A New Coat



England’s sudden cold snap brought home to me the fact I need to invest in a new overcoat.

On average I find a good quality overcoat will last me nearly 10 years. That being the case it’s not a bad idea to spend some time considering the options, I’ll have to live with my choice for some time.

Several options have fired my imagination, but in this post I’m going to focus on that most English of overcoats, the Covert Coat.

Distinguished country outfitters Cordings of Piccadilly claim the credit for inventing said coat, however, the name actually comes from the distinctive fawn coloured twill weave cloth from which the coat is made. Other details to note include the fly front, two side pockets and, as is the case on the original Cording’s coats, a large game or poachers pocket on the inside. In the days before iPads and Kindles City gents used this pocket to store their newspaper. A true covert coat should also be knee length and feature four rows of stitching on the sleeve cuffs and hem. This last detail is another reminder of the coats sporting country heritage; the stitching was designed to prevent the coat from snagging and tearing as the wearer made his way through bracken. One final detail worth remembering is that a true covert coat is also slightly tailored, which provides a pleasing form and allows the coat to be worn on it’s own without a jacket underneath.

Despite it’s origins on the country estates of England, the Covert Coat makes for an excellent city coat. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot of bracken to snag a coat on in Parliament Square, but it is just the right weight for those of us who live a typical urban life of moving in and out of buildings, tube stations, taxis and the like. It is eminently practical; just heavy enough to keep a chill out but not too heavy or too boxy.

As options go this one is ahead by a noise, and has long been a favourite of mine. Indeed, my last coat but one was a navy version. So perhaps it’s time to return to the warming embrace of an old friend.


Andrew Williams blogs at BespokeMe and is based in London. His clothing label Bulldog & Wasp represents his philosophy that style is a frame of mind not just a state of dress.


  1. It’s getting cold! The Covert coat is a nice and classic overcoat, I think it is a good choice. I would also suggest the Chesterfield coat, which is also single-breasted and has two side pockets -but no fly front-. It usually has a velvet collar (but some people prefer it without velvet).

  2. they are not meant to be worn for cold but in autumn, i know you want one cos jase statham had one in that film, say noooo more

  3. I d suggest a Camel Double breasted
    Or a Tweed double breasted with half belt at back but with single breasted lapels, in grey

  4. Thanks for a good post about a classic coat. Another detail to look for is the single vent. What do people think about top pocket squares for (over)coats?

  5. If there’s a pocket there, would seem churlish not to decorate 🙂

  6. Should the Chesterfield coat reach just above or below the knee?

  7. James Massey says:

    I love the theme of this selection as well as the mystery buttons i cant see. hmm England’s finest presentation could be the next way of keeping a gentleman’s closet consistent of a new piece.