Parka in protective ripstop in cosmos

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Garment

£410.00

Parka, made in London, with protective ripstop — a lightweight, breathable, and rain-proof plain-weave — from a mill in West Yorkshire.

More of this sort of thing

There's not many of these left, by the looks of it. Still, don't despair. Email info@sehkelly.com and perhaps something can be done about it.

Sizing

The parka in this particular cloth fits larger than the marked size — about half a size large, say. The mannequin here, for instance, is so standard a 38 chest he has it stamped on his chest, but in this instance is wearing size XS.

XS S M L XL
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 30½ 31 31½ 32 32½
Back length 33 33½ 34 34½ 35
Called "protective" for a reason, this cloth. By 'eck does it protect. Rain beads up and bounces off; wind shall not pass. But, also, it was developed with heat-transfer and breathability in mind. By trapping air and wicking away moisture, it is a high-performance shell on cold days, or on hot and sticky ones, alike.
A coat with a hood is what the parka is — with a particularly high front running over the chin, and a wide wrap which keeps out unwelcome elements. The hood is of the three-panel kind: cut so, when down, it surfs the sides of the neck, and when up, hugs the head and curves across the forehead.
Simplicity reigns when it comes to fastening. The parka has a front of five press studs — or snap fasteners, or poppers, or even tiches, if you prefer. Small and unassuming things, an aged brass finish, and a mechanism which closes with an authoritatively dull click rather than a juvenile tinny one.
Sitting at the waist are two large pockets. They have an envelope opening — an "up and under" way in that is much more secure than the norm — and a particularly large flap, shutting with a press stud at each corner. Deep, these pockets, and not half-bad shelter for hands and possessions both.
Less prominent are the sideways-entry — so-called "warmer" — pockets, located above those large flaps. They are intended principally for the resting of tired arms. They are strengthened, top and bottom, with bar-tacks (above-right) — likewise the under-sides of the flaps below (above-left).
The cuffs of the parka are governed by a wide strap, which runs from the under-sleeve seam around and across the front, and with a gusset which comes together when the strap is fastened. There are two press studs here — for both standard and wrist-tickling degrees of tightness.
The parka has what you might expect when looked at head-on: a good-old inset sleeve. It gives you that classic, clean line up and over the shoulder, like you see on most parkas. But look — a seam runs down the outside of the sleeve, splitting this orthodox front with a raglan back.
The raglan construction of the back provides more sense of space, freedom, and comfort than the parka might have otherwise. Easier to slide on and off, too. It also gives the sleeve a rounder, softer shape, and a clean drape over the shoulder — in many ways like a classic semi-formal overcoat.
At the back, too, lurks an inverted box-pleat, extending a short distance up the length of the parka. It is constructed in the old-fashioned and faintly over-complicated manner of mid-century British walking coats, and permits extended movement when sitting down or stretching forward.
One more pocket — this time on the inside, chest height, on the left-side as worn. It is set a little lower than normal to make things easier on the elbows. Best for mobile phones, train tickets, or slim wallets, this one.
The parka has a lining — a sweeping, curved lining — of even more protective ripstop. In this way, when also taking into account the facing on the inside-front, you have a double-layer of cloth on almost all areas. Elsewhere, meanwhile, every exposed seam is finished meticulously with grey binding.
The front of the cloth is a ripstop weave of aramid fibres; the back is a raised ripstop of more aramid fibres. Weapon-grade strength. And yet the cloth is soft and tactile, doesn't much age, and is supremely hardy vis à vis abrasion. Great for travel, too: light and resistant to creasing.

As worn

Him, here, is 6'1", more or less 12 stone, and as standard a 38 in the chest as you could ever hope to meet. The parka he's wearing is thus a size S. He's jutting out his chin, here, by the way: the neck of the parka usually covers the area below the mouth when fully fastened.

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 ripstop cloth comes from a mill in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire, founded in the 1800s. Things have, of course, moved very much with the times, and so the traditions of weaving are allied now to cutting-edge, industry-leading standards in weaving, dyeing, and testing.

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.