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Sterlingwear of Boston "Authentic" peacoat sizing...advice needed

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by JanSolo, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Hello everybody,

    I am planning on buying another peacoat to contribute my '68 Dale vintage Kersey one. I know that vintage peacoats are ususally made of higher quality materials (Kersey vs. Melton) but I fancy the idea of having an affordable mil spec melton peacoat as a "grab and go" jacket.
    I won't buy anything from Schott as they are using reprocessed wool. :p
    Sterlingwear not only use virgin wool but also are the current military contractor.

    I want a coat that is as trim fitting as my size 38 Dale Fashions:


    I've contacted them via email and asked for their advice regarding pattern and fit and it seems that their "Authentic" model is the closest fitting jacket they have. It's also the peacoat they supply to the US Navy.
    When I requested some key measurements I received the following email:

    Now, that seems to be very trim for a size 38. Does anybody know if the "Authentic" runs true to size? If those measurements are correct I would have to size up as their size 38 would be even trimmer than my size 38 Dale...
    Many thanks in advance, fellas
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  2. Jack Burton

    Jack Burton One of the Regulars

    I don't own one so I cannot give you concrete advice however I did consider buying one so I did read up on them extensively. I think all Sterlingwear peacoats run at least one size small. It seems that they put some effort into their size chart but measuring sleeves from the underarm seam is strange. I think they should list the sleeve lengths from the neck, like a suit shirt. Anyways, if I were you I'd try a 40L.
  3. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    I am in the same boat as Jack, no concrete advice as I don't own one. However, if the Authentic is the same coat as they supply to the Navy, their stated pit to pit measurement isn't accurate. It has been my experience that the current issue peacoats fit about the same as the later issue vintage models (1970s). I have owned several current issue models, and they fit about the same as the 1970s versions.

    The pit to pit they give for the size 38 will fit more like a 36 or 34. I seriously doubt that measurement is accurate. I would expect the size 38 in an issue model would measure 20" pit to pit. But then I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

    My information on Sterlingware is contra to Jack's understanding. I have heard most of their sizes run a size or two large. But, I would think that is totally dependent on the style of the peacoat.
  4. Jack Burton

    Jack Burton One of the Regulars

    Peacoat, Sterlingwear does not to my knowledge size their coats like most or in other words, they relate their tagged sizes to the pit-to-pit much more conservatively than most. Just looking at their size chart, it says a size 40 coat is made for someone with a 38" chest which coincides with the pit-to-pit measurements they gave Jan. You are the first guy I would ask about peacoats so I'm wondering where you heard they run large.

    Jan, I'd just email them with your sizing info and preferences and ask them what they recommend. I've heard of disturbingly skinny guys ordering their chest measurement as the tagged size and it working out but for most, I think they recommend ordering by the chart, or sizing up if you're packing a few pounds.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    On another forum where I am a member, there are many complaints there about the Sterlingwear being so large. Now it may be that those are mostly skinny guys who haven't filled out.

    I just found a civilian Sterlingwear in my closet that I bought several years ago. It is tagged as a size 44. The pit to pit is 23", exactly what I would expect a size 44 to be. At least that coat is sized dead on. It has 8 buttons showing on the front, like the WWII models, but it has no model designation that I could find. I believe Sterlingwear makes two versions in the eight button front: one is the Mariner (24 oz. 100% wool) and the Classic (32 oz. 80% wool). I am no expert on the Sterlingwear models, so I could be mistaken about sizing and models.
  6. elpelotero

    elpelotero New in Town

    Hello everyone! First post here.

    I'd like to resurrect this old thread with a question to JanSolo. Did you ever end up picking up or trying on a 38R Sterlingwear? I have tried on the Sterlingwear Authentic Model in stores and it fits me perfectly. A 36 fits me also, but it's just a tad too tight.

    I would really like to pick up a vintage Kersey wool coat, but I would be purchasing it sight unseen from an online store (ebay, VT, etc).

    So my question to you is, does the Sterlingwear model (assuming you found one) fit you the same as the 38R Dale fashions you have?

  7. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage One Too Many

    Sterlingwear's size chart on their website is completely useless, in my opinion, and there's no substitute for real-world measurements.

    Last autumn I ordered a Sterlingwear Navigator pea coat, which is the classic model except in 100% wool. Since I wear a size 42L in suits and blazers, I ordered the pea coat in size 42L, which is what the company recommended. The fit and sizing was fine: good length in body and sleeves, extra room for a sweater underneath, close fit around the neck with the collar up. The fit was not "snug" or "skinny" at all, which was fine with me since I don't go outside in winter wearing only T-shirts underneath my outerwear (although I recognize many hipsters apparently prefer to do this). I returned the coat for reasons not relevant to this thread, but not because of fit.

    Here's my measurements for the Sterlingwear Navigator, size 42L, which I made before returning the coat:

    centre back neck to shoulder = 10.5"
    centre back neck to end of sleeve = 37" (sleeve roughly 26.5")
    centre back neck seam to bottom of coat = 35"
    widest part of chest (just under armpits) = 24"
    narrowest part of torso = 23"

    I was recently in touch with Tony Yuskaitis at Sterlingwear about one of their other products and he mentioned for comparison that the sleeve length of the Sterlingwear Authentic pea coat, size 42L, is 25.5" which seems to be about an inch shorter than my measurement for the Navigator model. I have no explanation for the difference, except that they must be different somehow.
  8. elpelotero

    elpelotero New in Town

    I'd really like to pull the trigger on a post WWII coat, pre-1980, with the Kersey Wool. I honestly think a 38R will do the job, given my suit size is 38R, the Sterlingwear 38R fit me well. My chest size measures as 38" on the nose. 5'9" and 160#. 30" waist.

