16 October 2009

Bundle Up

I hold the highly unpopular opinion that the winter is great. I absolutely love it! Snow and cold make for pretty scenery and provide one with the unique pleasure of the satisfaction of entering a warm home and the deep fulfillment of a hot bowl of home made soup. Plus, you get to wear a lot of clothes, one on top of the other. Most people think I'm crazy, but I get excited around this time of year when it first starts to feel really cold outside. Blame it on my December birthday.

Of course, appreciating the Winter for the beautiful thing that it is only works if one is sufficiently prepared. In New England, this means owning a lot of thick, heavy things. Oddly enough, for someone who owns more clothes than decency would allow, I spent last Winter somewhat ill-prepared. My two warmest coats, a chesterfield and a cashmere camel overcoat, hardly made it out of the closet. I love them both, but I just don't dress fancy enough for them that often, especially in the snow. Mostly I relied on my Barbour, which keeps me dry, but I had to supplement it with multiple layers and a down vest for warmth. This week, we've seen temperatures in the 40's. A bit low for October, but it had me thinking. Then today, what should find me at the thrift but:


this big fat dark green duffel coat, $19.99. It has a much roomier fit than I usually go for, which I think is only appropriate for such a coat, deep pockets and a plaid wool lining that's as heavy as the outer coat itself. Seriously, this thing weighs a million pounds, and promises to be the warmest thing I've ever owned.

Bone (o.k....probably plastic) toggles held on with thick leather laces. Reinforced in all the stress points. Made in England, by ???


some company that's been around since 1902. Does that little scrap of label look familiar to any of you? I'm dying to know where this came from. But it's no matter, I know I'm bound to wear this thing a lot in the coming months. I've never been a big fan of overcoats worn over outfits that aren't suits, or at least sport coats, and a duffel coat is the perfect go-between. Casual enough for jeans and a sweater, rakish as Hell over a suit, and Bean Boots know no better counterpart.

Bring on the white stuff!



21 comments:

JPA said...

J. Press

Since 1902

That "W" is either from the New York or New Haven.

ScottyAlexander said...

Congrats on the excellent pick-up! I can never find a decent thrift shop overcoat that fits. However, for those in the same boat on the search for classics: Old Navy has a great peacoat for $80. I bought it last winter and it fits excellently, and keeps me warm enough to forget about the plastic buttons. Even stranger is the duffel coat American Eagle (yes, AE) just released. For $150 you get a Black Watch (and who doesn't love BW tartan) wool duffel with rope and faux-bone closures. I'll wait til the price dips to take the plunge, but I believe both items are worth consideration.

L.A.S said...

Between you and David over at The Natural Aristocrat, I am getting some serious jacket envy. The thrifts by me have no good coat options whatsoever (an obvious symptom of geography). I am jonesing so hard for a toggle coat, but dont want to fork up at least 2 bills to acquire one. All griping aside, looks like you have a few winners in your closet and I respect that.

lisagh said...

I cordially invite you to come visit me in January or February. I promise you, your love for winter will change; December birthday or no.

:)

Great coat!

Conor said...

Great coat G. I've wanted a duffle like that for a long time, though I don't imagine I'd need it as much as you.

Michael said...

I'm also a big fan of winter (and also in the Northeast) so you're not alone.

James said...

Well you out trumped me. I found a pair of black weejuns for $3.99 today, but your coat find makes you the winner and still champ!

C.Sharp said...

Agree that it is a Press label.

Coat looks like of Gloverall.

You got a good deal on the coat.

David said...

I have one of these! It's in charcoal though, by a company called Spiewak I think. I got it a couple of years ago while I was looking for a peacoat but I found the duffle instead. It's the perfect coat for the "go-between" as you say.

I'm with you for bringing on the winter, I love the chance to layer as much as possible. Unfortunately, out here it doesn't come until January.

Anonymous said...

Earlier this year, I purchased a camel colored wool driving coat from Lands' End that I like very much. It's dressy enough to wear with a suit and casual enough to wear with a sweater. It normally costs around $179.00, but I purchased it on sale for a tad under eighty. Lands' End advertised the fact that the wool was from Italy; unfortunately, they didn't inform me that the coat was made in Red China.

As far as winter goes, you can have it. Summer ended less than a month ago and we've already had weather in the thirties. To add insult to injury, we only had a few weeks of authentic summer weather. I'm expecting it to be a brutal winter here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I can't wait for July!

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

I would love to wear a duffle coat like this and play out some serious Dead Poets Society fantasies. However, I have the hardest time finding coats like this and that are affordable. There aren't any designers who cater to the modern day young man - designers are completely out of touch with young men's wants and the reality of their bodies. Personally, I have to shop in the boys' department for certain clothes still, and I'm in college for pete's sake. If people can slim down the cut and make the length shorter, then they'd have a successful product.

Giuseppe said...

On further inspection, I'm convinced the coat is British by way of J. Press. Score!

Lisagh,

I remember well your posts of last Winter. As cold as New England gets, Winnipeg must be truly brutal. You may even actually be justified in owning fur, on the bright side.

Young Fogey said...

G,

Great score!

Anonymous,

Unless it's America, Lands End never tells you where something was made; they only tell you "imported," or possibly "made in USA of imported fabric" or the like. You have to actually buy the thing to get details. You might be able to find out by calling, but I doubt it.

Their ties used to be all American-made; now, too many are Chinese. Ugh. I think the spendy ones are all domestic of imported fabric (America has no silk industry, as far as I can tell).

Curmudgeon said...

Dale P.L. Chadwick:

Maybe today's young men should stop trying to model their bodies after those of gigolos. Then, men's clothing would fit them.

Dale P.L. Chadwick said...

@ Curmudgeon - Or maybe 125lbs. doesn't really fill out a men's coat too well...I certainly don't want to look like I'm walking around in my father's clothes.

Nick said...

I wore a coat just like that from he age of about 15 to 19. Very warm. Not a bad way to spend twenty bucks.

Cyclo2000 said...

Nice coat, it's almost certainly a Gloverall. What's left of the label looks like Gloverall's label.

I cut around in a duffel myself, a Gloverall version of the original Navy Service coat, in traditional camel colour (like the one's David Niven and Gregory Peck have on at the end of The Guns of Navarone).
It's a killer coat but too warm for this time of year in Scotland.

DAM said...

While I too love my Beaufort, the duffle coat I acquired from my grandfather's school days - camel with a tartan lining - has real horn toggles. With the exception of the leather being replaced it's unreal how well it stands the test of time.

Enjoy yours and maybe your boy will one day being wearing it through the snow too...

Pigtown-Design said...

I found a RL duffel coat at the local thrift a couple of years ago. Not really flattering, but super warm. Perfect for the late night dog-walk in winter.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

That is a find. If it is English, Gloverall is the most famous mark. Although there was Grenfell as well.

meredithlovesjonas said...

I agree with Dale...you're going to look very Dead Poets Society in that coat. :)