Originally Posted by chris lewis
I have a 39-40" measured chest and a 32" waist. The problem I have with most coats that fit me in the chest is that I'm swimming in it around the waist. Would sizing down to a 36 with a Sterlingwear have a slim fit or should I look into a military issue coat?
Proportionately you and I are about the same through the chest and the waist. I am a 42" chest with a 34" waist. I, too, find most outerwear to be too large through the waist. Civilian peacoats are no exception; they are constructed to fit a wide range of the body types found in this country. Issue peacoats also must take this into construction, but the body type they are designed for isn't quite as large as the normal civilian population.
You might try the Sterlingwear in a 36 and see how it fits. If not a good fit, you could always return it. Be careful, though, about the sleeve length, as well as the body length, when sizing down. Those measurements will be sized down as well. If you have long arms and a long torso, might be better to go with a long. Or you might try a size 38 in the vintage issue peacoat. They are constructed a bit slimmer for the more athletic build of the military physique. Plus the outer wool is of a much nicer grade.
What I would suggest is to find a retail store that carries Sterlingwear and try some on to see how they fit you. There should be some Army/Navy surplus stores in most areas. While these stores mostly don't carry a lot in the way of actual surplus stuff anymore, they do carry some military inspired items. Back in about 2003 when I first started researching vintage peacoats, I found a large selection of civilian Sterlingwear peacoats at one of our local Army/Navy stores. You might be able to do the same and take a lot out of the guesswork.