In Depth

All change: Chester Barrie's versatile new-season coat

Chris Modoo, creative manager for the Savile Row tailor, on his pick from its recently unveiled AW17 collection

chester_barrie_presentation37.jpg

My favourite piece has to be our grey change coat. We first launched the shape three or four years ago, when we were working with [Savile Row tailor] Edward Sexton. It's an old-fashioned term for a sports jacket that's slightly more urban. Sports jackets were very tweedy, very country, and we wanted something that would do the same job but with a different sensibility. This new take is cut quite slim, so you can style it as both a sports jacket or an overcoat and get a lot of wear out of it. It's made from cashmere and has a fur collar, so it's very luxurious, but suits a lot of occasions. 

The Americans call it a topcoat; it's similar to a large jacket and you might simply wear it over a sweater, as well as with a more traditional jacket, shirt and tie combination. It's a really useful thing to have in your wardrobe.

This piece can really be dressed up or down. These days we're much more comfortable mixing knitwear with tailoring. I think it's actually not so much a case of dressing down, but dressing business appropriate. I'm really bored of the open-neck shirt with a suit look – I don't think it flatters. A navy crewneck in a nice merino wool that fits well on the body, worn underneath a charcoal suit, actually looks smarter than a cheap white shirt with the neck undone. And this new attitude is what we're trying to embody with our autumn/winter 17/18 collection. With current lifestyles where people travel more, especially for business, it's an easy way of dressing. And the change coat, or topcoat, is very much part of that.

Chris Modoo is the creative manager of Chester Barrie, which debuted its first See Now, Buy Now collection at this month's London Fashion Week Men's; chesterbarrie.co.uk

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