SHEDNOTES 37: Why Jeremy’s coat looks right on Nigel

Ian Jack, Gdn 20.12.14, added an observation worth recording to the sociology of clothes …

When Jeremy Thorpe died earlier this month, I remembered his coat: slim-fitting and light brown, with a velvet collar in a deeper shade, it made him look slightly bogus and unreliable, which he turned out to be. Nigel Farage wears exactly the same kind of coat to the same unintended effect. Crombie’s catalogue describes it, or something very like it, as the Lovat Covert– “the most iconic Crombie overcoat of all … a mainstay of any gentleman’s wardrobe”. It has that nice feature, a ticket pocket, and multiple stitching at the hems to enable the purchaser to adjust the size if Sir so wishes. The price is £795, though you can buy cheap copies online for less than a tenth of that.
The Crombie firm still makes its coats in Britain from British-made cloth, and long may it continue. I don’t know why its coats make politicians look raffish, but perhaps it has something to do with the old idea that, for anything other than country pursuits, brown is not a colour for gentlemen.


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