You are not logged in.

#1 2010-02-26 15:36:38

Axelist
Talker of the talk, walker of the walk.
From: age
Posts: 1204

(Vintage) London Fog coats

I recently wore my London Fog coat quite a lot and realized how much I actually like it and how close it comes to my idea of a really cool coat. I thought I could share this enthusiasm with you.

First part of the post contains some material which I found  about the rise – and fall -  of the brand.

According to their website, the company was founded by a certain Israel Myers in 1923 in Londontown, Baltimore. He died in 1999, aged 93. This article gives some interesting insights: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/31/busin … gewanted=1

They appear to have been pretty innovative, both in manufacturing and marketing. And now I now why the coats were called maincoats in the first place.

I guess that Myers called the brand London Fog because of the place were the coats were made and to associate them with England / references to British style. Hence the “Big Ben”-Tower in the old 50s/60s logos. But why fog? In my country (Germany), London in the past was associated with its famous “fog”. This must go back to early industrialization and coal heatings:  The fog actually was smog.  As far as I can remember, Jim also mentioned something like that in a thread.

I can only guess again, but I would assume them to be in the middle segment of the market at the time. Surely, BB and Press were bought by the more upscale consumers – if they did not go back right to the source to buy Burberry, Aquascutum or Macintosh. I imagine the coats to be a bit expensive, yet affordable. A reliable and somehow democratic piece of clothing: A workhorse for the middle class. Mind you– the man in the well-known ad is leaning on a Volkswagen beetle. Which is interesting from a marketing POV. VW ran an advertising campaign at the time to which the ad seems to refer.

In 1997, production in Baltimore obviously came to an end. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/03/busin … gewanted=1

And now we seem to have an other brand Zombie.

Here they were made: http://maps.google.de/maps?hl=de&so … F-8&hq 


A few pics and rants  about the things I like about the coats in a post which is to follow.

It would be interesting to learn something fom the US Ivyists about their perception of the brand and products.


Just to get a repp..

 

#2 2010-02-26 15:47:15

ScarletStreet
Member
Posts: 540

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Well the brand is interesting because it has fallen so far from grace here in States. It is now a mainstay at a charming store named "Burlington Coat Factory". You can pick a London fog raincoat while you shop for particle board furniture and maternity garments. I doubt anyone under thirty (not in to vintage) knows the history of quality in the older garments. You really only hear of the brand on the message boards here.


"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it." -- H.L. Mencken

 

#3 2010-02-26 15:54:53

Long_Playing
Member
From: The Woodshed
Posts: 147

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Axelist wrote:

It would be interesting to learn something fom the US Ivyists about their perception of the brand and products.

I recall first encountering London Fog in my grandfather's closet after he passed away. I was fourteen and my grandmother gave me the run of things. I left with lots, but the biggie for me was his cream mackintosh with bone buttons & zip out lining.

He was a Korean War vet who moved from Illinois to California while in the service. Then an insurance salesman from '59 onwards. Needless to say, the conservative streak from this background ran through his wardrobe. At the time, I thought it was funny that even though he was in the totally Mediterranean climate of Southern California he kept his 3/4 rain coat.

Their ubiquity - lined, unlined, cream, blue, black, 100% cotton, poly-blend, etc. etc. - no matter what thrift shop in what state you were in gave it the air of a total everyman item. I really get the impression of these as uniform for the average 'Silent Generation' type... less even a brand decision or more just a go-to.

 

#4 2010-02-26 21:19:22

shamrockmonkey
Member
From: chicago
Posts: 1418

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Seconding everyone else's theories and comments. the things were pretty much universal up through the 80s id say. authentic brit raincoats were more or less the province of the very top echelon of society....everyone else had a fog, or a close copy, for example hart/schaffner/marx or something. i remember it being a byword for quality as late as my childhood (80s)....and there was always at least one hanging somewhere. you dont get an idea of how ubiquitous the damn things were until you spend as much time digging in thrift stores as i have lately........theres always a minimum of one, usually about 5, unwanted and unloved. But the quality definitely is there, especially in those older models.

my favorite subcategory is the "maincoat"-made of thick, rigid polyblend material, like sta-prest.  the antithesis of "preppy"-these were smart-looking, hard-wearing garments for people who had recently dragged themselves into the middle class via the GI bill.

wasnt aware they had em at Burlington Kizzoat Fizzactry-figured they were still at least in the mid-market dept. stores.


I brush my teeth with minty paste/I hate when Liquor goes to waste.

