strange policy and one that I found left a bitter taste in the mouth. Was pushed rather overzealously I felt despite the rest of the service being fantastic. Wonder how it stands up to UK consumer laws? That Aside I lover RMC and the products while expensive always seem to live up to expectations and are literally bulletproof. So happy that thye have a bricks & mortar store once again


That’s ridiculous. If I am reading the above correctly. An item can develop a fault (eg a seam not finished correctly and then separating) after purchase. At least within 30 days. It can be deemed not fit for purpose if a fault develops. We are not talking secondhand sold as seen here.
If the above is correct I would never consider a purchase from them no matter how nice they appear. I don’t this such a policy is nice at all.


That’s correct, under eu law any online purchase can be sent back and the Uk still has the same law in place for now at least. In store they can do what they like except for faults. But the issue here is I can try a jacket on in store, think it looks right and then get home and think it’s too small or big or whatever. It’s a genuine purchase, just didn’t work out. And for real McCoys prices I think it is all the more important to have that comfort. The answer of course from a consumer pov is to try in store, walk away, and buy online.


Hi Simon, how does the quality of their leather jackets compare to that of Aero Leathers? Unless significantly better I’d struggle to justify the difference in pricing.

Gary Mitchell

I have a good number of horsehide Aero jackets (first one Veste de rallye) bought ’96 and still going strong) and a few RM horsehide jackets. The quality of the RM is most definitely much better which is not to say the Aero is in any way sub-standard, maybe best way is to say Aero feels a little more ‘Industrial’ than RM. How to justify the price is always a personal issue; myself I am happy enough to pay but I do think they are a tad expensive and I would say if that double the price is not double the quality. Its difficult to pick fault with either jackets but I would say this, after owning maybe 8 or 9 Aero jackets, I would prefer to buy the RM jackets even at their prices. Like all things though, its purely personal, both excellent bits of kit.


8 or 9 Aero Jackets!?! How have you gotten through so many?

Gary Mitchell

ha, well…. I am sure many have a similar problem. Started very early with veste de rallye, plus another for wife, then cafe racer, daytona, another custom cafe race, a custom route 66, A2 flight, custom half belt for wife, Shackleton waistcoat and an Aeromarine. I miss guessed, I see its 10 jackets. Of them all I only now have the first cafe racer and the shackleton waistcoat (wife still has hers) I only regret giving away the first jacket, that veste de rallye is/was beyond excellent. None were sold, all were gifted to family or friends. I have a similar (not as large) collection of Eastman leather jackets but only 2 x RM leather jackets. Now then, I quite enjoyed that exercise in remembering. And yes I know I did not truly answer the question, its a mystery to me as well…same with denim, and shoes, and motorbikes, and chinos…. yes its a problem.

Gary Mitchell

Forgot… I also have 2 pair of Aero horsehide jeans. Oops, maybe I do have a problem.


Thanks Gary and Simon.


Can anyone comment on how The Real McCoy compares to Buzz Rickso?


I’ll be lazy and say the former’s quality is a lot better from my experience which is fair on the basis that their sweats roughly double in price.


Usually a slight step up. Sometimes a big step up. Wider range too. But buzz Rickson is still good.

Gary Mitchell

I think comparable, you would not be disappointed with either. I have RM leather but no leather Buzz Rickson although I do have other BR non-leather jackets and clothing. Its all excellent. If I was forced to pick one, it would be RM but you wont be disappointed with either.


Love real McCoys but was shocked when they told me no returns. What is that all about?


Dear Simon,
Reading your article I looked at their website again and I am still confused and frankly a little annoyed by their branding. It is one thing to be inspired by past US military & sports wear but that does not require to pass off your clothes as being made in Chicago or California or being made under army or navy contracts or coming out of the navy clothing depot as this brand is doing when one looks at the labels.
It’s even more baffling they do so when they seem to be so proud that it is all made in Japan by Japanese workers.
In plain language it would be called false advertising. 
It has put me off in the past and it is still putting me off now. It is a shame since some of the product looks nice.


Former Army officer here. It makes me uncomfortable as well. Defence members put their lives on the line in order to be able to wear unit insignia, particularly elite unit insignia. To wear them as fashion is in poor taste to me. And members or former members of those units would generally be pretty upset by it.


I always find it quite amusing how brittle former military people are about others wearing their ‘work clothes’ when they make their living, and let’s not mess around with words here, killing people. Yes sometimes it might be done in some heroic cause, perhaps during a WW2, and sometimes it might be done in some horrific ignoble one like a Laos or Vietnam. I used US examples as the clothes in question are usually always American military, and their militaries are especially sensitive about ‘valour stealing’. Nevertheless the fact that someone who causes destruction and death is upset by someone playing dress up with their work clothing lacks self awareness. On a related point I think its amazing that the Japanese who suffered two nuclear bombs are so relaxed about wearing US military clothing. In fact they are so passionate about it that they go to extraordinary lengths to reproduce it.


