Duffle coat in heavy melton hopsack in dark navy

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Buying

£540.00

Duffle coat, made in London, with a heavy (30oz) woollen cloth from Somerset, and handmade horn toggles from the north-west.

Waiting

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.

Sizing

The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 in all the world — wears a size S. It finishes mid-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.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 21 22 23 24 25
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Back length 35½ 35¾ 36 36¼ 36½
Sleeve from   centre-back 34½       35       35½       36       36½      
What we have here is a duffle coat rooted in the traditions of the form — foremost in being a very substantial woollen coat, made with deep winter firmly in mind. But there is novelty and innovation here and there, too, to make it more useful and interesting to wear than perhaps a run-of-the-mill duffle.
The hood has a habit of standing proud even when down. Indeed, it is cut — with its three-panel structure supported by a stand at the back — to hold its shape and to caress and comfort the neck at all times, though it can also be set back and open, as above. It fastens under the chin with two press-studs.
The toggles are horn, and are handmade individually by a maker with 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 unique.
The toggles are fixed to the coat with rope — a jute rope, braided in the traditional way with a loose-laid single yarn, in the south of England. It has a deep, rich colour, and while it has a fairly gnarly appearance, is soft and smooth in the hand, so that opening and closing the coat is fast and frictionless.
Two brass press-studs here, to open and close the neck of the coat. The cloth is so thick that the neck stands up anyway, so you can get a good amount of winter-protection even with the coat half-open.
The coat has two pockets at the front, which are each covered with a large flap. They are positioned at a height such that cold hands are instinctively compelled to make regular use of them. They're double-layered and two-way pockets, too, so are able to accommodate hands from the side.
Bar-tacks make frequent appearances on the duffle coat, such as at the top and bottom of the entrance to the pockets. They serve to strengthen the coat at all points of stress. Long-term wear without the tear.
The coat has one further pocket: hidden in plain sight 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, keys, mobiles, or cigarette packets.
The duffle coat has a somewhat innovative construction, in that, at the front, it has what looks to be a set-in sleeve. A standard type of sleeve, this — the norm for a duffle coat — where the seam follows the 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 into 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 has cuff tabs which fasten to one of two levels of tightness with a horn button — the same horn, no less, from which the toggles are made.
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 navy cotton binding.
The cloth is custom-made for this very coat by a mill which has undertaken such work — more notably for the British Army — for two centuries. It is very thick, is made with glossy worsted-spun yarn, and its bobbled, nobbled hopsack structure, while simple-seeming, is much less common than you might think.

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.