Duffle coat in heavy melton in camel

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Duffle coat, made in London, with a heavy melton cloth from Somerset, and handmade horn toggles and rope from the north-west.


There are more of these in work right now. Maybe not exactly the same, but not far off, and a matter of weeks — days, perhaps, even — away. No space here to go into details, so please email info@sehkelly.com for more information.


The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. It finishes just above the knee on persons of average height, and is cut in a relaxed, spacious way, so that it may be worn over a shirt, jumper, and jacket in winter.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Sleeve from side-neck 30½ 31 31½ 32 32½
Back length 34½ 35 35½ 36 36½
What we have here, in many ways, is a traditional duffle coat — though, in other ways, not so much. It has a front of four toggles — plus two brass press-studs up near the neck — and a deep yoke (the yoke being the laid-on, reinforcement layer of cloth, which straddles the shoulders and runs down the front).
The coat has a hood. A hood, no less, of very firm structure and shape — such that it warms the back of the neck even when down. It also has a "tunnel" peak, to guard the face from wind and rain. The peak has multiple stitch-lines running through it, to ensure it holds shape no matter how soggy life gets.
The toggles are horn, and are individually handmade by a maker of some two-centuries experience, in the north of England. They are large, heavy, and clunk in a satisfying sort of way when knocked together. Being as they are a natural product, the colour and markings of each one is entirely unique.
The toggles are fastened to the coat with jute rope, in the traditional braided way. The tips of this rope — a few millimetres from the end — are each stitched, so they will not fray over time.
The coat has two large pockets at the front, positioned at a height such that hands on the ends of arms of average length can be comfortably — perhaps even a little forcefully at times — plunged into them.
The coat has one further pocket: hidden, in a way, at the front of the coat, beneath the left-side of the yoke. It is a vertical opening between the first and second toggles. Just the right size, this pocket, for wallets, or keys, or mobiles (model-dependant) and retrieve them with the right hand.
The hood and its peak, again, here — sitting proud when worn down (right) and up (below).
The duffle coat has a somewhat innovative construction, in that, at the front, it has an inset sleeve (right). A standard type of sleeve, this — the norm for a duffle coat — where the seam follows the natural line of the wearer's shoulder. From the front, then, the coat has a structured, smart appearance.
At the back, however, is a raglan sleeve (the giveaway being the seam running diagonally from the neck). This sort of sleeve brings much more freedom to the upper body, and means that despite the bulk of the coat, the wearer can still move with ease — all the while enjoying the clean line at the front.
The coat is unlined. Duffle coats, traditionally, are — not always, but most often — and rely on the warmth and quality of the outer cloth to keep the wearer happy. The duffle coat here is no exception. With no lining to cover them, all internal seams are neatly finished with grey cotton binding.
The cloth — "duffle" is its name — is from one of the most old and venerable mills in England. It is a heavy wool, washed and milled in the ways of yore, to achieve a remarkable, wind-proof density. The yarn — that of British sheep — is worsted spun, imbuing a luxuriousness to its feel and appearance.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1" 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 above 12 stone.

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 toggles are made in the north-west of England by a small team of expert horn-handlers. The making of the toggles is based on the deceptively simple centuries-old practice of slowly heating cow horn over flame, bringing to just the right temperature, moulding it by hand, and then polishing it up to the nth degree.

So they say

I knew when I saw it that I needed it. It is probably the most complimented (by complete strangers) garment in my closet. I love the fabric, and the hidden pocket tucked behind the yoke on the left chest is a very useful detail.

Words from a man in the States, who bought the duffle coat in November 2016.

I received my duffle coat a couple of weeks ago. It fits perfectly, and the quality is wonderful. I thought I was crazy to buy such an expensive thing, but I know I will keep it for a long time, and it was a good investment. Congratulations for making such a beautiful coat!

So said a man who purchased the duffle in camel-colour melton in November of 2018.