Duffle Days

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I love my Duffle coat. It strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal. I can wear it over a blazer, tweed sport coat, or simply a Shetland sweater and they will all look great. What I don’t love about my duffle is that it is not all that warm. I was reminded of this as I just experienced a few days with temperatures in the single digits. It might be time for a new Duffle.
Duffle My current coat is from Lands’ End. I purchased for somewhere around $100 on sale so I was not expecting too much. It is essentially a wool blanket. It is unlined which makes putting it on over a sport coat a bit of a challenge. However, I believe that the iconic Gloverall Duffle is constructed the same way. Overall the jacket has performed and held up much better than I had anticipated.

I have not made any decisions on which duffle will be my next, but I do have a few contenders. When it comes to price nothing seems to beat L.L. Bean’s Duffle (which they spell Duffel)which is currently on sale for $219, but the reviews are not encouraging. I tried on Brooks Brothers version and there was lots to like. It felt warm and had lined sleeves. It also has a zipper closure that I am on the fence about. While it will definitely help to keep you warmer it made the toggle closure obsolete. O’Connell’s has several Gloverall models to choose from including the classic and an updated model.

Luckily for me I am in no rush to get a replacement. The nice part about that is off-season sales. The other nice part is I get to consider what attributes are truly important to me. I think that this highlights one of the core challenges to those that like traditional clothing which is how to balance tradition with contemporary comfort. Let’s call it the battle of function, form, and the Trad.

1. Brooks Brothers Duffle Coat $698 (Currently on sale for $523.50)
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2. O’Connell’s Clothing – Gloverall Original Duffle Coat $650
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3. O’Connell’s Clothing – Gloverall Mid-length Duffle Coat – Navy with Blackwatch interior $650
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4. L.L. Bean – Sterlingwear of Boston Authentic Wool Duffel Coat $299 (Currently on sale of $219)
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oxford cloth button down
is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

20 Comments on "Duffle Days"

  1. Fred Johnson says:

    Nothing beats a duffle! Of the choices you showed all would be unacceptable to me. I have two vintage Polo ruffles, both long, full, unlined, with hemp loops and wood toggles. The real authentic feature is the snap closers to snug up the hood rather than some sort of tie thing. For additional warmth I can loop the wood toggles twice through the loops to snug up the closure. I would not part with either coat for anything less, both were thrifted in new condition for about $12 each.

  2. HerrDavid says:

    There’s also J Press’s branded Gloverall, which is on sale now:
    http://www.jpressonline.com/original-duffle-navy/

    There’s also the “Original Montgomery,” which I believe the venerable St. Columbia wore at one point. My partner has worn the ladies version for the last two seasons and it has held up very well for her.
    https://www.amazon.com/Original-Montgomery-Mens-Duffle-Charcoal/dp/B0055BZ08Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482104544&sr=8-1&keywords=montgomery+duffle
    http://www.originalmontgomery.com/mens-duffle-coats

  3. Ezra Cornell says:

    Have to put in a plug for the BBros. version. I got the ladies’ one for my wife precisely because it zips closed, and she thinks it much superior for warmth. Yes, tradition is nice, but we don’t warm our house with fire so I figure compromising on the zipper for added warmth is, after all, a major reason for wearing a coat after all. Also, it’s very well made and the fabric is really nice. Just a thought. I’m eager to see what you settle on.

  4. Bluchermoc says:

    Go with a Gloverall. Many can be found on eBay for a decent price. I got mine there, also have bought one from a store. Always very warm.

  5. Bill Montag says:

    http://www.originalmontgomery.com/mens-duffle-coat-classic-wooden-toggles-navy-blue

    This is the coat I own. It looks amazing and is very warm. I ordered it straight from Montgomery in England. I called them a few times in reference to sizing and they were very accommodating. I strongly recommend this coat.

  6. brian says:

    I’m the opposite, I wish my duffel coat was lighter. Mine is a Gap make (not exactly a trad brand but it is actually thoroughly well made with a quilted interior lining), I found at a thrift store in my size and sewed on a new set of nicer toggles. I love the coat but I would be sweating bullets if I put it on over a tweed jacket. I think you are missing the golden opportunity you have for some tradly-layering. I’m sure if you wore a tweed jacket over shetland with the duffel on top there’s probably no temps or conditions that could touch you.