Well, on the surface clothing is a little bit of a dull topic. It is essentially just a protective barrier between your body and the elements. The interest in it derives sometimes from the craft that goes into it, or the artistic composition of clothing, and in others such as myself perhaps the symbolism that it reflects. I think your right that there is no point getting into some quagmire on a clothes blog about the righteousness of war and politics) The point was really about the excessive sensitivity of military people in feeling they are alone allowed to wear what is essentially a type of workwear with some badges attached. I think that might come from the con of military recruitment and motivation. The common soldier is often induced into the military by the promise of some glory which is imparted into the uniform they are told to wear. That explains the excessive obsessive requirements to keep uniforms in perfect condition. They are told they can feel proud and therefore derive self esteem when wearing that uniform. However knowing the experience of some US former soldiers they often leave the military in their late 20s or 30s with a list of terrible health complaints even if not suffering from direct injury in conflict. They often have nothing to do and nowhere to go. Therefore on reflection I understand they may be slightly irked when their uniform, is either bought and worn off eBay or some derivative version is freely available in a charity shop, Zara, or very closely imitated by Japanese repro brands) I have an amusing story to share which tells you something about the reality of the military. I spent time around high ranking military officers in different militaries from different parts of the world and they don’t wear their official uniform outside of ceremonial functions despite them having lots of badges and bells and whistles attached. Instead they invariably wear very nicely tailored navy business suits with a simple tie.


Hi Simon,
do you have any experience with Camber sweatshirts? I just wonder how they relate to RM or similar brands in terms of build and quality.


I don’t have RM, but I have a sweatshirt from Buzz Ricksons, Cushman (like Simon)), Strike Gold and others. From Camber I have a T-shirt and sweatpants. I also tried on their sweatshirt, hoodie and henley. In my opinion, Camber products have a utilitarian, work and industrial focus. They are strong, somewhat rough, without too much attention to detail, the size is a little big. If it helped.


Yeah, thanks both of you. I have one camber crewneck and one hoodie, very satisfied with both of them, but having no chance to compare with higher end sweats right now (except buying it online).

Wouter de Clerck

Bought their grey crewneck sweatshirt (11th picture from above) yesterday at the Armoury Westbury and absolutely love it. Heavy duty quality and great design.


Have to comment that contrary to some of the other comments here I visited the store at the weekend and found the service to be disinterested to say the least.

Slightly disconcerting as I was wearing two The Real McCoys items and was keen to ask lots of questions around the SS22 collection.

I certainly won’t be revisiting the store and with reluctance will likely continue to purchase online.

That said the dog is absolutely amazing; so one redeeming grace.


Real McCoy’s is one of the best in the business. They, Stoffa and Anglo-Italian are probably my favorites in terms of having a great, unified look where everything is interesting and goes with everything else they sell.

Chris K

Hey Simon, quick question. I’m considering investing in one of TRM’s loop weehled sweats this year. How do you feel they stack up against Merz B, in your opinion?


Hey Simon,

I’ve got a couple of Real McCoys pieces on my list. First up, the grey (10 oz) loop-wheeled sweat. Can I ask, do you take a 38 or a 40 in their sweatshirts? I’m leaning towards a 40 on the basis of the size chart and general sizing up recommendations.

Secondly, I see they have a new updated fit of their A2 this year. I think it looks amazing now, I compared the old and new measurements to see why the new one suddenly caught my attention so much more. interesting what a little tweak to the shoulder and chest can do for a jacket. I liked the old one, but I love the new one to the point I’m thinking about getting one.

I need to visit the store which I hope to do early next year and try it on, but I think a 40 looks/sounds perfect. I haven’t seen or touched that pigment dyed dark leather up close but every picture I see of it looks incredible, I bet it would look wicked with a few years wear on it.


How much shrinking please? Looking to order immediately, but am anxious about blind buying and sizing. 54 yr old 5’4″ 156 lbs 31″ waist broad shoulders slight gut.
Medium? or Large (and try to shrink a little?
Anyone help with absolute precision please? Thank you!!

Eric Michel

Disappointing experience today: the store is accessible by appointment only. It was empty when I visited it, but impossible to enter if you had not booked! Hopefully this is the only store in Piccadilly with such restrictive (and quite frustrating) commercial rules.


Is there a way to describe remotely what are the points that make the RMC sweatshirts so much better (compared to Merz B, which I own and am very happy with, and other still quality stuff)? I guess it has to be the fabric itself, but what properties exactly? Thanks


Not so much in my case. I am not a „technical“ guy. (That’s why I buy watches mostly for their design.) The fact that the sweatshirt actually feels and wears different is important info for me. Thanks!