    What scares me is everything I read about the older coats being tighter than current production coats. I don't want to purchase a coat that will end up too tight and then I can't get a refund.
  9. pauleway

    pauleway Practically Family

    Sterlingwear Peacoat

    I own a Sterlingwear Authentic 44-S. I usually take a 42-S in a sportcoat, but I wanted some room for a sweater or sweatshirt underneath, so I went a size up. It's just a little roomy but not too big. I would say they run pretty much true to size. I also ordered it in Navy Blue because the Military Issues are actually Black. I did have the oppotunity to try one on at one of the Army/Navy stores here before I ordered it. I see you're in Germany so you do not have the chance to do the same. (Or maybe there are some A/N stores in Germany). Hope this helps!
  10. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    I have found the current Sterlingwear Authentics fit P2P pretty much like the post war vintage models do. It's when we get into the WWII models with 8 buttons showing that the fit is a bit tighter. But be aware that occasionally a vintage peacoat will be larger than its stated size. Our fellow Lounge member Cooperson found this out a few years ago and alerted me to it. Since then I have heard of one or two others having a larger fit than stated on the tag size. That's why I recommend getting an accurate p2p from the seller. My personal experience has been that the tag size has been accurate on the coats I have bought.

    I think a 38 would be the size you would be most comfortable with, especially if you will wear a sweater under the coat. I have a 42" chest, and the size 42 peacoat is a good fit. It allows for a sweater without being too large when one isn't worn. I can also wear a size 40, but there isn't enough room for me to comfortably wear a sweater. In your location a sweater will be standard attire.

    The p2p measurement on a size 38 should be about 20", plus probably a fraction of an inch (20 1/2). We do p2ps on the coats and an actual chest measurement all the way around the chest on ourselves. This eliminates errors.

    If you haven't already done so, read the link below. At the end there is a section on sizing of pea coats. It should fill you in.

    Jan will see this eventually and reply; he has been busy elsewhere lately.

    And welcome to the Lounge. PC.

  11. elpelotero

    elpelotero New in Town

    Well, I decided to bid on two coats on eBay. One has no measurements and I saw it late at night with a few hours left on it. Figured I'd take a shot in the dark since it seemed to be in good condition and at $20, can't go wrong. The other is great condition and is a 68 Dale. I have a feeling the seller can't get the measurements right as he's given me two sets of numbers. I'm thinking it's going to be similar to Jan's coat. It's another shot in the dark but at $45 with a refund policy available, I can't go wrong here either. Hopefully one of these will fit nicely. Who knows, I might keep both!

  12. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    I hope you bid enough on that first one to get it. It is about a 1947 version with no wear. The 1968 Dale Fashions looks to be a nice coat as well.
  13. elpelotero

    elpelotero New in Town

    I thought I had the 1947 one in the bag, seeing as how I bid at 3am. When I woke up the next morning somebody had beat me. I really liked that one! We'll see how the other one goes. There's lots of them on ebay, just need to find the right one.
  14. Wapner

    Wapner New in Town

    Too many pea coats out there!!!

    So those mil-spec-looking black and white tags are they fakes? They had me fooled. I believe those are the Fidelity Brand. I had one for several years, and it served me well. The Sterling Wear are much nicer though. I tried one on @ a surplus store today, the only remaining surplus store here in my metro area - apropos of which these sizing questions are becoming all the more important to figure out sight unseen b/c of the diminishing opportunities to try them on prior to purchase. I'm a 43-44 Long/Tall, and the Sterling Wear in 46 Long fit nicely over my thickest sweater, a heavy cable knit Polo cardigan.
    For what it's worth.
  15. Peacoat

    Peacoat Call Me a Cab

    From the information I have received, the Sterlingwear Authentic fits pretty much true to size. That is, the p2p is about the same as the issue versions. The other Sterlingwears are fitted a little larger, so I'm surprised you would go up a size, even for a thick sweater, unless you like a very loose fit. This is just what I have heard from others; never actually measured any of the civilian models myself.

    If you post a picture of the tag, I can tell you. Or you can go to the Peacoat Dating sticky at the top of the Outerwear Section's first page and take a look at a phony tag toward the end of the thread.
  16. Wapner

    Wapner New in Town

    It had what I believe is the civilian tag, w/the Sterling Wear logo along the top and Anchor Collection along the bottom.
    It was a pretty thick sweater. I like my cold weather coats to allow some extra space for layering and bundling, and I have broad, bony shoulders which always fit disproportionately tighter into outerwear than the rest of my torso. The 46L was a little loose w/out the sweater, btw, which would make it jive more closely to your take on the sizing.
    Damn Old Navy, The Gap, J. Crew, etc., etc., etc. for glutting the market w/their so-called pea coats. By now they've made more of them than the gov't has.

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