Parka in canopy cotton in forest green

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Parka, made in London, with heavy weatherproof cotton from Scotland, horn buttons from the Midlands, and a sand-cast brass buckle, likewise from the Midlands.


The parka fits true to size — but heed the fact that this is a big, commanding coat, which can be worn over thick jumpers or jackets. The mannequin here is so standard a 38 chest he has it stamped on his chest, and is wearing S.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Shoulder 17½ 18 18½ 19 19½
Sleeve over shoulder 31 31½ 32 32½ 33
Back length 39 39½ 40 40½ 41
Formidable cotton, this, with a dry wax finish — i.e. all the benefits of wax, but none of the wet, sticky drawbacks. It is bone dry. It also has a very soft, peachy feel, and a washed-out look, It is stiff when new — the coat almost stands-up by itself — but softens with wear, and in little time becomes one of man's best friends.
The parka is a coat with a hood — but there's 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 right up 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: less likely to get 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 here 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 buckles are 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

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 protective 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 picked up the parka in protective ripstop in the middle of March 2018.