My favourite piece has to be our grey change coat. We first launched the shape three or four years ago, when we were working with [Savile Row tailor] Edward Sexton. It's an old-fashioned term for a sports jacket that's slightly more urban. Sports jackets were very tweedy, very country, and we wanted something that would do the same job but with a different sensibility. This new take is cut quite slim, so you can style it as both a sports jacket or an overcoat and get a lot of wear out of it. It's made from cashmere and has a fur collar, so it's very luxurious, but suits a lot of occasions.
The Americans call it a topcoat; it's similar to a large jacket and you might simply wear it over a sweater, as well as with a more traditional jacket, shirt and tie combination. It's a really useful thing to have in your wardrobe.
This piece can really be dressed up or down. These days we're much more comfortable mixing knitwear with tailoring. I think it's actually not so much a case of dressing down, but dressing business appropriate. I'm really bored of the open-neck shirt with a suit look – I don't think it flatters. A navy crewneck in a nice merino wool that fits well on the body, worn underneath a charcoal suit, actually looks smarter than a cheap white shirt with the neck undone. And this new attitude is what we're trying to embody with our autumn/winter 17/18 collection. With current lifestyles where people travel more, especially for business, it's an easy way of dressing. And the change coat, or topcoat, is very much part of that.
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Chris Modoo is the creative manager of Chester Barrie, which debuted its first See Now, Buy Now collection at this month's London Fashion Week Men's; chesterbarrie.co.uk
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