 

#5 2010-02-26 22:11:20

johndnorth
Member
Posts: 60

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

The first coat I bought after being discharged from the army (1970) was a London Fog. We called it a raincoat then. The closest model to it now on the London Fog site is called the “Jimmy” 1359/sku:L10300. The “Jimmy has a tab collar. The shell of my coat is 65% poly. and 35% combed cotton. The color is stone. No tab collar. I still have the coat and wear it all the time. The coat must have been machine washed hundreds of times. I let it drip dry, touch up iron, and it still repels rain. The quality of this 40 year old coat is superb. I have never even replaced a button.

 

#6 2010-02-27 12:25:11

Axelist
Talker of the talk, walker of the walk.
From: age
Posts: 1204

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Great  reponses from the other side of the Atlantic. Thanks! It seems I was guessing in the right direction. It is funny that this brand has become so unknown nowadays. They seem to spend a lot for celebs in their adverising – which doesn’t fit the way they present themselves on the net and the pricng of their garments.

Are they featured in “Mad men”, as they say on their website?


Just to get a repp..

 

#7 2010-02-27 12:30:01

Axelist
Talker of the talk, walker of the walk.
From: age
Posts: 1204

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

And here’s a pic from an old action I won and an explaination why I like the coats so much.

http://www.bilder-space.de/show_img.php?img=9c3eea-1267298641.jpg&size=thumb

Colour: I’ve got two in “beige”. Great colour, much lighter than all the dark shades raincoats mostly come in – without being  so flashy like white. The perfect “urban camouflage”. I really would like to have an other one of them in navy, though. 

Cut: almost  perfect…neither too wide, nor too narrow. The length is short above the knee. Long back vent. Single breasted, concealed buttons.  I really like the collars. The shape is called “military”, I think. They are not lying flat on the body but stand up a bit, if that makes sense. The lapels are very small and can be closed with a jolly little tab (you can see it in the pic). And they have these inside vents which enable the bearer to reach in his trouser pockets through the coat’s pockets to do what ever he has to do in there. I never used the tab or the “secret passage” in the pocket. But I like the fact that they are there.

The only downer is that the sleeves are a tad too short for me.

Functionality: The one with liner keeps me warm and they really are RAINCOATS which keep me dry dry. No unneccessary fuss. The seams don’t let water in. Easy to take care of. Clothing, not a fashion item which looks utilitarian but isn’t. The cloth is pretty light. 

I had a few guys giving an eye to the coats. You could really see it “work” behind their eyes, because they realized that the coat was cool without being able to match it to a brand.


Just to get a repp..

 

#8 2010-02-27 13:05:21

sunra
Member
From: London
Posts: 151

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Had not heard of the brand until finding this website. Have for for last year or two thought about getting one. The main thing thats put me off has been the fit. Normally I am a 44" in a suit. Should I buy the same in London Fog or is the sizing generous?

 

#9 2010-02-27 13:25:29

1966
1,966% Ivy
Posts: 2378

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

^ They're generous enough in your regular size. Best worn over a jacket. I'm looking for a 36 next to my size 38 number now.

The London Fog "G4" type jackets get more wear over here. They feel like I never need an other "Harrington" again.


38S | 15/32 | 32/28 | US 8.5D/UK 8E
_______________________________

It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

#10 2010-02-27 13:31:09

belford
Member
Posts: 64

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

^^ Yes very generous, I'm a 44 too and unwittingly tried on a 38 today, it was too small but not by a whole lot.

 

#11 2010-02-27 13:44:06

1966
1,966% Ivy
Posts: 2378

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Axelist wrote:

I never used the tab or the “secret passage” in the pocket. But I like the fact that they are there.

I use 'em. Brilliant functionality.


38S | 15/32 | 32/28 | US 8.5D/UK 8E
_______________________________

It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

#12 2010-02-28 03:52:13

shamrockmonkey
Member
From: chicago
Posts: 1418

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

was just looking @ their website (last updated in 2008, looks like). According to it, during the 70s, 2/3rds of "better raincoats" sold in US were LF, and during the 80s they were the worlds leading manaufacturer of raincoats and outerwear.


I brush my teeth with minty paste/I hate when Liquor goes to waste.

 

#13 2010-02-28 04:39:52

1966
1,966% Ivy
Posts: 2378

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

^ 'Monkey, could you keep your eyes peeled for a light beige size 36 in the city of big fellers? Thanks in advance sir.


