Breaking down the details of a classic coat. Hit the jump for the break-down.
(Spotted at Park & Bond)
In 1880, Thomas Burberry developed gabardine, one of the first waterproof fabrics. Thirty-four years later, he used that fabric to create one of menswear’s iconic garments: the trench coat. The model was designed for British officers (for whom Burberry was named official outfitter in 1901), and earned its reputation for ruggedness—not to mention its name—in the trenches of World War I. Here, our style director breaks down the details that make the Burberry trench an essential part of a man’s wardrobe.
1. Throat latch. The only piece of exposed metal you’ll see on this trench is the heavy-duty hook-and-eye closure at the throat. In extreme weather, it’s meant to be secured and then covered by an additional flap of gabardine cloth that—on sunny days—is kept attached to the back of the collar.
2. Storm flap. During downpours, the flap can be lifted and the coat buttoned up under it, leaving no place for water to leak in. As an added bonus, this provides extra padding against rifle kickback. (Admittedly more relevant during WWI than today, but still, pretty cool to know.)
3. Check lining. The lining is Burberry Nova check, updated with a slight rose tint.
4. Epaulettes. Originally designed to hold in place gold and silver brocade braids that signified military rank, nowadays they provide civilians a handy place to stash their hat when coming in from the rain.
5. Fabric. Thomas Burberry’s gabardine fabric was cutting edge textile technology in 1880. As opposed to a rubberized fabric where the woven cloth is treated for water repellency, the individual cotton yarns that make up gabardine were first weatherproofed and then woven into cloth, making the fabric breathable while still keeping the water out.
6. Cuff straps. Burberry uses leather on the belting of its buckles. Brass would tarnish, but leather just gets better with age. And don’t forget, these straps are there to be adjusted: tighten them up to keep out the wind and rain, or loosen them up to let in some air.