Parka major in canopy cotton in charcoal

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Buying

£540.00

Parka, made in London, with heavy (11oz) weatherproof cotton from Scotland, and horn buttons and brass sliders from the Midlands.

Sizing

The parka fits true to size — but heed the fact that this is a big, commanding coat, which is intended to envelope all it surveys. Thus, if you prefer a snugger fit, then go down a size. The mannequin here is so standard a 38 that he has it printed on his chest, and is wearing a size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½ 25½
Back length 40½ 40¾ 41 41¼ 41½
Sleeve from   centre-back 35       35½       36       36½       37      

Caring

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 parka major is a coat with a hood — but there's so more to it than that. For a start, the coat part of the equation is of reason-pushing proportions, with an extremely high front running over the chin, and a wide wrap — not double-breasted, but not far off — shielding the wearer from wind and rain.
The hood covers all parts of the head save the face — such as is the least requirement for a hood — and, with its three-panel construction, hugs the crown and curves cleanly around the forehead and temple. It is built to hold its shape when down: standing up, almost, to keep things warm and dry at the nape.
The parka has a front of four horn buttons — dark in colour and matte in finish. Because each is a thing of nature, they are all unique — differing in shade and markings. The parka has a fly-front, with the buttons hidden away when fastened, and so less likely to snag on brambles and other outdoor perils.
The parka is a long coat, and it never hurts with a long coat to have a belt. It runs under the pocket flaps, and fastens with a brass slider: a buckle, really, with the tongue taken out. It can be locked in place by feeding its end back over itself.
Belts are nothing if not divisive, of course — some love 'em, some don't — and so this one is designed to be removed without leaving behind any evidence of absence. It runs into a slot hidden beneath the pocket flaps, see, and from that point, runs through a channel that runs around the waist to the other side.
Here is the parka at the back, with the belt channel — which runs between the outer layer of the coat and the lining — in a state of moderate scrunch. Whether there's a belt running through it or not, the channel helps break up the length of the parka at the back.
Below the main pockets — which, if it hasn't been mentioned to this point, are particularly deep and, with their envelope-style entry, are secure from rain and straying hands alike — are side-entry pockets. These are positioned at optimal longitude and latitude for the satisfying plunging-in of hands.
The parka is designed to fit over other things. Thick jumpers, say, or jackets. Hence there's a good amount of room in the sleeve — until, that is, you get to the wrist, when a tight cuff pulls snugly around the wrist. There are two levels of tightness, the second of which is certifiably circulation-troubling.
One of the other notable aspects of the coat is its construction. It is a hybrid of two sleeves, with the smart lines of an inset sleeve at the front, but, at the back, a roomy raglan sleeve. In practical terms, this frees things up in the upper body; in aesthetic ones, it means a pleasing curve on the shoulder.
The parka is fully lined, with a double-layer of cotton at the front — ergo, extreme weatherproofness in those areas that need it most — and a slinky satin lining at the back and in the sleeve. There's a mobile phone-sized internal pocket, too, at the heart, to bring the total pocket count on the parka up to five.

As worn

Him, here, is 6'1", 12 stone, and as standard a 38 as you could ever meet. The parka he is wearing — the navy one here, and the grey one below — is size S.

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.
The brass hardware is made by a foundry in the West Midlands, which was founded in the 1800s. It is the last such foundry in an area once heaving with them. Its sand-casting method — which sees 940°c molten brass poured by hand from a crucible into sand-made moulds — is ancient and infallible.
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

My first day wearing it was a cracking way to test the waters: all-day heavy downpours. Me and my better-half decided to take a stroll around our area. One of the first things she said was, "You look like the adverts where ketchup rolls straight off a pair of trainers." Another was, "You could probably pass this down as an heirloom." I agree, it's a stunning piece, visually and physically. We must have been out for two hours, and the only sign of water appearing was through the stitching. Expected — but really minimal amounts for how much it was hammering down. This only happened after around the hour mark, too. Day to day, it's been getting plenty of comments around the office. You can expect a couple extra orders from as I’ve sent them on to your site. I honestly could not ask for a better coat. You've have done an outstanding job, and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to develop it.

Feedback from a man enjoying his parka in weatherproof ripstop (the most water-resistant of all cloth used here) in the city where rain was invented, Manchester.

Smart simplicity, I would call it, the design of your parka. Beautiful and functional efficiency. It rained one late afternoon. After five minutes, my parka was completely covered in a spray of shiny tiny drops on a dark blue like the sky. People stared at this new attribution to nature. Inside, warm and dry. Outdoors I wear a hat, with not too wide a brim. The hood of the parka is spacious, fitting over my hat, brim and all, without deforming. The hood doesn't make noise: it is quiet itself; in it, sounds are not muffled.

So explained a gentleman in Amsterdam, who purchased the parka in weatherproof ripstop in September 2018.

I've just received the parcel with the very wonderful parka. It is stunning in its design and cloth. It fits so well, and feels incredibly comfortable. I had not imagined such a technical material could feel so pleasantly soft to the touch. The colour is superb, too. And the parka looks great whether carried open or closed — the way the hood and neck fold back. I feel I can now withstand whatever weather our strange climate provides, and look good, at the same time.

Words from a lady in Denmark, who bought a parka in weatherproof ripstop in March 2018.