  7. Hollywood Argyle says:

    Food for thought on overcoats from Ivy Style:

    http://www.ivy-style.com/the-aristocrat-of-outerwear-boyer-on-the-polo-coat.html

    http://www.ivy-style.com/writers-on-the-storm-the-ivy-style-staffs-favorite-overcoats.html

    Giuseppe, at the now-defunct An Affordable Wardrobe, also wrote about overcoats in general, and duffle coats in particular: http://anaffordablewardrobe.blogspot.com/

    Personally, I’m not a duffle coat fan, but I see their appeal, and clearly, it’s the right choice for you. However, if you need something warmer, you might want to consider getting another overcoat that is thicker and longer.

    In my closet, I have a (thinnish) topcoat, which sees use a few times a year, and a thick, double-breasted overcoat, that I keep in anticipation of the possibility that someday, I might need it again (it doesn’t get cold enough in my temperate location to be able to wear it, but it cost too much new, and would cost way too much to replace, for me to part with it).

  8. oxford cloth button down says:

    Thanks for all of the great comments and ideas!

  9. Gamma68 says:

    I bought a new Gloverall duffle on Gilt.com late last winter for (if memory serves) around $120. I’ve been wearing it this winter, with absolutely brutal wind chills in the single digits, over a sweater and OCBD, and have felt sufficiently warm. And that’s with an awful cold turned sinus infection.

    If you’re not in a hurry to replace your duffle, you may want to keep your eyes on Gilt.com for a new Gloverall. You may find a deal there sometime this winter.

  10. HerrDavid says:

    Following up on what Gamma said re:warmth: I walk 1.5 miles everyday to the WI campus where I teach and my Gloverall over a sport coat and sweater has kept me alive just fine on winter days.

  11. Don says:

    I had the L.L Bean coat, and it was quite warm. This version has plastic toggles and is made in a third-world country, so if you are a traditionalist it might not appeal to you.

    I had too many coats and jackets in my closet, so I got rid of this one in favor of my pea coat, made in the US, by Sterlingwear. This coat comes in exact sizes and lengths, which I appreciate.

    • Don says:

      I should clarify that the coat I bought a few years ago was made in a third-world country. Looking over the captions again on the photos, I see the title for the Bean coat hints that it is made in the U.S.

  12. Patrick says:

    Here, too are a couple of trad coats.

    This style in tan, forest green, maroon or navy were popular around 1960. Their were similar ones in
    melton wool as well.

  13. Steve says:

    I have the Gloverall in navy; nice coat, but it has zero inside packets (not even a wallet holding pocket) which is annoying and inexcusable in a contemporary garment–too much authenticity. You are correct in that it is very much just a navy wool blanket with patch packets; mine has the horn toggles. Gets worn maybe six times/year–plan to keep it, though in future will put my money towards better quality overcoats (I’m actually an overcoat freak, of sorts). Merry Christmas from Richmond, Va., which is much too warm today.

  14. Gamma68 says:

    @Steve, the new Gloverall duffle I purchased earlier this year has an interior pocket secured with a velcro patch. It’s large enough to hold a wallet. It’s a welcome addition. My previous Gloverall, from the early 1990s, didn’t have an interior pocket.

  15. Woofboxer says:

    Here is a 2011 post from The Weejun concerning the Montgomery duffle.
    http://www.theweejun.com/one-you-can-buy-original-montgomery-duffle-coat/
    I bought one recently and can thoroughly recommend them, very good value and equal in quality to other pricier options.

  16. Randall says:

    I have had the BB duffle coat for over 10 years. It is a great coat. Warm and durable. The zipper adds that little extra for warmth. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and have to commute (train) into the city every day for work and unless it is a polar vortex day it is my go to winter coat. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Looks great with a “schoolboy” or plaid scarf.

  17. Edward says:

    I have the mid-length Gloverall and have been happy with it. It’s a trimmer fit than the regular-length version. At 5-10 and 155, I’m usually comfortable in a 39R sport coat. The size 40 in this mid-length version fits me well, with enough extra room for a Shaggy Dog. It isn’t roomy enough, however, to accommodate a sport coat.

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