Car coat in black-navy Ventile Ripstop

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Five-button coat, made in London, with weather-proof Ventile cotton from Lancashire, a lining of merino-wool from West Yorkshire, and dark horn buttons from the West Midlands.


The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. It falls to upper-thigh on persons of average height, and is cut in a relaxed, spacious way, so that it may be worn over a shirt and jacket in winter. If you prefer a narrower fit, therefore, best go a size down.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Sleeve length 25 25 25½ 26 26½
Back length 33½ 34 34½ 34½ 35
The car coat is made from Ventile, which is a cotton of legendary weather-proof capabilities. Water rolls right off it. It was invented in Manchester in the mid-1930s and is 100% natural and 100% cotton. It works because it is so tightly woven; made from the finest 2% of the world’s cotton crop.
And not just any Ventile, this. This is new Ventile Ripstop — which, if you look closely, has a grid-like cotton super-structure running through it. This makes the cloth stronger, and as its name suggests, the intersections in the grid serve to stop rips if snagged on barbed wire or bramble.
This is a five-button coat with one-piece sleeves. The cloth is a decent thickness, but the coat is cut to feel very lightweight; to hang lightly from the shoulders. It has a fly-front — i.e. when done-up, only the top button is visible. The collar can be worn down or up — and when up, it is cut to closely hug the neck.
The coat has a seam which runs around its middle, beneath which, at the front, sit two large patch-pockets. The seam acts as a flap for them, keeping the rain out and so on. These pockets may also be accessed from the side (below-left). Inside, on the left side as worn, meanwhile, is a chest pocket (below-right).
All buttons are real horn, dark and matte and tortoiseshell in colour. The coat has a lining halfway down the back of ... even more Ventile. In this way, you have a double-layer of Ventile on the most weather-exposed parts of the coat. All internal seams are bound with grey cotton (below-left).

As worn

The gent here is 5'9" and is wearing size S. He has a chest size of 38", and there are reports — neither confirmed nor denied — that he weighs in just below 12 stone.

Makers of

The coat is made by an outerwear factory in London. They are safe hands indeed when it comes to Ventile. Core-spun threads, double-felled seams, fine-diameter needles, and every other Ventile nicety — they know it all, having made such garments for military and civilians alike since the late 1980s.
Ventile was invented in Manchester in the 1930s. It is a high-performance cloth — being put to use over the years for all manner of high-octane and outdoor pursuits — but is simply an intensely tight weave of natural cotton. Water hits the cotton, cotton swells up, water has nowhere to go: easy.
The wool lining hails from a mill founded in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire in the 1800s. Carding, blending, spinning, and weaving — it all happens on the same premises. This unique arrangement means that the fleece’s change into top-grade cloth could not be more tightly tuned.
The horn buttons are cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain. It continues a tradition in the Midlands, first linked to the area's meat markets, in the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons here in Birmingham."