Still I think that a product like the RMC should be explained in more detail, so the costumers who often can only „blind-buy“ online can understand what they are paying the premium for, except authenticity. And yes you are right, that I want to know what the end result feels like. I don’t want that type of esoteric information that is ubiquitous on the internet with Japanese denim for example. That’s why your piece on raw denim was needed for me to even start my interest in good jeans. I am curious to see a RMC product myself this week when my Joe McCoy chinos arrive. Still not sure about how Japanese loop wheel sweatshirts are better than German loop wheel sweatshirts, but it looks like I have to try and see myself.


The prices that Japanese repro brands are charging are daylight robbery though) … high quality or not, I mean £200 for a sweatshirt for example? They caught onto the luxury model which has become the norm now which is to produce less than demand, and then watch the lemmings (us) all rush to buy. I think Bape was the pioneer in Japan of doing this. They also charge a different price in London to that in Tokyo which you can see by a check on Japanese websites, and its often a lot more, can be upto 50% more. I dont understand this at all, apart from trying to squeeze as much as possible out of the cult followers in W Europe etc.


I accept all your points, but the final one, about the difference in price between Japan and the UK. There should just be a difference perhaps for shipping, although really that should be absorbed by the business as a whole not passed onto a certain group of consumers. Why would someone in the UK want to pay more than someone else because of location. We aren’t talking small discrepancies either, its a large % difference. & you may be right that it works the other way around too. What is the reason the companies give for this?


Hey Simon,
Not sure if you are aware but the store in that Sackville street location is permanent closed. I went by the other day and I think I spoke to the lady in the photo.
Sorry I don’t remember all the details but I think she said the location had something to do with Covid hence they closed it and looking for another London spot… Is this something you are aware of?

Do you have more ‘inside’ information in terms new location details etc?


Styling my The Real McCoy’s White Pocket Tee w/ orSlow New Yorker Trousers in pale yellow & Lacoste Sneakers –

Chris K

Simon, hope all’s well. I was doing my usual lurking (and yes, admiring) over on the Mccoy’s websites. Plan to pick up the Ball Park crew neck shortly.

Man, they have some of the coolest old photo’s accompanying their pieces and it got me thinking. I don’t know about you, but I would pay good money to get a look in that vintage archive of theirs, I bet it’s absolutely insane.


Oh man, no way!! I’m sure you’ve got an envious schedule for your visit, but that alone makes it a worthwhile trip.

I have to ask, will you be permitted to share it with us, or is it a strict discretionary situation?


Simon, even a glimpse of that place would quench the thirst.

Whomever the photographer is on assignment, tell them no holding back!


Simon, the Ballpark crew neck sweatshirt is simply the best I’ve ever handled and I’ve had a few at this point, Merz B, UES etc.

The cut is just perfect, the broad shoulders, chest, length, fabric density, perfect. Can understand why it might not be for everyone as it’s not your typical cut of sweatshirt you’d find on the high street, but for those looking for classic, it doesn’t get better than this.

Bought their latest iteration of the OG-107’s while I was at it, you guessed it, perfect. These guys know what they’re doing, timeless, beautiful pieces.


Hi Simon,
McCoy’s website says that the Mayfair store is now permanently close.
Why is that?
You addressed it as a new store just in 2022.
Many thanks, Diego


Hi Simon,
I’m a big fan of the Real McCoys and have quite a few of their items. Especially the military replicas worn casually as you have over time. I’m thinking of buying the THE REAL MCCOY’S TYPE N-3A PARKA.
It’s the navy nylon fur trimmed snorkel parka. I wondered if you had any experience of it and / or views on flexibility of styling. Always appreciate your advice and like yourself quite often seek input before some purchases.
All the best.


I love their clothes but they don’t fit western men – only Asian guys can fit on the clothes.

Simon G.

I’m writing a quick report back after purchasing my first sweater from The Real Mccoy’s. I bought a grey hoodie in 10 oz. Upon seeing the sweater for the first time, unprompted my wife said, “they don’t make them like that anymore”. She’s right. This sweater is simply incredible, warm, cozy, stylish, warm, and incredibly well made.
Thanks for your coverage of this brand, Simon. It’s a true gem.


dear Simon
my question concerns the McCoy deck and flight jackets.
what is the experience of the community with the degree of warmth afforded by these jackets?
Do you think the deck jacket is more versatile than the B15 or MA1 type short jackets?


Hey Joners, I can help here as I just took delivery of a McCoy’s N-1 in navy. Very warm, even down to sub zero I’d say with a nice layer underneath. I love the shorter cold weather flight jackets, in particular the B-10 however I will say the N-1 deck jacket is without doubt the more versatile and ‘under the radar’. The the alpaca/wool mix McCoy’s use is lovely, very dense, warm, but no scratchiness whatsoever, which is a complaint I’ve heard around other makers.

Flip the collar up and you just have a very warm, cool looking jacket with some old school charm that won’t draw too much attention other than comments such as ‘that’s a nice jacket’.


thanks CK, very useful. I cannot go for the full price but Marrkt have these in from time to time, and i guess the McCoy ones are the ones worth getting .