38S | 15/32 | 32/28 | US 8.5D/UK 8E
_______________________________

It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

#14 2010-09-17 07:55:27

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

I have never been in the least bit interested in most of their macs: rather more so in old Burberrys', Aquascutum and Grenfell.  Oh, and Baracuta (though not for anything else and certainly not for the G9).  But the cheap, zip-up jackets, well, they look square as National Health specs and so get my seal of approval.  I even chose one in the dullest colour I could find, a kind of sullen grey, and it does its job beautifully.  £20.

 

#15 2010-09-17 11:12:30

Harpo
The Best In The West
From: West Wales
Posts: 2700

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

1966 wrote:

Axelist wrote:

I never used the tab or the “secret passage” in the pocket. But I like the fact that they are there.

I use 'em. Brilliant functionality.

Ah, the old "wafty crank" eh?

On a more serious note - I love the golf jackets too, great functional little coats that include nothing extranious to their purpose - yet cool...just.

I must get a Maincoat - I love the idea of the fake fur lining. Macs are great for Spring-Autumn rain, but to have the functionality and style of a good mac with the warmth - just right for the winter drizzle when you're wearing something smart.


Randy lower-class trifler

 

#16 2010-09-17 11:38:07

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Fake fur?  Fuck fuck fuck!

 

#17 2010-09-18 08:25:48

Harpo
The Best In The West
From: West Wales
Posts: 2700

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Rip Rig & Panic wrote:

Fake fur?  Fuck fuck fuck!

Sorry to shatter what must be deeply held illusions Rip - but it's not occelot wink

Fun fur! That's a better term, what ever happened to fun fur?


Randy lower-class trifler

 

#18 2010-11-16 06:46:24

johndnorth
Member
Posts: 60

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Pics. London Fog raincoat. 1970. Liner sleeves were buttoned into sleeve end in coat.
http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/uploads/thumbs/1136_21.jpg
http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/uploads/thumbs/1136_22.jpg

http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/uploads/thumbs/1136_23.jpg
http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/uploads/thumbs/1136_24.jpg
http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/uploads/thumbs/1136_25.jpg

Last edited by johndnorth (2010-11-16 06:57:35)

 

#19 2010-11-16 06:53:01

Chiswick49
Member
Posts: 61

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Unbelievable. I got a London Fog in Rokit at Covent Garden a couple of weeks ago. A pedant might suggest the sleeves are short by 1/2 inch - but for £25! Looks new, complete with lining and no marks. I'm still getting over it.

 

#20 2010-11-16 07:06:26

1966
1,966% Ivy
Posts: 2378

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Exactly what I'm looking for Johndnorth, a light one in 36S. Not for sale I assume?


38S | 15/32 | 32/28 | US 8.5D/UK 8E
_______________________________

It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

#21 2010-11-16 07:23:15

Chiswick49
Member
Posts: 61

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Fraid not - it's a 40R anyway and I love it too much.

 

#22 2010-11-16 07:26:02

johndnorth
Member
Posts: 60

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Not now. I have so many clothes i rotate them. That is why i still have shirts from high school. I posted some pics of some of the shirts in the thread "Why Ivy...Your Story. All the items were purchased by me on the dates indicated.  I hope you guys are enjoying the photos. You might be able to use the pics. as a reference if you ever want to buy clothes at a thrift shop. I have a London Fog Wool topcoat i bought in 1975 and i need some information on the collar styling. I will post pics later.

 

#23 2010-11-16 07:39:08

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

johndnorth wrote:

Not now. I have so many clothes i rotate them. That is why i still have shirts from high school. I posted some pics of some of the shirts in the thread "Why Ivy...Your Story. All the items were purchased by me on the dates indicated.  I hope you guys are enjoying the photos. You might be able to use the pics. as a reference if you ever want to buy clothes at a thrift shop. I have a London Fog Wool topcoat i bought in 1975 and i need some information on the collar styling. I will post pics later.

Here, without even trying, johndnorth illustrates the sheer pleasure to be had from buying wisely; or cherishing gifts.  This is exactly the opposite of Carnaby mod, in which nothing was really meant to last longer than the weekend (or thereabouts) and is said to have been as badly made as much that was being worn by Eastern Europeans at that time.  I expect most of my clothes to outlive me.

 

#24 2010-11-16 07:56:06

eris
Member
Posts: 601

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

Congrats! After all they were churned put in pretty significant numbers....

 

#25 2010-11-16 08:12:46

Rip Rig & Panic
Member
Posts: 4697

Re: (Vintage) London Fog coats

eris wrote:

Congrats! After all they were churned put in pretty significant numbers....

Hopefully to last.

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2008 Rickard Andersson