There’s no such word as “balmacaan’t.” There is, though, a word “balmacaan.” It is one which originates from the Balmacaan Forest, which is a place very popular with people, usually in tweeds and always with rifles, to the west of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland.

It stands to reason, then, that the balmacaan — being now colloquial for “walking coat” in such cold and remote resorts, north of the border — has all the accoutrements of costume which is necessary when, most days, the weather has a “like it or lump it” sort of outlook.

There’s the collar, for starters, which climbs to the very top of the neck and keeps on going. It is a collar which for reasons inexplicable goes commonly these days by the name “soutien”, but which has over the years also been known as the Prussian collar, the stand-fall collar, and the “you know, one of those collars you see on old Scottish walking coats” collar. It can be fastened in the most blustery circumstances with a throat-latch, which the rest of the time, when the collar is at-ease, can be tucked away completely out of sight.

The balmacaan also has the purest expression yet of the one-piece sleeve. It gives a remarkable amount of freedom in the shoulder and upper chest — lending itself well to being worn in cold climes over shirt plus sweater plus jacket — and a body-shape balanced to a degree so perpendicular you could play a vertical game of billiards on the chest.

There are those pockets, too, which outside look like a traditional welt, whose “height” and “depth” settings have been calibrated just-so to please hands each and every time they are plunged into them. Their “pervert pocket” sobriquet, in some parts of north-east London, meanwhile, undermines somewhat the fact that they are two-way: inside them is a channel, see, through which hands may pass to reach the inside of the coat. History has it this originates in the army — for grabbing a grenade or gun from a weapons-belt, say, at a moment’s notice. It is handy today for grabbing objects stored in the pockets of the jacket worn underneath. It may also be called upon when you have your arms full, or when out-and-about juggling briefcase and luggage and whathaveyou. Stuff your wallet into the left-side outer pocket with your left hand one moment, then, and retrieve at your leisure later — depending on how you’ve set yourself — from the inner pocket with the other hand.

The balmacaan is at the workshop now in heavy herringbone tweed. One colour is a weave of grey and brown; the other, grey and blue. It is made in County Donegal, this tweed, and true to that part of Ireland, as well as its base colours, it is flecked all over with small blobs of wool — “nepps” — that are in this case grey and off-white. The balmacaan — a walking coat which is hopefully anything but pedestrian — is surely handy in the Highlands, but not half-bad when the going gets drizzly here in the lowlands, either.