Chesterfield in woollen Bedford cord in imperial blue

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Buying

£540.00

Tailored overcoat, made in London, with a mid-weight (24oz) woollen cloth from Somerset — known as Bedford cord for its grooved texture — and horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The Chesterfield fits true to size and as intended — i.e. more as a topcoat than an overcoat. Thus, if you wish to layer lots of thick layers underneath, or you prefer a more relaxed fit, then go up a size . The wooden fellow here, for instance, is a 38 chest through-and-through, and with mid-weight shirt underneath, wears the Chesterfield in size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 38½ 38¾ 39 39¼ 39½
Sleeve from   centre-back 34       34½       35       35½       36      
A Chesterfield, traditionally, is a long and formal tailored overcoat, and that's precisely what we have here — albeit less tailored than the norm on account of a softer style of shoulder. But still, it is long and tailored, and intended to be worn as a top-layer over things such as suit jackets and sweaters.
The coat has a front of four buttons, which are hidden, when the coat is fastened, on a fly that runs the length of the front. They're horn, these buttons — dark in colour and matte in finish — and are thus each unique in shade and marking. Like alpha-keratin snowflakes, then, no two are wholly alike.
Postbox pockets, these, of which the Chesterfield unmistakably has two. They're an ornate style of patch pocket, and here on the Chesterfield are fairly large, and set at just the right height for the never-not satisfying act of plunging in hands on cold days.
There's one other pocket on the Chesterfield, which is tucked subtly into its front facing of the coat. It's a sideways-access pocket, intended for the stashing of wallets or mobiles and the like.
The Chesterfield has a half-belt at the back, running between the rear seams, and which is fixed in place and length. It serves to break up the shape of what is a fairly long article of clothing. It also helps pull things together, both literally and figuratively, by introducing some shape at the waist.
Hand-work can be found here and there on the Chesterfield, such as under the collar, where the lapel and collar are coaxed gently together with criss-cross duck-stitching. More below the button-hole, too, where a chain-stitch is ready and waiting to support boutonnieres of even the most exuberant nature.
The coat has a working cuff of three buttons, the opening of which sits on the outer sleeve seam.
The top third of the Chesterfield is lined with thick grey melton — a hard-wearing material, full of character and gnarled yarns — from the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire. It is an outstanding cloth in its own right, but plays nicely here alongside its more dashing colleague.
Here's the half-belt again. It sits at the waist, as you'd expect, and is the starting point for a single vent, running the lower third of the body.
This is a half-raglan sleeve — halfway between a set-in sleeve and a full raglan — and is what gives the Chesterfield its unique blend of soft shoulder with formal comportment. You don't see this style of sleeve much these days, which is a great shame, and the Chesterfield bears it with swelling pride.
Bedford cord is a type of cloth that bears the grooved appearance and texture of corduroy, but is woven in an entirely different way. This is a woollen example of the genre, and is made with soft lambswool — not too thick or dense, and thus a smart drape, but milled heavily for a soft, warm hand-feel.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", 11½ stone, a shade over 38 in the chest, and is wearing the Chesterfield in size M.

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 cloth is woven in Somerset by one of the most illustrious names in British textiles. It is a mill which has woven for the great and good for two centuries and, in particular, has long had a thumb in the pie of military cloth — putting in the largest order for textiles, no less, during the Second World War.
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 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."