How we found our forever coat
The perfect coat is that elusive cornerstone of a great winter wardrobe.
It’s a product that we know is vital to get right. For most, choosing a good coat warrants a little more consideration than other clothing. Your coat is likely to be your most expensive wardrobe resident, so you’ll want it to a) keep you warm and b) look really good doing it.
A high-quality, classic coat can last for years and years. With some TLC, it could even last for life. Once you find your forever coat, you’ll be glad to care for it, get it repaired and welcome it back every autumn like an old friend.
But what makes a forever coat? How do you know you’ve found The One?
A Buy Me Once coat
Finding a buy for life coat for our customers has been a goal of ours for some time now. For those who shop with longevity in mind, a coat is one of those investment pieces you especially want to go the distance.
First, we identified the pitfalls. Coats can be retired for many reasons: the lining could get tattered, or the fabric could go bobbly. The design itself might become dated too. Furthermore, a good coat should be warm and versatile enough to go with any outfit, or it won’t get worn.
We wanted to find a coat that would hold up to years - even decades - of heavy use and changing fashions. We needed a maker with an intimate knowledge of high-quality fabrics, coat construction and impeccable style. And we knew just the person.
To create our forever coat, we couldn’t think of anyone better than Swedish designer Cecilia Hammarborg. Her name has become synonymous with beautifully timeless tailored outerwear, crafted from high-quality Italian recycled wools.
Cecilia’s approach to making her coats is all about creative design, quality and sustainability, which she believes are all interconnected. In true Scandinavian style, she utilises clean lines and neat tailoring, but with a nod towards English heritage too. All her garments are handmade in London, made with an attention to detail that shines in the finished product.
What we love most about Cecilia Hammarborg is her slow fashion mindset. Her ultimate goal is to make garments that remain beautiful and functional season after season: true timeless wardrobe staples.
The Hackney Coat
As soon as we saw the Hackney, we knew it was everything we were looking for in a Forever Coat. Exquisitely tailored in a straight-cut double-breasted shape, it’s sharp but not stuffy. Its cool elegance translates across casual wear, work and special occasions. It’s exactly the kind of coat that manages to actually get you excited for cold weather.
Wool coats are our top choice for warmth and durability, and for Cecilia Hammarborg, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of this choice. For the Hackney coat, she chose a wool from an Italian mill - Intespra - whose innovations have created an excellent quality wool made from at least 65% recycled material. Considering energy, water and CO2 emissions, this recycled wool is the low-impact choice - and just as luxurious and warm as virgin material.
From the collar and lapels down to the hem, Cecilia Hammarborg has employed traditional tailoring methods to ensure a smooth, crisply-constructed garment. Each element of the Hackney coat has been made to hang beautifully on the body, without pulling or wrinkling. Perfectly executed design details - such as vertical seams, bust-line darts and a back vent - set its construction apart from lesser garments.
We chose two colours for the Hackney Coat: classic black and elegant camel.
Combining timeless style, quality materials and impeccable construction, the Hackney Coat is a garment we think you’ll be able to love for life. But we’re aware all clothes are subject to wear and tear. That’s why, to ensure true longevity, Buy Me Once customers can have their Hackney Coat repaired for free - for life.
Tips for coat shopping
Whilst we were trying to find the perfect coat, we gained some insights into what’s important when it comes to coat shopping. It can be hard to know what will stand the test of time, and keep you warm too. Here are our top tips.
1. Choose natural materials. Unless you’re vegan, we would always recommend animal-based products over synthetic. Wool is much warmer than an acrylic that looks like wool, or even a wool blend - and it’s the same for down stuffing vs polyester in a puffer coat. As well as being super warm, natural materials tend to be longer-lasting. But bear in mind they may require special care, such as dry cleaning.
2. Leave room for layers. When it comes to coats, the perfect fit shouldn’t be tight. If you’re trying something on indoors, don’t forget to dress up as if you’re about to leave the house in the cold. Make sure your favourite warm jumper can be worn underneath without any constriction around the shoulders and arms.
3. Pay attention to shapes. Different coats suit different people, and what suits you will become apparent through trial and error. Once you have an idea of what flatters you - calf-length, knee-length, tie-waist, loose et cetera - look for styles in line with that.
4. Never forgo pockets. There appears to be a worrying rise in coats and jackets that have no pockets, or even fake pockets. Never compromise - it will be a source of endless frustration. And for winter coats, pockets are crucial for keeping chilly hands snug.
5. Don’t buy into trends. Coats are expensive, and you don’t want yours to look dated after just a year or two. Resist the urge to buy a coat that you know reflects the latest fleeting trend. Something a little unusual? Perfect - it could be extra timeless! But if there’s something about it that’s all the rage NOW, you might want to reconsider.