Thank you for the Spring 13 links. As someone who is new to Cabourn this season (Crazy Mallory / Crazy Cameraman) I guess it is true what some have said - Spring looks like a VERY difficult buy. Nothing grabs me at all.
So I placed an order... last week? or maybe over the weekend for the Debenahm Seaman Coat. If you go back to some of the discussion we had back when the collection was first being discussed back in the Fall, this was the second piece on my list that I mentioned. Well I got it in the mail today. Initially, I'm "so so" on the piece. Out of the box it came with the book. The book is a bit smaller than I expected. It comes in box itself. It's pretty neat with some nice glossy pages, but nearly half of it is blank with pages for notes. I thought it'd be a bit bigger. Still a nice little add-on and not why I ordered the coat anyway. Picking it up if felt a bit lightweight. I don't need my coats to be heavy to like them, but I thought it'd have a bit more weight to it. Looking it the wool and the toggles they were what I expected. They feel like the quality is good, but not NC full retail good. The oilskin patch pockets were pretty nice. That material initially felt a bit thinner and a bit less "waxy" as I'd expected having recently bought nearly the entire Barbour Beacon AW12 line, but after futher inspection they're fine. They already had some wear though, which is fine, but I wasn't expecting that. The buttons were nice though and double sewn on. The lower pockets are nice. I like the big size and the diagonal look. Opening up the coat I was immediately disappointed. The tags sewn onto the coat, the "Last Expedition" tags and so on are great. Really like those. However the cardboard tag that is attached that stores put the price tag on is way off. Doesn't look like a Cabourn authentic tag and shouldn't even be in production much less on any Cabourn garment. A small thing I know, but I save all my tags and if I'm Nigel I wouldn't want that tag on my garments. In fact you could do a nicer tag for probably less, but this more about brand aesthetic and I digress. So next it was time to try it on. Threw it on and immediately I could tell it was boxy. Now I expected that to an extent as I have already PMed another person this based on A) the ptp measurements and B) the fact that it's a duffle coat. However the ptp is a good 1/4 ", thus a good 1/2 " overall, wider than I'd found online. On top of that it's generally pretty boxy. Still, how does it look? Well it doesn't look that bad all things considered. I picked up a few Gloveralls this Summer (more on this later in the post) and being in between sizes I went up to the 42s and they are just huge. So this isn't bad. I also had on a thicker oxford shirt, but not a chunky sweater so tough to say. Either way, it didn't look so bad. EDIT: Now I just threw on a chunkier sweater and it's fine as it fits it. So I'm not sure about fit, I'm sort of half and half. As Benecios noted, the sleeve length is perfect. However the seam under the arm isn't landing where his is, so it could just be a difference between the Debenham and the Bowers, as mine is landing the under part of the rest so you don't see it. One thing I really like is the collar. Big fan of the high back to it. Not a functional collar though, so if you're considering this piece and popping the collar it probably wouldn't work for you. The only other thing I noted about the fit was how it felt in the shoulder. With some of the pieces I've grabbed from British/Japanese designers (read Barbour Beacon here), they're snug at the armhole, specifically just above the pit but below the top of the shoulder. Well this coat oddly enough I sort of felt at the top front of the shoulder, so the part facing forward, not the top of the shoulder, IE the part between the pit and the top fo the shoulder. It doesn't feel bad, but I feel it. So that's the part that despite the boxier fit I'm thinking I might have trouble with in a 48. I'd say it fits really similar to how it fits the model here:
Anway, taking it off again and looking inside, the seamwork is excellent. This is the only part of the garment for me that you can tell makes it not the original. The seamwork and taping is too good.
Overall, and I'm going to EDIT here, I like the coat. I was leaning towards "no" in terms of keeping it when I started this post, but now I'm leaning towards "yes." I don't want to keep it just to have a piece out of the collection, though oddly enough I was thinking of grabbing those overpants that match the smock Evans smock "just to have." Anyway, the coat is growing on me more than when I started this post. I'm definitely glad I grabbed it on sale though. I guess I'm used to a bit more "technical" outerwear, though my Barbour and NC purchase this past year still have some heritage details that still work today, and this is a bit less technical. While I'm fine with that aesthetically, and I actually until recently wanted to keep that look with everything but I'm not getting any younger, I'll probably pick and choose a bit what I wear it with. My main point though is that compared to my Cameramen and Aircraft jackets, it definitely feels less "technical." Again though, it should be noted that is a piece "recreated" if you will and which is based on a garment that was made a century ago while the others while "recreations" in their own rights are based on more recent pieces.
Sorry for the long and nerdy post, just thought I'd share my two cents on this one as I'm sure some havent' seen these garments in person and some might be considering a purchase. I'm a big fan of outerwear and I view Cabourn pieces as special. I don't see myself selling a lot of them ever but rather keeping them as part of my "collection" my like Nigel does with his vintage pieces. I still would LOVE the Evans smock as it's my favorite piece in the collection, but I wouldn't spend that much on a garment.
Depending on which Cameraman, I'm sure it could be done. I would think the SS linen versions would be easier than the Harris Tweed and the Mackintosh would be a pain. In fact overall I would think it would be pretty costly and you'd want to have absolute faith in your tailor. I would advise two things though:
1 Can you size down? Those military latches at the top of the coat give you about an inch either way in the chest area in terms of fit. If you're on the outer "loop" it'll be more fitted, on the inner loop a bit looser by about an inch or so. Not much difference in the chest, but a difference all the same.
2 Consider the sleeves. If you get it taken in at the body, the sleeves which to an extent look a bit "oversized" already, will look even bigger and you'll probably have screwed up the proportions of the coat.
Just thought this might help.
AW13 preview courtesy of Proper Magazine:
I too like the Bench coat as others have noted, however I'd like to see better photos. Looks a bit too... bonded. A bit too slick in terms of the outer texture. Like that it's a new silhouette though.
Not sure about the Cameraman. Is the ventile... flimsy? Is it Mackintosh on top? LOVE the detachable vest though. I assume it comes with each garment. Looks a bit Barbour, but more functional in that you can wear it as a separate.
Really liking the Aircraft Jacket. Again, love the detachable vest. Best part though are those massives pockets. Really cool.
I think SS12 was great. I've only shopped Cabourn for less than 12 months, but from what I've seen SS12 was one of the best collections.
SS13 doesn't grab me as much, but I'm still waiting for the full release. Some pieces in the Pitti video and photos if you really inspect them look nice. A bit too sporty and springy for me is the main gripe I have as I prefer more the military look.
Drew from Nigel Cabourn just tweeted about H&M ripping off their Cameraman:
Quite the replica, though what you actually get for 50 pounds is unknown... 100% cotton, the added benefit of a zip.
This one may be even more Cabourny (http://www.penfield.com/us/kasson-tweed-olive-w12)
Hard to give Cabourn grief for remixing his own designs for each new season when others are ripping off his designs as well...