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First Large Investment Coat

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
Hey guys,

I’m in the market to buy my first proper overcoat. I had a few questions for you guys here with more experience in this department as most of my jackets have been for motorcycles or for work (Ironworker by trade).

I’ve been looking to buy an overcoat that can fit the bill for casual day to day wear as well as semi formal events. I don’t really have many formal events that I attend with any regularity but I will often wear a sportcoat on the weekends and maybe a suit to church on occasion. Really nothing that ever gets close to black tie stuff but not jeans and a hoody either. The coat would be worn over a sport coat so that’s a big factor for me.
I tried a single breasted topcoat from Spier and mackay but found the fit too trim in the waist. And the shoulders too wide to size up. Beautifully thick 100% wool though which I loved so that’s still what I’m in the market for.

I came across private white VC in my search and wondered if anyone here has tried one of their coats. This was the first one I saw that caught my eye.

I love the raglan sleeve Balmacaan design (shoulders are great over tailoring) and it seemed like it would be pretty versatile but unfortunately my size is out of stock and they don’t make it anymore. The blue variant seems a little too unique to be my only coat though.

I found this one afterwards and aside from the price being more than I’ve ever spent on a piece of clothing I’m strongly considering it.


I was hoping you guys could shed some light on whether a coat like this would be versatile enough to be worn casually and also more formally. The double breasted design I like quite a lot as the Spier coat left a lot of your chest open to the elements.

If there are any other brands you guys would recommend I’d also love to hear your suggestions. I have come across Magee but their sizing is a little strange as the sleeves are quite short. I hear good things about ring jacket but I have a hard time finding any of their products here in the states. That $1550 coat I linked above is absolutely the top of my price range, I’m even a bit nervous at that but for something that would last a lifetime I would pay it. I really want just one coat.

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thank you for the guidance.
 

chrowen

New in Town
Messages
1
Hi I have that coat (the blue donegal) and like it a lot (wearing it home from work now). Like all things PWVC, especially their outerwear, it’s very well made and well cut. The only issue is the Permanent Style pieces never go on sale. My recommendation is that you (quickly) check out the current PWVC winter sale (that’s about to end) for their other coats - as with 50-60% off they are good value and worth considering. Happy hunting!
 

MickeyPunch

Familiar Face
Messages
51
Maybe SEH Kelly has something.

I have a Private White ventile raincoat and it’s nice but obviously a very different kind of coat. It’s cut very slim.
 

jchance

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Los Angeles
If there's a Burberry or Brooks Brothers at where you live, you should go in store and try those on. For coat, it's pretty hard to get the length right. Maybe the folks at Styleforum are more knowledgeable, they have 2 threads on classic men's coats (31 pages) and overcoat (83 pages).
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
Thank you for the advice. I dug a little deeper into the buying process and between the cost of the items, the fact they never go on sale, and a couple extra hundred to customs (I didn’t realize this was extra I thought the price on their site was shipped) decided to try to find a more local alternative.

I ended up purchasing a balmacaan from Spier and Mackay in a grey herringbone tweed from Magee in Ireland. It will be here tomorrow so I’ll let you guys know if the fit ends up being similar to PWVC.

Another option on the higher end was McConnells in NY who has a Harris tweed and also a Magee tweed but I was never able to get them to send over measurements so I had to let it pass.

There is a brooks brothers outlet near me which I took a trip to but their coats are all the same three button style that’s just a little too formal for what I’m after. I bet the regular store would be a better option

Fingers crossed the Spier works out
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
So the Spier coat arrived yesterday and it’s very nice. The wool is thick but also unlike any wool I’ve ever felt. It feels more like a thick cotton sweater than a wool.

If you’ve ever handled FILSON, woolrich or Harris tweed wools there’s always a slight nap to it, a fuzzy texture and a bit of scrachiness that I actually enjoy. This Magee tweed is completely soft to the hand. It also has an incredible amount of flex when pulled diagonally with the herringbone direction, very easy to move in but it’s definitely different. I would be inclined to think it wouldn’t be as warm but that’s hard to quantify.

I love almost everything about the jacket. I’m a 42R in suits, 42” actual chest, 5 10 190lbs and I sized UP to a 44 (partially because it was the only size in stock) but also I can’t imagine having gone with a 42 now because the fit on this one is just what I was looking for.

Collar stands up nicely, belt is a nice addition that I didn’t think I would like but now I do, length is great as well. Pockets are at just the right height for my hands and the biggest thing for me…sleeve length. It’s perfect. Combined with the stretch in the wool and the Raglan sleeve design the cuffs never ride up past my shirt sleeves which is my biggest pet peeve (Barbour). Collar latch is well sized too and the shape makes it easy to wear without feeling restrictive.

Only con I can say about this jacket is the button placement. It just seems odd to me. The buttons are very close together and the bottom most button is very high up on the jacket. I wish it were just at the bottom of the hand pockets as that seems more natural. My Barbour Beaufort is only 32” long and its bottom most button is right at that 8” below belt line area and I enjoy having it there when it’s windy and cold out. This one seems like it would let a lot of air in.

I included a photo showing how that bottom button is actually just above my belt line. Just seems strange for a coat this long. To be another 8 or so inches down still wouldn’t impede mobility. My decision to keep this jacket will depend on whether a tailor can add another button to it without making it seem like an afterthought. Hopefully they can extend that placket down and just add another button hole.

Photos below for anyone interested in these jackets as there are maybe 3 photos on the entire internet lol.
 

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Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,305
Location
South of Nashville
I agree that the lowest button could have been placed lower on the coat, but I don't think it will make any practical difference. You have the belt that will snug the coat up on cold windy days.

I have worn three button overcoats over my suits and sport coats for more years than want to admit. I normally leave the bottom button unbuttoned because of the stress placed on the threads when seated in my car, driving to work. The second button on my overcoats is placed about where your bottom button is located. Plus, you have the belt which makes a real difference on cold days. None of my overcoats has a belt.

I think you will do just fine in this overcoat.
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
I appreciate the feedback, maybe I’m overthinking it. I’ll give it a season of wear before having the button added to see whether it’s necessary or not. I do like that I went larger on the size as it leaves room to overlap the layers in the front and use the belt to cinch it almost like a double breasted coat.

Really is a nice Balmacaan I’m amazed they don’t include photos like this of the jacket on their site.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,305
Location
South of Nashville
I appreciate the feedback, maybe I’m overthinking it. I’ll give it a season of wear before having the button added to see whether it’s necessary or not. I do like that I went larger on the size as it leaves room to overlap the layers in the front and use the belt to cinch it almost like a double breasted coat.

Really is a nice Balmacaan I’m amazed they don’t include photos like this of the jacket on their site.
In my post I intended to close my comments with, "Don't overthink this." You said it for me, and I agree.
 

AmericanIron

One of the Regulars
Messages
119
Location
United States
Haha I have a tendency to do that, that’s why I like this forum. Good to hear from others on these types of things.

I’ve gotta say, wearing this raglan style sleeve over a suit jacket is so much more comfortable than any topcoat I’ve owned. I really like the unstructured shoulder it just feels so much easier to move in the coat. I wish I knew about this style of coat a long time ago.

So even though I didn’t end up buying a private white coat, their marketing did end up pointing me toward a style of coat that I had never heard of so for that I’m grateful.
 

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