This winter’s best in show
August 26, 2022
If the contents of your wardrobe was to get together as a festival lineup, then your Overcoat would be the headliner. It’s the showstopper, up on the pyramid stage, the thing we all came to see. The heaviest, most substantial bit of kit you own.
“But what sort of music would an overcoat play?” you might ask. Well, tune in:
It’s your Overcoat that’s going to get all the compliments. And unlike shirts, or trousers, or jumpers, you only need one, provided it’s a really, really good one. Now, what makes a good overcoat is a matter of opinion… So, as usual, we asked you for yours. Here’s what you were after:
- A solid tailored fit. Not tight like a straight jacket.
- Quality fabric. None of that dreaded pilling.
- Buttons that can be relied upon not to go walkies.
- Pockets that don’t give way dumping all your loose change into the lining.
Cut to the chase
An overcoat is essentially just a few yards of wool and some buttons, so what it really comes down to is the fit. That’s what’s going to make the difference between success and failure, and believe us, it teeters on a knife edge. Too tight and you’ll find you can barely move your arms. Too loose and you’ll run the risk of looking like David Byrne belting out Once in a Lifetime; which, to be fair, is a great look for him, but probably not for you.
We kept things simple and made our overcoat so that it can comfortably be worn over a suit, but still has a tailored fit around the waist. We spent time thinking about where this beauty ends, and it finishes just above the knee, meaning you’re not tripping over yourself. Which we felt was a bonus.
Like we said, an Overcoat: just a bit of cloth and some buttons, so better make sure the cloth is superb. That’s why we took our top-notch South African wool to the magicians at Ballis, in Italy, who could probably spin gold if you asked them to. It can get chilly in the Italian winter, so the locals know the secret of keeping warm. You guessed it, it’s wrapping yourself up in a 520 g/m2. Try saying that three times in a row.
All killer, no piller
Nothing ruins a good coat like a case of the bobbles. All those fibres rolling up into little balls, apparently of their own accord. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. And it’s more or less unavoidable with some fabrics, but not with ours.
We put this through a pilling test in the lab - yes, that is a real thing - and guess what it scored out of a possible five points? That’s right: the full five, cinq points as our French colleagues would say, **a perfect score. Those Italian fabric maestros have pretty much banished the bobble, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that your overcoat will stay looking as smooth as the day you bought it. One less thing to worry about, eh?
The Collar Call
We like to think that by using our handy questionnaires we manage to nail every item for all of you, all of the time. Of course, in reality, even we can’t keep everyone happy no matter how hard we try. So to get one step closer to making an overcoat that meets everyone’s highest hopes, we gave you an option when it comes to the collar.
The classic “notch lapel” look is still going strong with its 10cm lapel. This one’s perfect for that slightly more dressy overcoat feel: an elegant shape, plus three Corozo buttons for the navy, charcoal and herringbone coats, or bio-based buttons for the camel option. This one’s also got four buttons along the sleeve.
The newer collar on the block in the “shirt collar” which opens on the chest and is a little more rugged in its looks. You can button this baby right up to the top thanks to its five Corozo or bio-based buttons. The collar has a light fusingwhich means you can wear it turned up, and there are no buttons on these cuffs - a style that chimes nicely with the shirt collar’s more workwear look.
Push the button
So that’s the cloth covered, what about the buttons? Buttons probably aren’t something you think about much, but chances are, if you look down at what you’re wearing, there they are, just quietly doing their job, asking nothing in return. The thing is, you shouldn’t have to think much about buttons: do them up and away you go.
The only time that might change is if one comes loose, which in the grand scheme of things might not be a tragedy, but in the arena of minor annoyances, it ranks fairly high. So we’ve taken measures to ensure that a button won’t just ping off when you’re least expecting it. A button that stays put isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea – we’re not reinventing the wheel here. But YouTubing ‘how to sew on a button’ is a faff none of us need. We’ll save you the bother.
In the pocket, outta sight
Like buttons, pockets have quite a simple job. Put something in a pocket and it should stay there – that’s really the least one can expect. But what starts off as a tiny split can quickly become a hole, and before you know it the lining of your coat is spending all your loose change for you. And we all know that’s saved for Tangfastics. You can’t be having that, so we’ve made our overcoat pockets out of a 180g/m2 cotton twill, that won’t be like Swiss cheese after a few wears.
Portugal: a warm country...
...that knows a thing or two about cold-weather clobber!
The Portuguese enjoy a pretty balmy climate most of the year. That’s why so many of us flock to the Algarve each summer, rather than putting up with clouds and drizzle at home. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that Portuguese manufacturers would only specialise in summery bits and bobs: shorts, t-shirts, that sort of thing. Well, while they’re a dab hand at those, they’re also pretty handy when it comes to cold-weather gear. A talented bunch.
We’ve worked with Carjobel in Portugal who put this nifty number together for us. They are a pretty compact operation – just 38 employees, in total. That’s allowed us the intimacy to develop exactly what you were after – a classic overcoat that won’t let you down.
Weapon of choice
If all that hasn’t sold it to you already, the overcoat is also available in four rather tasty colours:
Navy – As sophisticated as it gets. You’ll look the business.
Charcoal – A look we like to call ‘European football manager chic.’
Grey herringbone – Charcoal too serious for you? Welcome to the dreamy middle-ground of grey!
Camel - Think classic Lock Stock overcoat, but less in the way of dust ups and hi-jinx. We hope.
Our reliable top layer, the Overcoat comes in 4 colours and 2 collar styles, available for preorder from Tuesday, August 30th, priced at 279€ with preorders kicking off at 10am CET.
If it doesn't work out fear not, returns and exchanges are easy and the cost of the return is on us.
Need to know anything else? Drop it in the comments below or check our international Instagram page for the answer. Possibly.
The Asphalte Team