Topcoat in Donegal tweed in loch blue

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£530.00 — ex VAT

Tailored overcoat, made in London, with a merino lambswool tweed (23oz) from County Donegal — ostensibly a mix of dark navy and charcoal yarn, but with so much more besides — and horn buttons from the West Midlands.

Sizing

The topcoat fits true to size, and the woodsman here — so perfect a 40 it is branded on his chest — is wearing a size M. Please bear in mind the style and shape of the coat, however — especially the shape and suppression at the waist. It is not a fully fledged "over everything" overcoat, but is instead suited best to being worn over at most, say, a shirt and mid-thickness sweater, rather than an entirely other jacket. Go up a size if the latter is the ambition.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19½ 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½
Waist 19 20 21 22 23
Sweep 21 22 23 24 25
Shoulder 16½ 17 17½ 18 18½
Back length 38½ 38¾ 39 39¼ 39½
Sleeve from centre-back 33 33½ 34 34½ 35
The topcoat is a smart, single-breasted overcoat, cut much in the manner of a tailored jacket but far, far longer. Notable is the position of its break — which is to say, the point to which it fastens — which is much lower, and thus simultaneously more relaxed and more elegant, than a typical tailored overcoat.
The topcoat has a lapel of moderate width, but which interestingly looks more narrow than it is on account of the aforementioned lowness of the fastening point. There is a barely-there peak on the lapel, and the gap between the lapel and the collar is drawn closed with fine hand-stitching.
The shoulders of the topcoat are very, very lightly padded, bringing shape and smartness to the silhouette of the body.
There are four pockets on the outside of the coat. Two of them are large and sit at the waist, and are covered by flaps. Then there's the smaller ticket pocket and even smaller chest pocket, both of which are covered by somewhat unorthodox upturned flaps — reflections or echoes, in a way, of the two larger pockets.
The buttons on the coat are horn, and are dark matte tortoiseshell in colour. Being as they are an entirely natural thing, each looks different to the next, varying in tone and hue and striatic markings.
There are three buttons at the cuff, with the buttonholes cut open. It is a working cuff, in other words, though has no quarrel whatsoever with cuffs that cannot work or do not work.
A deep vent runs up the back of the topcoat, helping it swing around nicely when worn; fanning out gracefully over, say, a chair, so as to never risk plonking your posterior down on the back of the coat; and easing times exponential the experience of wearing the coat when climbing into a car.
The topcoat has an in-breast pocket — an internal chest pocket, that is, of the jetted variety — on both the left and right sides. Meanwhile, the coat is fully lined with a slinky, lightweight satin, making donning and undonning it a breeze, and helping to reduce friction with whatever is worn underneath.
The cloth is chunky box tweed, Donegal writ through. The yarn — a warp of dark navy and a weft of charcoal — is alive with little flecks of unexpected shades, from amber to auburn to sky blue. It is merino lambswool, softer than one might assume, and fairs mightily well in the wet and the windy.

As worn

The gent here is a standard 38 in the chest, and is wearing the topcoat in size S.
Same coat, same man, same size — just a different colour is all.

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 taken to ensure 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 by a sixth-generation mill in County Donegal in Ireland. Every inch of the cloth, every step of the way — from the designing to the warping to the weaving — is overseen by two people: a father and son, who continue the flecked tweed traditions of this part of Ireland.
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 made in Birmingham."