Tielocken in woollen Bedford cord in imperial blue

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Buying

£580.00

Overcoat — known as the tielocken because of its belted fastening — which is made in London with a mid-weight (24oz) woollen from Somerset — known as Bedford cord for its grooved texture — and brass sliders from the Midlands.

Sizing

The coat fits true to size, and thus the mannequin — the most standard 38 chest in all the world — wears a size S. It falls mid-shin on persons of average height, and is cut in a relaxed, spacious way, so that it may be worn over a shirt and jumper or jacket in winter.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½ 24½
Back length 43 43¼ 43½ 43¾ 44
Sleeve from   centre-back 34       34½       35       35½       36      
The tielocken is a coat style from the glory days of outerwear past. "The smartness essential in a topcoat," as one old advert suggests, "allied to such dependable powers of protection as enable the wearer to face the worst weather without discomfort or risk to health — those are the characteristics which define the tielocken."
The tielocken, then, sits between formal overcoat and full-blown, double-breasted, protective outerwear. It sure has the collar and lapel of the former — with a smart narrow notch, with, though it can't be seen here, some careful hand-stitching that keeps the join of collar and lapel flush and tidy at all times.
The tielocken has four pockets at the front: below the large flap pockets can be found in-seam pockets, stationed at just the right lateral and longitudinal coordinates for the instinctive plunging-in of hands. One additional pocket — the obligatory in-breast pocket — is on the inside of the coat.
What defines the tielocken is the absence of any buttons at the front. Instead, the wearer feeds a belt through a slider fixed on a tab, then another slider on the opposite side, and then pulls the belt as tight as desired. It is surprisingly intuitive, and as satisfying a way to fasten a coat as could be conceived.
The belt is fixed to the tielocken at either side. It thus cannot be removed. It's with you for life. No belt-loops. No way for the belt to slip around and be at an inopportune position for grabbing and fastening — let alone getting lost. It's not going anywhere.
The back of the coat can be pulled together with a double-slider system at the back, rather like the strap of a bag. You can thus wear the coat open and loose, or open and pulled together at the back in a smart and gentlemanly manner.
There's a large inverted pleat all the way up the back of the coat, too, to give shoulders more room to flex and legs more room to kick. This pleat is fixed halfway up — beneath where the belt runs — to stop it from "bagging out", as the phrase goes.
The puritanical no-button stance of the coat is regrettably marred by a single round, solid horn article that sits on the inside of the coat. This of course is the jigger button, which helps to fix in place the underside of the coat before the topside is swept across and fastened with brass.
The tielocken has plain cuffs. Purely decorative, these — but what isn't? — and anyway a good and proper punctuation point to the sleeves.
One of the most novel aspects of the coat is its construction. It is a hybrid of two types of sleeve: the smart lines of a traditional inset sleeve at the front, but, at the back, a raglan sleeve. This provides great freedom of movement in the upper body: much more than a coat of this ilk would ordinarily provide.
Some hand-sewing here. The chain-stitch below the button-hole helps hold in place a boutonnière (a flower, for instance). The criss-cross ("duck") stitch, meanwhile, holds together the lapel and the collar so that, over time, one doesn't flap around independently of the other. Helpful little hidden handiwork.
The coat has an in-breast pocket — in internal chest pocket, that is, of the jetted variety — on both the left and right sides.
The back of the tielocken is half-lined with grey melton — a hard-wearing material, full of character and gnarled yarns — from a mill in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire. It is an excellent outer cloth in its own right, but is here happy to play backup to its rather more fancy colleague.
Bedford cord is a type of cloth that bears the grooved appearance and texture of corduroy, but is woven in an entirely different way. This is a woollen example of the genre, and is made with soft lambswool — not too thick or dense, and thus a smart drape, but milled heavily for a soft, warm hand-feel.

As worn

The gent here — wearing the Donegal tweed version of the tielocken, which is a few inches shorter than the others — 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 wool lining hails from a mill founded in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire in the 1800s. Carding, blending, spinning, and weaving — it all happens on the same premises. This unique arrangement means that the fleece’s change into top-grade cloth could not be more tightly tuned.
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

The coat has landed. It is magnificent. This has to be the coolest coat I have ever seen, let alone owned. The fit is perfect, the belt is easily adjusted, per your instructions. The weight is perfect, and the fabric so soft with a very neat drape that it wears with a regal insouciance. Thank you for your creative artistry and your manufacturing perfection.

Generous words from a gent in the States who bought the tielocken in tweed in October 2018.

I just received the tielocken — and I love it! It is unexpectedly light in the best way and drapes very nicely.

So spoke the very first person to purchase the coat, in September 2018.

The tielocken is everything I expected, and that's a
lot. I'm looking forward to the temperature dropping.

Kind words by a man in France, who bought the first iteration of the tielocken, in Donegal tweed, in October 2018.

Exquisite. And despite the fact that I come from a long line of blunderers, I find the belting system to be pretty intuitive.

Feedback from a gentleman in the States, who purchased the coat in October of 2018.