Adventures in stealth – the camo dufflecoat by London Tradition

Regular readers will recall the custom dufflecoat London Tradition made for me last year. Remarkable in the intensity of the blue, it elicits comments whenever I wear it. It’s got an amount of different that makes it impossible to ignore. Which is a good thing in these days of accepted blandness and disposable fast fashion. Wear something unique and you can transcend the dreary masses.

Or you could go into stealth mode. I say stealth, but to be fair, wearing woodland camouflage in an urban environment is about a non-stealthy as you can get. It pretty much makes you impossible not to see. I’m not sure if there is a word to describe the opposite of camouflage, although a quick Google shows there are 133 of them. “Apparition” seems like a nice one. The jacket I’m introducing you to here is the new custom “Apparition” duffle, a collaboration between the good folks at London Tradition and myself.

Let’s start at the beginning, with the box.

So, now you’ve been introduced, let’s take a look at a few of the details. You’ll have read my previous review, so you’ll be familiar with the concept: Make splendid outerwear with great quality at a fair price. A simple enough idea, though we all know how often makers mistakenly think “make overpriced rubbish at great profit” is what their customers are after. London Tradition may not be the largest or most well known of makers, but their factory in London crafts their outerwear superbly. And most of their work is traditionally styled.

Which means this is something of a departure from the norm. However, they do offer a bespoke service, and this got me thinking. I’m usually on the sceptical side when it comes to camouflage patterns. Wearing camo in the army for a year takes some of the novelty out of it, seeing the typical militia preppers in their outfits doesn’t help. It’s a fine to tread. As mentioned above though, it is a statement, and when used to make a jacket that is very obviously not of military origin, I think it makes an interesting point. Adding in the olive green canvas details also adds different and contrast. Sometimes I have decent ideas.


The black wood toggles and black rope also make it a little different. Still within the narrow scope of the dufflecoat, and we need to be clear on that, the dufflecoat must have the toggles, the rope and the historically correct layout. Within the rules though, anything is up for grabs. One example of this are the pockets on the front. Without flaps on them they are useful for stuffing your hands into, or storing something that you’re not too worried about losing. With buttoned flaps, you can actually use them for things you care about.

The same goes for the inside pocket. Without some way of closing it, it’s near useless. So add a button and it’s golden. Also notice the utmost care taken in binding all the edges. There is not a single exposed or overlocked edge to be found on this jacket. Binding the edges takes time and care and this shows an absolute and remarkable attention to detail.


Another point I will appreciate when braving the freezing winds when the temperature goes sub-zero again next week is the well engineered throat tab. It’s buttoned on both sides, so can be removed totally, or folded away using a button hidden by the rear of the hood, but the best part is the shape, as when it’s in place, it actually covers the gap that might otherwise have appeared below the tab. Such a simple thing, but easily overlooked.

Something that is unusual on this jacket is the hood. Notice how it lays flat? Yes, it’s made to look good lying flat. And yes, there is a trade-off here, as it does look a little ungainly when worn as a hood. Not a big problem though, as I very much appreciate how it looks lying flat, and I almost never put up the hood. Unless it’s really freezing, at which point I’m not going to be too worried about how my hood profile compares to a classic duffle!

And there you have it. A quite different take on a traditional piece of outerwear. Taking influences from army field wear and trendy streatwear, making it into something a middleaged dad can wear. Did I feel a little self conscious wearing it in town today? Of course, though it didn’t last. Feedback was positive as well, so I think I’ll chalk this up as a success.

Of course, I can also get extra value from it in case I suddenly feel the urge to take up birdwatching.



What do you think of it?

If you fancy one, I’m sure London Tradition will be happy to make you one through their bespoke service. Just remember where you saw it first 🙂



  • Jonathan 09/02/2018 at 15:31

    That’s an awesome duffle Nick! I’d not heard of London tradition before, and interesting that they do bespoke. May I enquire roughly how much it cost to get this made, and did you know exactly what type of pattern camo you’d be getting beforehand?

    • nick 09/02/2018 at 16:58

      Hi Jonathan, as I recall it wasn’t that much more expensive to have a jacket made to my exact specification. Best to pop them a mail and ask to be absolutely sure. I’d seen they had made a camo variant for a Korean shop a while before, so I knew what the wool fabric would look like. I wanted canvas pockets and shoulders on mine though, to make it even more different!

      • Jonathan 09/02/2018 at 17:48

        Thanks for letting me know! I really like what you did there, nice to have your own unique piece. I think Gloverall are releasing a camo Monty soon, looks a bit like WW2 Denison pattern from the pictures.


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