Car coat in Ventile cotton in midnight blue

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Five-button coat, made in London, with weather-proof Ventile cotton from Lancashire, and horn buttons from the West Midlands.


There's not many of these left, by the looks of it. Still, don't despair. Email and perhaps something can be done about it.


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 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 35 35¼ 35½ 35¾ 36
Sleeve from   centre-back 34       34½       35       35½       36      
The car coat is made from Ventile, which is a cotton of legendary weather-proof capabilities. Rain rolls right off, wind cannot penetrate, and yet it is wonderfully breathable. It was invented in Manchester in the '30s. It is made with cotton of the longest staple, and is very, very tightly woven.
The car coat is a five-button number, which falls to the upper thigh. It has a fairly large and traditional collar, which is cut to sit proudly when down — nothing limp or concave here — and to really hug the neck when up; to shield the wind and not to flop and fall around. The cutting of collars is taken seriously here.
The buttons on the coat are made from horn, and are dark tortoiseshell in colour and matte in finish. Being as they are an entirely natural thing, each looks a little different, one to the next — varying subtly in tone, hue, and striatic marking. The five buttons at the front are paired with a small backing button.
The car coat has a curtain — or flap, if you want to take all the fun out of it — which circles its middle, all the way around. Beneath it, at the front, sit two very large patch-pockets. The curtain serves as a cover for the pockets, to prevent rain — or, in certain locales, light fingers — from getting inside.
Not that you'd know it on first glance, but the pockets at the front may also be accessed sideways. "Warmer pockets", they're sometimes called.
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.
The coat has a half-lining of even more Ventile. In this way, when also taking into account the facing on the inside-front of the coat, you have a double-layer of Ventile on the most weather-exposed parts of the exterior. Elsewhere, meanwhile, the seams are carefully bound with dark grey cotton.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", weighs in at 12 stone, and has a chest just north of 38. Here he wears a size S. Nice and relaxed, see, the car coat — but, if he wanted a slimmer fit, then a size down would be a-okay, too.

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 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 here 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.