• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Taking my Chesterfield coat to the tailor

larry bird

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Good morning gents,

I'm moving from Arizona to England on Monday and need to sort out a few things before I catch my flight.

I've just purchased a Chesterfield coat from Banana Republic. Though it's far from haut couture, I've only just graduated university and wasn't keen on spending more than $500 on a topcoat. I reckon a few of the Americans may already be familiar with this coat as Chesterfields seem to be much rarer here, with few retailers selling coats of this style.

If anyone should fancy a look:
http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse...0404&cid=43050



Question:
Is it acceptable for the buttons of a topcoat to be purely ornamental? Or, is it desirable for them to be functional?

The 'railroad' stitching at the cuffs and bottom trim, must it be four lines or would one sometimes find three? I ask as I believe the coat (smaller size) which I returned had four, whereas the one I presently own has three.

With respect to cuffs length, obviously one wants the coat to conceal the articles beneath, though there is naturally a point at which the coat is simply too long. The cuffs, with arms at sides, currently rest just above the peak at which the thumb and index finger join. Is this alright or should I have it shortened just a bit, to fall between the wrist and the aforementioned 'peak'?

In the American ads I've seen for Chesterfields, the man is generally in a suit (though no jacket seems to be present underneath the topcoat), but is sometimes in relatively casual dress. I reckon this point will differ depending on ones country of origin: can this coat be worn without a suit jacket and can it be worn on a relatively daily basis if one is in a suit, heading off to the office? The point of view from my American friends seems to be that it can be worn regularly, either dressed up or dressed down (just a touch). Whereas my English friends insist this coat is strictly meant for formal occasions or a night out, but not to be worn during the day.

I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions. This is the most expensive coat I've ever owned and wish not to regret later any mistakes I make with it now.
 

larry bird

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
I assume I should seek advice else where then.

I'm an economist, and by the content of my queries, far from an expert in the world of fashion. I'm trying to avoid appearing daft at the new office.
 

Ambulance Chaser

Stylish Dinosaur
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
10,503
Reaction score
1,819
By functional buttons I assume you mean the sleeve buttons. I don't see any reason for these buttons to be functional, as the limited purpose of having functional buttons on sportscoats and suit jackets (to roll up one's sleeves when washing one's hands) isn't applicable to this situation.

A true Chesterfield does not have railroad stitching. Railroad stitching is found on the Chesterfield's more casual cousin, the covert coat.

It sounds like the sleeves are too long. I like them to be just long enough to cover a jacket and long-sleeved shirt. Not that big of a deal if it doesn't bother you.

The Chesterfield is the most formal of overcoats and the most acceptable to wear over a tuxedo. That said, it is perfectly fine to wear during the day over a suit.
 

whiteslashasian

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
11,917
Reaction score
1,973
Originally Posted by larry bird
Good morning gents, I'm moving from Arizona to England on Monday and need to sort out a few things before I catch my flight. I've just purchased a Chesterfield coat from Banana Republic. Though it's far from haut couture, I've only just graduated university and wasn't keen on spending more than $500 on a topcoat. I reckon a few of the Americans may already be familiar with this coat as Chesterfields seem to be much rarer here, with few retailers selling coats of this style. If anyone should fancy a look: http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse...0404&cid=43050 Question: Is it acceptable for the buttons of a topcoat to be purely ornamental? Or, is it desirable for them to be functional? The 'railroad' stitching at the cuffs and bottom trim, must it be four lines or would one sometimes find three? I ask as I believe the coat (smaller size) which I returned had four, whereas the one I presently own has three. With respect to cuffs length, obviously one wants the coat to conceal the articles beneath, though there is naturally a point at which the coat is simply too long. The cuffs, with arms at sides, currently rest just above the peak at which the thumb and index finger join. Is this alright or should I have it shortened just a bit, to fall between the wrist and the aforementioned 'peak'? In the American ads I've seen for Chesterfields, the man is generally in a suit (though no jacket seems to be present underneath the topcoat), but is sometimes in relatively casual dress. I reckon this point will differ depending on ones country of origin: can this coat be worn without a suit jacket and can it be worn on a relatively daily basis if one is in a suit, heading off to the office? The point of view from my American friends seems to be that it can be worn regularly, either dressed up or dressed down (just a touch). Whereas my English friends insist this coat is strictly meant for formal occasions or a night out, but not to be worn during the day. I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions. This is the most expensive coat I've ever owned and wish not to regret later any mistakes I make with it now.
Question 1 - Buttons are generally meant to function as they were intended at least on the front of the coat. Often, and I'm guessing this is the case, the cuff buttons are purely ornamental but on higher end suits these could be functioning buttons which could be undone to roll up the sleeves. Often times this is one of the tell tale marks of a well made piece. I don't think there's really any need for these to function on an overcoat. Question 2 - I don't think the stitching shouldn't really matter, more of a personal preference and opinion. Question 3 - I believe the described position at which your coat sleeve falls to is just a bit too long. I prefer it to fall about 1cm or perhaps 1.5cm above the point at which the thumb is attached to the hand. Question 4 - I've seen these chesterfield coats worn both during the day and at night for more formal events. I think they look fantastic at night and at very formal settings however a little out of place during the day or to and from the office. I would definitely not wear the coat with Chinos or Jeans. Hope that helps a bit, but those are my opinions and are in no way accepted truths or facts. *EDIT* Dammit Chaser...beat me to it!
 

larry bird

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the response.

It seems that there are varying definitions of the covert and the Chesterfield, about which no one appears particularly certain. I know that the covert was historically meant to be for the country, particularly for game hunting and such a stitch would make sense in that circumstance.

It seems I've got something between the two.

I appreciate your help.
 

larry bird

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian

Hope that helps a bit, but those are my opinions and are in no way accepted truths or facts.

*EDIT*

Dammit Chaser...beat me to it!


Indeed, it does help quite a bit.

I lived in France for a while and had no problem 'blending in' there. Though, England's entirely different, with much more structure and rules. Dressing 'smart' seems just a bit more difficult in the UK.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 32 3.8%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 144 17.1%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 278 33.1%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 132 15.7%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 71 8.4%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 49 5.8%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 25 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 8 1.0%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 9 1.1%
  • 100+

    Votes: 54 6.4%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
429,233
Messages
9,230,806
Members
193,762
Latest member
bogyo
Top