Edward Sexton bespoke overcoat

Last summer, Edward Sexton and I were sitting in the gardens of the Four Seasons hotel, Florence. It was a beautiful evening. Warm, with a light breeze, scattered groups sitting at the tables and wandering across the lawn.

The conversation turned from pleasant to animated when we started talking about overcoats. About how they are, in some ways, the ultimate expression of tailoring. The sweep of collar, lapels and skirt given maximum expression. The bad-ass swish and drama.

Edward Sexton bespoke140A6467

We concocted a plan for a dramatic Sexton overcoat. Roped shoulders; stiff collar; turn-back cuffs; and several inches more length than is really healthy.

In many ways, it will be the antithesis of the Stile Latino coat I featured a couple of weeks ago. That had no structure at all; this has everything. That could pretty much be made RTW; this never could. That was versatile, modern and relaxed. This is narrow, traditional and uptight.

It will be be an exquisite piece of bespoke tailoring. But it’s the kind of thing you have made when you already have at least three good overcoats. When you want to push the boundaries.

Edward Sexton bespoke fitting140A6470

Normally Edward would cut an overcoat to around 48 inches for someone of my height. This would be 54. It would be possible to reduce this later: a double-breasted finishes in a straight line so can be cut down relatively easily in length; a single-breasted is curved and therefore harder.

It would be double-breasted, with a flat great-coat lapel so it could be turned up easily. Deep turn-back cuffs to reflect the width of that collar. And in a charcoal wool with a nice hard finish, to keep it sharp. (Harrison’s overcoating bunch 83924 – 21oz, 85% golden bale 15% cashmere). 

paletot tail coat overcoat back

On the back, I was interested in playing with the traditional curved panels used on a tail coat and on traditional overcoats like the paletot (in the original, narrow use of the term). This would both be quite original, and dressier than a standard centre seam.

Normally such a coat would also have a horizontal seam at the waist, before splitting into a centre vent, or horizontal seams on either side of the central panel.

We wanted to do away with those and create a continuous stream of the three sections down the back, accentuating the coat’s length and flair. If that shape and length looked too feminine (always a risk with anything switching from tight into loose and long) we could always add in a horizontal seam later.

Edward Sexton overcoat140A6514

At this fitting, the back and chest immediately looked lovely and clean (we had a good pattern from my DB suit). The only issues were around button placement, and the height and functionality of the collar.

The collar is absolutely key to how an overcoat looks and works. It is the first thing you see when the wearer walks into the room, and if it is popped up, frames the face and becomes even more important.

Unfortunately the collar is often the last thing a tailor works on, wanting the get the fit on the body right first, before the tension of the collar pulls it all together. Only a rough canvas collar here, therefore, but it will be something we work on at the end.

bespoke overcoat gauntlet cuff

Photos: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man

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Wow! Love the sense of the dramatic. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.


Love it. It has an air of the military great coats of the Napoleonic-era about it – very ‘War & Peace’. Although I must admit that I have the doubts about the practicality of such a piece in this day and age. Imagine trying to sit down on a crowded tube in this thing – you’d take up three seats!


Hi Simon,
Eventually, an opportunity for all of us to see the real thing!
Thanks for sharing!


Great coat, definitely ideal to walk and parade in the city. Now you just need a walking stick with a silver knob 🙂 I do not know if this question makes sense but how related is Mr. Sextons style compared to Mr. Morgans as they share a common history. Where do they differ today, you would say?

Adam Jones

This is almost the epitome of Luxury in my eyes. it is not as practical, not as versatile (being so long etc) as many other things you could have made. It is one of those things that you have made just because it is beautiful. Shall I almost say a “treat” A bit like having an unusual pair of shoes made (colour, material etc) You cannot wear them an awful lot, the justifiable cost per wear is not there. but its something beautiful you can treasure.


I’m sure it will turn out to be a beautiful garment. However, are you not concerned that you’ll look like you’ve stepped off the set of ‘The Matrix’?


The silhouette from the back and the collar are truly dramatic .
Given the warmer winter it’s a shame only our Russian friends would find much use from such a coat .
Most RTW overcoats are too boxy and make one look like an undertaker .
Therefore on a more general question …. When buying RTW over/top coats is it a general rule to get it tucked in at the waist and the sleeves altered?

Adam Jones

Is it me or is there actually a RTW shortage of good quality, standard double breasted overcoats in stores. Single breasted are no problem. If you want some “design” or colour to it again no problem. I almost found something suitable once or twice but the cloths have been so thin. do i expect too much for £4-700. I have refused to spend any more for RTW and am just putting up with a fairly cheapish one I have had for a few years. If I am spending more than £700 then I might as well save a few more pounds and go lower end bespoke such as GBrowne for next winter.

How hard can it be to find a decent basic?


Adam Jones – Man 1924 have had good doublebreasted overcoats in previous seasons. I picked one up in navy moleskin from Carson Clothiers in the January sales that’s quickly become a winter staple of mine.


It’s a great question Adam and one that I’ve not found an answer after a lot of searching. The Suitsupply Merano coat does look quite promising but I’ve left it a little late to get anything in my size. I would be interested to know if anyone has one and how they like it or if anyone would recommend any other brand.

