You See This Coat is a deep dive into an exceptional or influential piece of outerwear. From the history behind each design to charting significant or noteworthy evolutions, this series should give a little more context to the iconic coats and jackets that have shifted the modern menswear space.

For its sartorial and innovatory value, the Mackintosh jacket is undoubtedly one of the most iconic modern clothing garments.
Born in 1776, Glasweigan Charles Mackintosh was experimenting with rubber when he discovered that Naptha—a bi-product of the gasoline lanterns at the time—could be used to soften rubber, before spreading it across fabric, then sandwiching the rubber with another layer of fabric. It is because of this innovation of waterproofed fabric in 1823, that Mackintosh is referred to as the “inventor of rainwear.”

He took his patented invention to commercial partners who were more experienced with cotton and rubber. The innovative made-in-Scotland coats were ironically marketed under the brand “Traditional Weatherwear,” before the brand name Mackintosh stuck until present day, when the silhouette is referred to simply as a “Mac.”

It’s one thing to design a new iteration of a preexisting style of outerwear. It’s nothing short of a game-changing achievement to create an entirely new sector of outwear—on top of establishing the standard for an entirely new product silhouette.

The brand first found favor with pre-railway travellers in the form of coach drivers and horse riders. Later on, the army and navy ordered coats for soldiers and sailors.

Mat Bickley, Mackintosh Brand and Marketing Director, emphasized the attention-to-detail when speaking Dry Clean Only. “Each coat is made entirely by hand and one artisan works on a single garment from start to finish. The core material in a classic Mackintosh coat is the bonded cotton fabric—two layers of cotton bonded together with rubber that is dyed to perfectly match the outer cotton layers so there is no show-through.”

Bickley also notes, “Similar to Schott leather jackets, Mackintosh has functioned as uniform providers for institutions such as the police force, military and rail.”

In the fashion space, Mackintosh has supplied its fabrics to esteemed fashion houses like Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, which would supply its own patterns for Mackintosh to manufacture in Scotland. In fact, Bickley states that Mackintosh has manufactured “for every major fashion house over the past 200 years.” In more recent times, Mackintosh has collaborated with brands like Jil Sander, 1017 ALYX 9SM, and Kiko Kostadinov.

An item that is synonymous with 20th century menswear, the Mackintosh jacket remains a pillar of UK heritage.

Follow Chris on Instagram here.

Tags: mackintosh-coat, mac-coat, rainwear, kiko-kostadinov, rain-jacket, raincoat, outerwear, you-see-this-coat, gucci, hermes, alyx, mackintosh