Brand Spotlights

Styleforum endorses the Ami double-breasted overcoat

One of the perks of going to a winter wedding is that you’ll get to wear an overcoat, which makes your outfit feel so much more substantial than anything you can wear in the summer.  I’m 42 now, which means that most of my friends were married over a decade ago (the average age at which people get married, according to a quick google search, is about 29, in the USA).  However, I have a large extended family, which means that I have a lot of younger cousins who are just now tying the knot, hitching the horse, or whatever euphemism you wish to use.  This means that my 15 year old overcoat will probably not fit any more.  And while I wouldn’t mind spring $3K on that casentino overcoat from Liverano&Liverano I saw in Florence a few years ago, I won’t need it that often (my family is not that big, nor do I need to wear suits that often). And with kids of my own, and a house, and all of that stuff that cost money, $3K seems a bit extravagant right now.  So, I’ve decided to go with this Ami double-breasted overcoat, which hits all the right style notes, and is the right price too.

Double-breasted camel hair overcoats are one of the few overcoats that have sporting, rather than military, roots, and originally appeared as a cover-up on the sidelines, apparently at polo matches.  Even though features in the original coat changed as it became a staple in both the UK and at American Universities, with two columns of buttons replacing the original belt, the original inspiration for the beige colored, double-breasted overcoat with flapped patch pockets is still quite recognizable.  It soon became an overcoat that was used for occasions of differing formality levels.  I saw this on East Coast campuses a lot in the noughties, and more and more throughout the general populace as long coats have become more and more popular for casual use, in this decade.

Of course, clothing evolves, and today’s versions of polo coats so often have details added or taken away that it’s probably best to just descriptively call the thing a double-breasted camel overcoat, to avoid arguments about whether it’s more like a polo coat, or more like a military greatcoat, or whatever.  It’s fun to discuss and argue the distinctions in an online discussion on Styleforum, of course.

Parisian brand Ami, founded by Marc Jacobs and Dior alum Alexandre Mattiussi, concentrates on contemporary sartorial basics and good approachable prices.  I’ve heard it called the heir apparent to A.P.C., and each collection includes robust similar sportwear and military inspired pieces in narrow and straight cuts that characterize early A.P.C., the brand is a little more urbane, a little more like that other French stalwart brand -Agnes B.

The original versions of this coat were apparently made of camelhair.  This coat uses the 80% wool/20% polyamide blend melton that is common in many modern overcoats, with the polyamide lending strength to a thinner material than would have been previously used.  Purists sometimes scoff and make sour faces at the use of synthetics, but I see it as an acceptable concession to modern tastes, which tend towards lighter weight fabrics.  I personally love the 32 ounce traditional melton, but I know that a lot of guys balk at that weight.  Also, textiles sciences has made great strides since the 1970s, when synthetics developed their bad reputation, and the old, still lingering, negative ideas about them are simply inaccurate.

The new version of the double-breasted overcoat also has a slim fit, which is quite different from the boxy fit of the original coat, and has set in, flapped pockets, rather than the original patch pockets.  Both I see as merciful changes made for the non-perfect physique.

Ami doublebreasted overcoat, $840 at www.mrporter.com

ami double-breasted overcoat

Ami doublebreasted overcoat, $840 at www.mrporter.com

The following two tabs change content below.
Fok is an owner of Styleforum. He abuses his authority regularly. Once, he persuaded Arianna to eat a chalupa, something she will never forgive. He wears heavy leather and denim, just in case the zombie apocalypse starts when he is writing an article.

7 replies »

  1. Fok-Yan, I just ordered the last one on Mr. Porter! Can’t wait to try it out. The note about the 32 ounce wool is what sold me–I live in really cold territory. I was torn about getting this one vs. the SuitSupply db camel coat. I wear 40R suits, so hopefully there is some room to be a true topcoat.

    Any other thoughts since you’ve now gotten to try it in the winter?

  2. I purchased this Ami coat after reading your review but very disappointed at the quality of the coat. Did not expect much from 80% wool 20%poly but it feels so cheap and not worth half the price of this coat.

    • Yeah, I would have to agree. It was rougher than my cheap Banana Republic coat. Worst part was that it stunk like chemicals, like nothing I’d ever experienced. My kids wouldn’t even stay in the same room. I returned it right away and will never order another Ami product.