When it comes to duffle coats there are many many makers, but when if comes to The Duffle, it all comes down to Gloverall. They didn’t invent them, but they were there when the British Navy wanted to offload their supply of surplus duffles in 1951. A new company was established with the catchy name Gloves & Overalls, which transformed into the Gloverall we know and love. And when the stock of surplus ran out, they started producing their own revised versions.
And here we are, 65 years later. Last year I instantly fell in love with the “1951” collection, a special collection with some superbly inspired pieces, amongst them the magnificent 1951 Monty duffle. This year I was yearning for a truly classic duffle. It had to be a Gloverall, in the camel colour and the most classic of styles, i.e. the “Monty”, named after arguably one of the most iconic of duffel doffers. Oh, and my dad has a vintage one (or as he’d say “I’ve had it since it was new and I was young”) just like this and I’ve been eyeing it up for ages but it’s still a size too big for me.
So a “Monty” it had to be. And not just any “Monty”. This one has something special added and I just love it when there is some added different! We’ll get back to that shortly though. In the meantime, this Monty is in the classic camel colour that the original naval duffles was in. The wool mix fabric is also very similar to the sturdy naval quality. The wood toggles and jute rope fastenings are also as per spec. And there are the two large front pockets that are just perfect for stuffing your hands into, just like Monty. Oh, and unlike last years 1951 version, this time I went for the shorter mid-length one. For the sake of variety, and the fact that wearing rally long coats makes me look like a hobbit.
The different is on the inside though. And not in the label that proudly states that the jacket is made in England since 1951, but in the lining of the jacket. You don’t care about the lining of your jacket? No one but you will ever see it? Sure, valid points, if you’re not obsessed by details, but if you’re even slightly serious about your garments (and I know you are, dear reader) then you’ll rejoice in the splendour of the lining of this jacket. Behold!
This is just totally splendid and really makes the jacket stand out. Even if no one but me ever sees it. Unless I show them.
So, all in all a splendid and classic jacket for the cold season. Pretty much perfect in every respect, and more. Well, not 100%. I do have two small niggles. One is the lack of a secure pocket. Obviously the two outside pockets are not somewhere you’d put your valuables, and the single smaller inside pocket is similarly open and insecure. There really needs to be a pocket on the inside with a snap closing, large enough for a phone and a wallet. Or even better two of them, so as not to make a bulge.
The second niggle is the throat tab. Now a throat tab is a great thing, if it works. In this case it’s on the short side, so sits very tight, and the buttons are super fiddly to fasten. The fact that it sits tight means there is no room for a scarf underneath, which means that the fairly large hole beneath the tab allows the arctic gale to really chill your neck. So in reality the throat tab goes unused in favour of a scarf. A shame, as a bit of attention would fix this.
I’ll work around these niggles though and proudly go Full Monty. If I meet you, I’ll even show you the inside.
Available now from Gloverall.