The name Balmacaan is derived from the Scottish estate near Inverness where it was first seen in the 19th century. It was made for comfort and warmth in the damp of a Scottish winter. Basically, it’s an unstructured overcoat with a serviceable collar that can be turned up against the elements, a fly front and a typical split raglan two-piece shoulder for ease of movement. A very practical coat for town and country to wear over tailoring (thumbs up!) but can easily be worn over knitwear combined with jeans as well.
Even though the balmacaan overcoat had been worn in the Scottish Highlands since the mid-19th century, it didn’t became popular until 1929. The Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) arrived at the Epsom Derby wearing this country coat, instantly making it a popular alternative to the more structure coats. He preferred his in bold tweed checks and plaids. The style was quickly adopted by college students in America. By the mid-30’s the Balmacaan shared it popularity on campus with the camel hair polo coat.
Ever since, the balmacaan has been considered a classic. It might be a bit longer or shorter, a little fuller or narrower in silhouette, but the aesthetic of the coat has remained the same for over 150 years. This is because the combined balance of handsome tailoring, good cloth, and practical styling are virtually unrivalled in the history of the gentleman’s wardrobe.
We like the Balmacaan in a thick woolen fabric, a herringbone or even in a donegal. In our Moon stock – and Country Bunch you will find the right cloth. In the guidelines we give you some nudges how to order and what body allowances are needed. Don’t forget the Balmacaan should be a bit bulky yet elegant.