Monday, 9 April 2018

The Covert Coat: A Classic from Cordings and a V&A exhibit

The Cordings covert coat is part of the heritage of British gentleman’s clothing, so much so that the V&A museum has one in its permanent collection. Its versatility, tailored lines and functional style means that it has become a modern classic. As a lover of menswear classics, I've been using one for a while. I've found it comfortable, stylish and versatile; as wearable with jeans and knitwear as with a suit.

The covert (pronounced 'cover') coat was designed as a riding jacket (hence the long back vent) that could also be worn in town. The ‘dun’ colour and slightly textured look to the cloth was developed so that it didn’t show horse hair or mud and the tightly woven cloth is tear resistant. The stitch marks around the hem and cuffs were originally a way of repairing tears in the coat, and became a design feature.

The velvet top collar was developed as to make the coat look less worn, as they were easily replaceable. Inside is a large ‘poachers pocket’ which can fit partridge, pheasant or newspaper. The coats are made in England from cloth woven in the West of England by Fox Brothers, who were responsible for weaving the original cloth over a century ago. 

Covert coats are available in the traditional fawn, in navy or Donegal tweed or herringbone tweed and priced between £445 and £495. Cordings advise that, 'They are sized to sit over a jacket, so if you are a 42R in a jacket you would buy the corresponding size in a covert, so if you want to wear it as a neater coat over a sweater, you would need to do down a size'.

Although it has its origins in the country, the covert coat can be worn in town. I've found its plain colour just as useful for wearing over tweed, flannel and pinstripe suits as over denims or corduroy - versatile is the word. A museum piece maybe, but a very useful contemporary classic too. See Cordings of Piccadilly.

To see the covert coat at the V&A click here.

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