Friday, 10 November 2017

Artefact London: Bespoke Overcoat Review

Earlier this year Artefact London, founded by young entrepreneur, Tatyana Kozhevnikova, made me a summer suit. So successful was it that I was delighted when she offered to make me a winter coat. My wardrobe is sparse in that department. I have an off-the-peg high street coat, but sadly, while made of a gorgeous English cloth, it follows the high street trend for being too short. The great advantage of having a coat made to your specifications is that you can choose details like length, cloth, lapel and collar shape, button configuration etc to ensure that you get what you need. And I certainly got that.

Many of us would think of visiting a tailor to have a suit or jacket made, but it's less common to have an overcoat tailored. Yet the advantages are obvious. Quite apart from the comment I've already made about high street coats being generally too short (so your thighs get cold and wet), sizing is often hit and miss. This problem is overcome with bespoke/made to measure and you can also select cloth, fit and shape as well as exciting details like lining and buttons to finish off your creation.

I was surprised how far the customisation process could go, with almost any detail being at the whim of the customer, starting with the basic shape of the coat (see here for the main shapes on which your coat is built - I chose the ulster). As before, Tatyana was an excellent guide to style, shape, detail and cloth selection. I went for an English herringbone wool from Bateman Ogden with a wonderful red lining with foxes, labradors and deer (all animals that rule my life) and beautiful horn buttons. Tatyana had my measurements from the suit, but took a few additional ones for the coat length and some four weeks later my coat arrived.

As with the suit, it turned out to be perfect the first time and I didn't need any further alterations to make it fit. The coat is made to be worn over a jumper or light jacket, rather than over a suit, so I asked for (and got) an elegant tailored shape. I wanted the length to be just under the knee (why have a coat that doesn't cover the upper leg?) and length and choice of cloth, as well as fit and style, have turned out to be perfect.

Developments in tailoring are fascinating, Artefact uses electronic pattern construction and laser cuts the pattern straight onto the cloth, keeping your details on file electronically for ease of future orders. When asked if this is considered to be bespoke or made to measure in the strict sense of it, Tatyana gave me her thoughts:
"Call it what you want - it is the result that counts. I make a pattern that is 100% unique to each person electronically, using an existing block, but the block is manipulated from every angle to such an extent that very few made to measure tailors do. Technology, hey! The result is a garment that is uniquely you and fits beautifully".
The result is a coat that fits, beautifully, is stylish and practical and I love. It's had some positive comment too. I highly recommend having a coat made and if you go to Artefact London you will be assured of a warm welcome and outstanding service. See Artefact London.

This coat was a collaboration with Artefact London. All views are mine alone. 


Snapper said...

Grey Fox,

Fabulous looking coat - my (envious) congratulations.

Good to know from their website how individual details can be selected and incorporated. I'm lazy enough to want to stick my hands in my pockets so I would have had to chose slanted pockets without flaps and no turn backed sleeve cuffs. But of course that is the beauty of bespoke - getting what you want.

The website price is very reasonable, and I am tempted.

Wear it with pride and enjoy it very much.


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

A wonderful looking garment! Wear and enjoy it.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

Phil said...

I'd love a coat that length but have always been too conscious of my height (I'm 5ft 9in) so have always bought mid-thigh length coats. Perhaps a slimmer fit would help.

You suit below the knee though. May I ask your height?

Peter K said...

That is a beautiful overcoat David. I also find the shortness of ready made coats frustrating.

Can I ask what that beautiful tie is that you're wearing?

Chris Parkhurst said...

A terrific looking coat, David. I really like the material and the upturned cuff feature that reminds me of Edwardian army tailoring. The only aspect I find slightly questionable are the patch pockets, something that reminds, unhappily, of school blazers. Perfect fir and length. I would like one like it and wonder what the cost is.

grey fox said...

Thanks all for the comments and thoughts.

I'm 6ft Phil, so can probably carry off a slightly longer fit, but it's worth trying whatever size you are.

Chris, the costs vary depending on cut and cloth but should be well under £1000.


MikeW said...

I know it's up to the wearer, but in the City in terms of work when would it be ok to not have a jacket but to have the overcoat? The lines and fit look great, and I loathe having to have a suit jacket under an overcoat, but I'm not seeing how a sweater would work in EC2 with the overcoat?

grey fox said...

I agree Mike W - you'd have to accept wearing a jacket under the coat, which could be cut to fit it and yet still look elegant.


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