Adam Jones

This was an option however it is check and i was looking for plain navy. Very nice coat though They didnt have it in Vigo street last time I was in there for me to try on. I may look at a made to order option next year if i do not go bespoke depending on the cloths available… and how 2016 is fiscally!!!


Adam – have you tried Ede & Ravenscroft for plain DB RTW overcoats? I think the Chancery Lane store had some – maybe even in the sale.

Matt S

What a regal silhouette! Did you not want to show us photos of the front until it’s completed?

Matt S

I can’t wait!



Great coat. Would you mind letting us know what kind of buttons (colour, material, finish, size) you have in mind for it this stage?


That’s a nice looking coat.
What is that your third or fourth coat? I’m surprised that you still have no less formal/raglan sleeved coat.
Is that your choice or the choice of the tailors?


Hi Simon,
Without wishing to seem too vulgar, would you mind telling us how much this coat cost? Thanks


How does this piece fit into your overall style? Compared to your Neopolitain jackets etc you appear to be much more structured than most of you more recent additions. Have I just misunderstood your ‘look’?


Great looking coat! Very interested in seeing the final product. I really liked the Edward Sexton DB you wore for your TV interview…to me, it is one of your most flattering suits. Ironically, I have always thought his cut to be overly dramatic and a bit stiff, but I now view it as very elegant and confident. Perhaps my eye is too skewed towards soft silhouettes and rounder shapes. It reinvigorates an appreciation for classic English tailoring.


Interesting commission perhaps prescient as the ‘short and too small’ era may be coming to an end soon (Milan shows last few years). A double vent at the back would be interesting – I wonder if the question of ‘feminity’ re. design would be decided by ending the split higher in the garment rather than lower. A thought re. the collar – would you consider adding a removable short fur/wool over-collar for really cold weather? Perhaps not your thing but thought it worthy of mention.

Reuven Lax

I’ve been waiting for you to post this! Looks great, though the long coat emphasizes your height and makes you look a bit of a giant. Camera angle may be partially to blame here. I believe £5600 is also Sexton’s price for a bespoke suit, correct?



Is it necessary to ‘rotate’ overcoats as one would with suits? I only have one at the moment and am wondering if wearing it often is a bad idea.

Thank you


Hi Simon,

Given that overcoats are worn over other clothes and therefore do not want to be too fitted, is there a big difference between those produced by GB and those from Savile Row? I think that your grey GB overcoat is one of your best and at a fantastic price. Would I be correct in saying that machine padding compared to hand padding makes less difference in an overcoat?


This very much reminds me old fashion plates of paletot/racing coats, especially with the side panel cut that follows the back.



How would you compare Edward Sexton to the tailors in your tailors you have known blog? Would you recommend his made to measure service for someone who would struggle to afford full bespoke?


Thank you. Look forward to seeing those details soon!

Reuven Lax

Generally Simon seems to avoid speculative comments on services he hasn’t used. I have used Edward Sexton’s made to measure, and I’d be happy to give you my impressions.


Hi Simon, can I ask what you wore underneath the coat for the initial measurement and then fitting? I find that I often forget what I will be wearing under the coat when I am facing the Winter elements rather than in the warmth of a central heated Savile Row tailor’s fitting room!

Tri Tran

May I ask when this coat will be finished? And how much do you pay for this coat?


Looking at this post, I was drawn to your trouser cuffs, which I believe are from CdL. Do you now have cuffs on the vast majority of suit and odd trousers? Personally, they are quite functional, especially with lighter weight trousers, and a thick cuff mitigates any fuddy duddy connotations.


Hi Simon,

Thank you for sharing your experience and particularly the rationale behind your stylistic choices. They do serve as great guidance for my own comissions.

I’m thinking of getting a bespoke topcoat in the near future from Huntsman after my first navy suit is completed by them next year. Given their structured house style, it would be a garment that would be limited to being worn over rigid shoulder paddings. Since their prices are rather expensive, I’d like to order it in a color and fabric that could accomodate a range from navy suit to black tie, if possible.

I’m guessing characoal would be the default color of choice, but the material eludes me: Cashmere Blend, Pure Cashmere, Camel, etc. ? Thanks for your time.


Thanks for the reply. By the way, you mention that you wear your Cifonelli navy cashmere coat almost daily in the colder months. How long do you reckon that the garment will be able to withstand wear and tear given that it’s a delicate fabric?

I think you also wrote that your Cifonelli cashmere coat is versatile since its shoulders are cut to a compromise silhouette to accomodate both knitwear and a strong English style. Is it recommended to ask for a similar, flexible cut from the traditionally military inspired houses like C&M, Sexton, and Huntsman, or should I just stick to their strengths and ask that their topcoat be cut with the strict premise that a jacket will always be worn underneath?

Reuven Lax

In my experience, a good tailor will also try to set the balancing point of the shoulders depending on what you will be wearing underneath. If you take an overcoat cut bespoke for a jacket underneath and wear it with knitwear it might not look too bad (especially if the shoulders are structured enough so they don’t collapse), however will feel a bit heavier on the shoulders.

Reuven Lax