Car coat in weatherproof ripstop in cosmos

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Buying

£440.00

Car coat, made in London, with weatherproof ripstop — a lightweight (7oz) weave of very strong aramid fibres from a mill in Yorkshire — and horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The car coat fits to size, and is intended to be worn as an overcoat — i.e. over a shirt and jacket. Go down if a t-shirt or shirt is more likely. Going up a size is not recommended, as the shape of the coat has one foot squarely in tailoring — e.g. a round shoulder — and so will look overly wide and bulky in any size larger than the right one. The wooden chap here, for instance, is a 38 through-and-through, and couldn't countenance anything other than S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 21 22 23 24 25
Back length 36 36¼ 36½ 36¾ 37
Shoulder 18 18½ 19 19½ 20
Sleeve from   centre-back 34½       35       35½       36       36½      
Called "weatherproof" for a reason, this cloth. Rain, no matter how much, beads up and bounces off; wind shall not pass. But at the same time, it has superlative heat-transfer and ventilation properties. By trapping air and wicking moisture, it is a high-performance shell on cold days and hot, sticky ones alike.
The car coat is a four-button number, fairly smart in appearance, and capable at a canter of keeping the rain off your back. The latter quality is in part due to the nature of the cloth, but also the triple-layer construction in the key parts of the coat, backed up by heavy seams and very robust construction.
The default state of the collar is "open". There's a break, see, built into the front of the coat at the level of collarbone. This makes for a more formal look than otherwise, and means the wearer can showcase with ease the shirt or necktie or multilayered ensemble they may be wearing underneath.
But that's not to say the coat can't be buttoned right to the top. It can. Given the nature of this type of collar — more tailored coat than full-on outerwear — it looks small and neat when worn in this way, with a gentle curve to its points that are in sharp contrast to the equally sharp lines elsewhere on the coat.
The storm-flap which runs right the way around the coat, at chest height, is a full second-layer, guarding to an impenetrable degree wind and rain. The sleeve of the coat, meanwhile, features a small gusset under the arm, which brings extra movement, especially in the upward direction.
The coat, quite noticeably, has some very large patch pockets at the front. You really can't miss 'em. They are bisected by a deep inverted pleat, which bolsters their storage capabilities, and which sits on top of the front body seam, in an unnecessary but satisfying gesture of vertical alignment.
Above the patch pockets, partially covered by the flaps — keeping off the rain — are in-seam "warmer" pockets. Repeated use of these for the resting of tired arms or the warming of cold hands is encouraged. As with all other points of stress, there are little bar-tacks at the top and bottom of the pocket mouth.
The buttons on the coat are large, solid horn — dark in colour and matte in finish — and each is a little different from one to the next. They are in that regard as if alpha-keratin snowflakes — such is the beauty of being a product of a high-grade natural material, rather than, say, a plastic replica.
Cuff-straps encompass the front half of the sleeves, held in place with a smaller version of the same horn buttons that bedeck the body.
With things so eventful on the outside of the coat, inside, things are clean and simple, with a chest pocket on the left-side as worn, and a slightly larger one on the opposite side.
The car coat has a lining, halfway down the back, of even more weatherproof ripstop. In this way, and when also taking into account the facing on the inside-front of the coat and the storm-flaps at the exterior, you have a triple-layer of cloth on the most weather-exposed parts of the exterior.
The rest of the innards of the car coat are finished neatly with cotton binding. The centre-back seam, for instance, which becomes a (single) back vent.
The front of the cloth is a ripstop weave of aramid fibres; the back is a raised ripstop of more aramid fibres. Weapon-grade strength. And yet the cloth is soft and tactile, doesn't much age, and is supremely hardy vis à vis abrasion. Great for travel, too: light and resistant to creasing.

As worn

Him here is 6'1", 38 in the chest, weighs just over 11 stone, and is here wearing the car coat in size S. It fits well with just a mid-weight (cotton) sweater underneath, but would be a squeeze with a thick shirt and jacket, say.

Makers of

The coat is made in north-east London. It is a very specialised skill, assembling coats from heavy cloth, and every reasonable step — and the odd unreasonable step — is to taken to endure things are built to last, from the cutting of the pattern to the work on the machine, but without the results being stiff or bulky.
The ripstop cloth comes from a mill in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire, founded in the 1800s. Things have, of course, moved very much with the times, and so the traditions of weaving are allied now to cutting-edge, industry-leading standards in weaving, dyeing, and testing.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."

So they say

The car coat is great. Probably the best-crafted piece of clothing I've ever held. Thanks for the help with everything.

This gent purchased a grey Ventile car coat in November of 2016.

I can only say things about [...] the car coat that you probably already know: they're really, really wonderful garments. I had imagined saving them for the spring, but realised they are both perfect for the weather that we are having right now in south Hessen. The coat is particularly kuschelig and really is like no other coat I've owned.

So said, kindly, by a man who bought the car coat in Ventile in the back end of 2014.

The fit [of the car coat] is good, like I hoped. My wife could not believe that this was newly made coat and not a vintage one, based on the quality of the stitching and the finishing.

High praise received with gratitude by a car coat owner in Canada back in December 2016.

I love the car coat. Beautifully made. And thank you the accompanying care advice. No doubt I shall buy again.

Comments from a chap who bought the car coat in Ventile in July 2016.

Just to let you know I have been putting the car coat through its paces over the past few weeks. Rain or wind, it has performed, as expected — spectacularly. The sizing is just about perfect, with or without a jacket underneath.

Few are the chaps who own the car coat in black Ventile — but here are the words of one such chap, from 2014.

The liner arrived in perfect shape yesterday, and is already at my tailors with the two coats to have buttons installed. I have had many button-in liners over the years, and this one is the best. The quality of the materials is amazing — most companies seem to use inferior materials for this sort of thing — and the workmanship is your usual perfection.

Sometimes padded woollen liners are made for the car coat. This chap bought one in February 2018, and seems, by all reports, fairly happy with it.