Let’s start with a mea culpa: On the first go-around I completely and utterly botched this answer. Capital “c”, capital “u”. As wrong as wrong can be. So consider this some very public eating of Ye Olde Crow.
Or, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, “humiliation galore”.
Fortunately, a little bird was kind enough to tip me off to the actual coat and designer in question. That said, I’m still going to riff on my original answer – and expand it – since the coat you are looking for is both hard to find and annoyingly expensive.
The pea coat you see Mr. Miller wearing on Elementary is the “Cotton Pea Coat” by Tom Ford. Kind of an uninspiring name, I know. As you can see from the picture above, there are some key details that set this apart from the standard pea coat. The handwarmer “slash” pockets are much higher than normal, all the way up between the first and second sets of buttons. A second set of rather non-traditional flapped pockets have been added at the lower waist, and the double breasting gets a trimmer look with six buttons instead of the usual eight.
All of which explains why you were having such a hard time in your search. As far as I can tell there is no other coat on the market with these particular features – this this is all sorts of exclusive. And, as with some other previously discussed items, if you want this exact look you are going to have to commit yourself to some hardcore looking around. There are some serious hurdles to overcome if you want one:
- This actual model is a couple of years out of date. The “Cotton Pea Coat” has been replaced with the “Leather Trim Cotton Pea Coat” in Tom Ford’s style book. The differences are subtle – leather edging on the slash pockets instead of rolled wool, small stress patches on the end of the pockets, and leather piping on the lower pocket flaps – and don’t really change the overall look. But, if you want the exact coat, the current version will simply not do and you are going to have to find someone with the older version still on hand.
- There are only a couple of online retailers that carry Tom Ford and they are completely out of this item. Searching from the comfort of your favourite chair is not an option … you are going to have to pound the pavement and start snooping around in your local high-end menswear stores. Phone ahead.
- Did I mention the high-end part? The average retail price for this jacket was well over 3000 bucks and could run as high as five grand. Now I’m all for paying a fair dollar for a high-quality item, and this is a really nice piece, but … well, yeah.
If you decide that these hurdles are just a little too, er, hurdley for you but you still want to get yourself into a coat that gives you that same “classic-yet-edgy-modern” vibe, you are in luck. There are some really nice pea coats out there this year, and while none of them are exact matches, you can still rock the same kind of look in a high-quality piece and save yourself three big ones in the process.
The Coat That Started It All
Most pea coats are variants of the venerable United States Navy “740N” jacket, which was in turn derived from the Royal Navy’s “reefer” jacket. If you want to be a hardcore traditionalist you are in luck: The 740N is still made by Schott Brothers of New York and you can get one right here with a couple of clicks of the mouse.
There are no lower pockets, and the chest carries the full slate of eight buttons instead of the more modern six so you won’t look quite as trim as the esteemed Mr. Miller when you wear it. On the plus side, sowever, Schott jackets are renowned for their quality and finish and it’s hard to argue with the chance to wear an actual piece of 20th century history for 250 bucks.
The Coat That’s Easy To Find
The coat I referenced in the original version of this post is still a solid choice. The Land’s End Wool Pea Coat (item #418176-A7X) in “Dark Charcoal Heather” has a clean look, will keep you warm, has better-than-average quality, and comes in at a price that your wallet will appreciate. Even better, you can probably just go down to the mall and grab one.
It carries the trim six-button fronting that you see on the Tom Ford jacket, but has a lower cut on the waist and might be a better fit for guys who dont have a runner’s body like JLM. At two hundred dollars, it’s an attractive option.
The Coat That Goes Off The Board
Finally, my personal favourite. If you want to capture the feel and attitude of the Ford but aren’t necessarily welded to the idea of an actual pea coat, take a look at the herringbone coats from Ted Baker. The Zainab Herringbone coat comes in with a nicely trim waist, the edgy chest-high handwarmer pockets, and full flapped pockets on the lower front. It is a bit longer than the pea coat, has a single breast instead of the traditional naval double, and it is made from herringbone wool (thus the name) instead of the melton wool of a pea coat … but it is one seriously fine looking piece.
If you really must have the shorter cut, Baker’s Lolplum Herringbone Coat and Lolpear Pea Coat are worth a peek. They are both strikingly good looking and will give you a bit of a roguish edge with the way they straddle the gap between the old-school naval cut and the modern details of the Tom Ford.
I’ve worn a Ted Baker pea coat for a number of years now and I can vouch for the quality and the warmth. If you are willing to break the mold a bit this is the one I would recommend. If you have the body shape to pull it off, this is really going to turn some heads. Added bonus: The extra bit of length means you can wear this over a suit or a blazer and look nicely layered instead of desperately stuffed in, giving you a bit more bang for your hard-earned buck.
Hope this helps, and thanks again for reading. Sorry if that bit about the three thousand bucks broke your heart. I know it did mine.