Trench coat in weatherproof ripstop in sand

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£590.00 — ex VAT

Trench coat, made in London, with a very light (7oz) but paradoxically very strong aramid cloth from West Yorkshire — and with horn buttons and brass buckles and loops from the Midlands.

Waiting

There are more of these in work right now. Maybe not exactly the same, but not far off, and a matter of weeks — days, perhaps, even — away. Little space here to go into details, so please email info@sehkelly.com for more information.

Sizing

The trench fits true to size, and thus the mannequin here — so perfect a 40 he has it branded on his neck — is wearing a size M.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 21 22 23 24 25
Sweep 23 24 25 26 27
Back length 42 42¼ 42½ 42¾ 43
Sleeve from centre-back 33 33½ 34 34½ 35
Called "weatherproof" for a reason, this cloth. Rain, no matter how much, beads up and rolls off. Aramid fibres are inherently hydrophobic, see. It is also as light as a feather, is highly breathable, and has industry-leading heat-transfer properties: when the day is warm, the wearer is cool, and vice-versa.
"The trench provides, from throat to knees, a double safeguard of the greatest value when exposed to wet and cold," goes a century-old trench coat ad. The same seems true then as now: a full-length, double-breasted coat, this, which will cover everything you wear beneath and keep you smart, warm, and dry.
The trench, being a trench, is a coat of great versatility. It may be worn open, or buttoned right up to the top, or various intervals between. The collar is large and full, and is cut such that it's just as happy standing up as it is sitting down; that it tidily rolls down at the front; that it cuddles the neck at the side.
There is also the matter of the throat-latch. It may be buttoned across the throat or back on itself, onto the collar-stand, out of sight. Having it dangle out front, insouciantly, isn't out of the question, either.
The buttons on the trench are large, and are horn — fair in colour and matte in finish — and each is a little different from one to the next. They are in that regard as if alpha-keratin snowflakes — such is the beauty of being a product of a high-grade natural material, rather than, say, a plastic replica.
The belt runs through a channel, hidden beneath the flaps of the pockets, and fastens with a brass buckle at the front. There are two brass components at the back, too: like a bag-strap, the length of the belt can be adjusted to the perfect length, depending on abdominal girth and personal preference.
Not everyone likes belts, of course — divisive as they are in more ways than one — and since the trench has no belt loops, and the belt runs under the pockets-flaps, no one will be any the wiser if the belt is removed.
There are additional brass fixtures at the cuff, where a cuff strap resides, with a handful of eyelets (alarmingly known as "grommets" in some parts of the world) to adjust to a preferred degree of tightness.
The yoke is low and deep — running fully over the upper back — and the storm-flap at the front is a little shorter, though still deep. Effectively, you have two layers of cloth protecting the back — plus the lining, on which more later — and, with the double breast at the front, you have a coat impervious to rain.
Bellows pockets sit at the front, accessible from the top and the sides. In effect, then, you have four pockets at the front of the coat, for hands and for belongings. These pockets are strengthened, top and bottom, with bar-tacks: there are indeed probably more bar-tacks on the pockets than on most coats.
With things so eventful on the outside of the coat, inside, things are clean and simple, with a chest pocket on the left-side as worn.
The trench has a half-lining of even more weatherproof ripstop. In this way, when also taking into account the facing on the inside-front of the coat, you have a double-layer of cloth on the most weather-exposed parts of the exterior. Elsewhere, meanwhile, the seams are bound smartly with brown cotton.
The cloth is incredibly strong: it is by far the toughest fabric at the workshop. It doesn't fade, even after years outdoors; it doesn't crease and is thus wonderful travel cloth; and it doesn't abrade, so can take great wear and tear. It's a double-faced, cloth, marrying two tough ripstop layers (this is the reverse).

As worn

This gent is 6'1", just over 11 stone, and with a chest slightly north of 38. Here he is wearing a size S, without much worn underneath, and the fit seems just right.
He still has a chest just above 38 here, but is now wearing the trench in size M. The extra room of the M comes in handy this time, because he's wearing it over a thick corduroy shirt and a particularly chunky wool bodywarmer.

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 tweed is woven with wool shorn from Herdwick sheep — a breed native for millennia to the Lake District: rumoured to have first found their way to the Britain when the Vikings were in town. It is gnarly and thick yarn, and requires great skill and willpower to get it to do even close to what you'd want.
It is woven on a foot-powered loom built when George V was still feeling his way into the job, in a boat-shed on the banks of the Moray Firth, and is operated by a weaver whose weaving prowess has taken her almost as far around the globe as the miles clocked up every year in pedalling that loom.
Every now and then along comes a cloth which reminds you why you do what you do; cloth special in and of itself, infused not only with a big hit of lanolin, but origin and provenance — and by extension an invisible-but-there presence and authority — worth blathering on about. This is one such cloth.
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 made in Birmingham."

So they say

I'd like to give you a review on the Herdwick trench coat. It completely lives up to its reputation. Old world functionality at its finest. We had an especially cold and bitter winter, even a few white-out condition snow storms, so I was able to really test the coat in the elements. I wore it while making snowmen and hiking in wind-driven snow flurries. Neither the wind, cold, nor snow could penetrate this tweed. The trench kept me toasty warm and dry throughout all conditions. And it came out looking no worse for wear, after it dried up. Very impressive stuff!

Warming words from a man who purchased the trench in Herdwick tweed in October 2021.

What an amazing coat! This purchase experience has been exceptional with super fast shipping and nice packaging. Many thanks to you for crafting such beautiful garments with materials of exceptional quality. The size is perfect, especially the back length, as some long coats make my leg appear short. Thank you again for offering such amazing garments with superb quality, while being extremely reasonably priced. It is so nice to have your shop to look at for some proper clothes — do please keep the great work!

A man very generous with his feedback, following purchase of the trench in tweed in late November 2019.

I am pleased to say the trench has landed. The coat is a thing of beauty, and the fabric is wonderful in its intricacy.

So said a man in Spain who picked up the trench in heavy tweed in November 2019.

Many thanks for sending the coat to me. I've worn it to work this morning and it's a fine piece altogether — very smart, and beautifully put together. I do like the craftsmanship in your work, so do keep up the good work.

Feedback from a man in the States, who purchased the trench coat in weatherproof ripstop in August 2019.

Boy, am I glad I took your advice and did not do any alterations. The sleeve-length and overall length of the coat are just right, and most importantly, the build quality is superb. I've never been able to buy an off-the-rack coat that fits me this well. I'm glad I found your company, and got my hands on this beautiful trench coat. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to visit your workshop. Until then, stay classy.

Enthusiastic feedback from Finland, regarding a trench coat in Bedford cord, bought in September of 2018.

I received the trench, and it is beautiful and quite subtle ...

Kind words from a gentleman in the States who purchased the trench in Bedford cord in September 2018.

The trench coat has just arrived, and has already passed the She Who Must Be Obeyed test with flying colours.

The gentleman here bought a trench in Shetland woollen twill back in January 2016.