Field coat in canopy cotton in charcoal

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Field coat, made in London, with heavy (11oz) weatherproof cotton from Scotland, and sand-cast brass buckles from the Midlands.


The field coat fits true to size. The mannequin here is a very standard 38, and so wears size S.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 18 18½ 19 19½ 20
Back length 31½ 31¾ 32 32¼ 32½
Sleeve from   centre-back 32½       33       33½       34       34½      


This is cotton, but with elements like the sleeve-lining and the press-studs which are not. As such, it is best washed by hand in lukewarm water, or dry cleaned. If a machine must be used, a cold wash and no tumble-drying is the only option. Bonus points may be earned by using one of those clever washing potions designed for hydrophobic materials.

Formidable cotton, this. It acts like waxed cloth in wet weather — and over time acquires the same parchment-like patina — but is completely dry to touch. It is seriously rigid when new, but like raw denim soon softens up, and, with its already soft, brushed handle, soon becomes a man's best friend.
The field coat is a coat of medium length, with a front of six (hidden when fastened) press-studs. It has a round, turn-down collar of middling size, which is cut such that it closely skims the neck, holds form and shape at all times, and is just as happy worn up as down, or anywhere in between.
The firmness of the canopy cotton helps the collar stand up without so much as a hint of droop. Keeps the wind off the neck and chin, and because of the brushed nature of the cloth, it is especially warm and comfortable on skin.
The coat has a shooting shoulder. What this is is a neat gusset, running halfway down the back from the shoulder, which benefits movement in the forward and upward directions. And, after being stretched, it snaps obediently back to shape, thanks to some concealed elasticity.
The pockets on the coat are of the bellows variety. Crisply folded concertina-like bags, these, which open up more and more, the more and more you put into them. The pockets are also "floating", in that ...
... they are connected to the body of the coat only at the top. And so, when you bend over — action and movement, remember, being very much the order of the day in a thing like a field coat — the pocket will obey gravity, rather than the angle of your body, and thus the contents of said pocket are far less likely to escape.
It helps, too, that the flaps on the pockets fasten with a press-stud at each corner, heightening security for outgoing objects and incoming elements both. And then there's the belt, which runs under the pocket — no belt-loops here — and fastens with a heavy, clunking, and sand-cast brass buckle.
There are two further brass components round at the back, which define the two-part nature of the belt. Much like the strap of a bag, this means the total length of the belt can be adjusted to the perfect length, depending on abdominal girth and personal preference.
But of course — if personal preference is that belts are bad, it can be removed. Again, since there are no belt-loops, and the belt runs under the pockets, nobody will be any the wiser. The wearer might even wish to keep the unused belt in a safe place — in a large inside pocket, say, on which more shortly.
There are two warmer pockets above the main pockets — ideal for resting or warming hands. These pockets are strengthened, top and bottom with bar-tacks (below-left). The cuffs of the coat have a gusset construction and, with the help of more studs, fasten to one of two tightnesses (as seen below-right).
Inside, there is a pocket which runs from seam to seam across the back lining of the coat. Some call such things poacher's pockets, on account of it being large enough but discreet enough for stashing gains ill-gotten in the field — e.g. a salmon or trout. The pocket is also useful for storing the belt when not in use.
The rest of the coat is fully lined with more canopy cotton (aside from the sleeves, which are lined with satin for the smooth entry and exit of arms). The double-layer of weatherproof cloth makes for a very sturdy and hard-wearing barrier from even the most intense downpours. It is a field coat, after all.

As worn

The gent here is 6'2", 11½ stone, and is a slim 38. Here he is wearing a size S, which is a perfect fit — but were he even slightly bulkier, or edging closer to 40, then going up a size would be a good bet.

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 cotton comes from Scotland, from a mill on the coast, where the making of heavy, waxed, and otherwise element-proof materials emerged in hand, centuries ago, with local seafaring trades. Industry-strength cottons finished in industry-leading ways is very much the order of the day here.

So they say

The field coat has arrived. What a coat! Much needed relief shall be provided to my dear and beloved Ventile tour jacket. It is magical and delightfully unusual. I'm really looking forward to wearing it — in a few months, I assume.

So said a man in Hungary, who purchased the field coat in dark green canopy cotton in May 2018.

Your field coat has now seen a few weeks of use in the fields of Budapest and beyond, and I still find it magical and delightfully unusual. Wearing it feels like being dressed in a tent from a travel book of indeterminate age. The first person to compliment me on it was, of course, my father.

Said the same man, a few (wet) months later.

I got my hands on the jacket [and shirt] the other day. The jacket is S.E.H Kelly par excellence — perhaps supplanting itself as my number-one S.E.H Kelly garment. Cracking.

Upbeat words from a man in Beijing, but sometimes Stanford, and sometimes Plymouth, about his field coat in dark navy, in November 2018.