Summer is long behind us and autumn calls for its rights with more rainy and cold days. One good thing about this season is that we get to wear our cozy coats. And it gets even better if you can choose a made-to-measure one and have fun with all the customizations possible.
In this article we will mostly focus on the classic Chesterfield coat that can be a starting point to create any other style of coat according to your needs. The Chesterfield coat was a formal knee-length overcoat with a velvet collar introduced in the 1840s in England. Over the years, this overcoat evolved to become a classic piece of outer garment for both men and women. It can be simple or double breasted, it can be made of wool, cashmere or camel hair and it can be worn over a classic suit as well as a sports outfit. Thus its popularity.
The characteristics of the Chesterfield coat are closed in simplicity: notched lapels (unless you opt for a double-breasted version), straight pockets with flaps, usually apparent 3 to 4 boutons on the placket, mid-length. In more classic versions the coat will have a velvet fabric on the collar. This overcoat is mostly found in dark grey, navy blue, black or camel colors.
This being said, the made-to-measure gives more possibilities to personalize this coat and add some interesting twist to its classic look. Starting from the fabric, your tailor can propose different collections from 100% wool and woolen blends till 100% cashmere and baby camel hair. While the latter will mostly appear in classic colors, the woolen and cashmere blends can offer the most unexpected color palettes or weaving patterns for your coat. The inside lining can also be personalized and you can go with some funny motifs or fluorescent colors to spice things up. If you want to push further your personal style, opt for contrasting boutons and a contrasting boutonniere on the lapel.
The most important advantage of made-to-measure is the fit of your overcoat. You can decide not only about the sleeves lengths or a coat length but also if you wish to wear it adjusted to your body. Your tailor should discuss with you how you want to wear your Chesterfield coat - whether as an outer garment that you will put on the jacket or as a slimmer coat with no jacket or heavy blazer underneath.
For classic Merino or New Zealand wool the “Overcoats” collection by Loro Piana will be just fine. You will also find a very nice assortment of pure cashmere fabrics in there. If you are looking for some more fancy and dramatic patterns choose from the “Contemporary Overcoats” catalogue by Holland & Sherry. For smaller budgets, the “Lux Overcoat” collection by Carnet might be an interesting option.