In times of need it pays to look to a name that you can trust. So, in the next few days, or weeks if you really want to push your luck, when you’re on the hunt for a new winter coat, a reliable piece of rainwear or an interchangeable autumn jacket, you won’t go far wrong with Private White V.C.
Trust is often gained through experience, and if you’re not already clued up on the history of Private White – widely regarded as one of Britain’s best-loved brands – then you need to know that they have a fair bit of experience. Manchester used to be the most thriving industrial city in the world, and it specialised in innovative waterproof cotton garments. So, skilled in fact that the city was once known as ‘Cottonopolis’ and it is also where Private White V.C – the modern day outwear specialist that maintains its strict and proud Made in England focus.
The factory’s foundations were laid down 240 years ago in an area of the city that’s now desolate. But in that time, Private White have made outwear, coats and jackets for kings, queens, presidents, rock stars, musicians, sporting greats and even the military. In 1916, the brand supplied allied forces with cotton gabardine trench coats, and in the 1940s they were commissioned by the Ministry of Defence to supply the RAF with waterproof parkas.
That’s probably got you thinking that Private White will do a pretty good job at seeing you through winter. It’s true. But they’ll do it in more than one way. That’s because the brand's heritage, expertise and enduring reputation for quality continues to inspire new silhouettes each and every season. Ranging from bomber jackets, trench coats and parkas to topcoats, field jackets and waterproof macs, too. There’s more than one way to get through winter and you’re definitely going to find what you're after with a few of our top Private White V.C picks below.
There’s only one place to start a Private White outwear edit and that’s with the brand’s most-popular design, the single-breasted cotton raincoat. Or the Ventile Mac 3.0 for those in the know. The Private White factory has been perfecting its construction, pattern and performance every day for the past 100 years so that says everything that you need to know, to be honest. Handcrafted from the finest Ventile cotton that is 100% waterproof and 100% breathable, it’s the perfect piece of winter outerwear because it can mould to any occasion. Dress it up, dress it down and enjoy the small considered details from the military grade copper hardware from Riri of Switzerland, the Vandyke stitched collar and comfortable inset sleeves.
The Field Jacket is a great winter layer because its adjustable shape can be flattering one minute and durable and hard-wearing the next. Private White’s interpretation includes a modern double-faced showerproof cotton, back darts and the brand’s unmistakable copper, military grade hardware. However, it’s the bottom box pleat pockets, corduroy trim and adjustable wait channel with copper adjusters and eyelets that can transform the look of the jacket by cinching or expanding its shape as you so please.
In a slight shift across the utilitarian outerwear spectrum we land at the Private White Flight Jacket with its classic cropped fit and oversized shearling collar. Inspired by the G-1 flight jackets of the Second World War, the Private White Jacket has been expertly handcrafted using some of the finest UK woven doeskin wool. Doeskin is a medium-weight wool fabric with a short nap and a tight weave. It’s particularly special because it is softer than the more commonly used Melton, but it is still hardwearing due to its compact weave and durable construction. It also means that no other flight jacket will look quite as good as this.
Private White claim that this slightly oversized unlined Parka is the ‘go-to garment for any casual occasion, whether that be a dog walk, or pub crawl.’ We couldn't have explained it better ourselves. It’s an honest, hard-wearing, good-looking piece of outerwear that you can throw on and just not worry. Because the waterproof and breathable Ventile cotton construction, double-layered hood and adjustable cuffs not only add durability where you need it but it also helps to elevate the often uninspiring parka into something more luxurious.
If there is one thing we can guarantee with every new season, unlike the weather, is that you’re likely to be wearing a bomber jacket. Arguably Private White’s most versatile style, the contemporary Bomber features a unique A-frame fit that is made up of a super-soft brushed cotton moleskin to which Private White has added 2% elastane for the perfect amount of stretch. Like all good Bomber Jackets, its one that can be worn for any occasion thanks to its cropped and casual silhouette.
Proper winter coat, this. Handmade from an incredibly soft – albeit weather resistant – cashmere-wool blend, the Private White Topcoat is the type of all-encompassing winter coat that you know you can just throw on and it’ll sort you out. Granted, Private White have made it fit slightly oversized to ensure it can be comfortably layered, but the real beauty of it is the fact that its lightweight cotton lining and cashmere-wool blend offers enough warmth and protection for you to get away without the need for an extra jumper or hoodie.
We thought we’d end this in-depth on Private White outwear with a piece that you can wear with all of the above; the CPO Shacket. Easy and warm to wear on its own through the start of season thanks to its comfortable cotton- wool blend, the shacket also has the ability to act as a dependable middle layer over a tee and under any of the Private White jackets that you see above. Ideal, then.
Shop and explore the entire Private White outerwear collection at OPUMO.
Be sure to read our ultimate guide to men’s coats and jackets.
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