8 min read

INTRO

I’m Nick, the founder and designer of all jackets at FRAHM. It is the product I have spent the most time fretting over and the toughest to nail, because I set the bar so high for it's purpose - you can't give a waterproof a go, you have to nail it. Jason and I love it. We think you will too.

If you're thinking of buying a Waterproof City Coat but unsure how good it is, that's fair. Here’s all the info and explanation of why our reputation is so good.

SKIP TO SUMMARY AT BOTTOM if you're busy.

Miles is a mate - a local artist and small business owner in Frome, stood here near The Baths in, er, Bath, our home town.

BACKGROUND

I’ll summarise how buying any FRAHM Jacket works, as it’s a bit different:

FRAHM is a small family business founded by two childhood friends. We’re not trying to be huge or grow fast. This changes how we operate:

We only make one limited run of each jacket design a year. When they’re gone this year, that’s it until 2020.

Thus, we offer pre-orders, so you can reserve your size and colour. Almost all our jackets are sold this way.

We take your hard earned cash, so we reward you with 20% off the normal price for pre-ordering. You’re helping us, so we should help you.

All this means we don’t have surplus. We also hate it when you buy something that’s half price a week later. So we never do any sales. The price is always the same. You get what you pay for.

We give £10 from every jacket sold to Mind, the mental health charity.

Yes, a FRAHM Jacket is expensive, yet we feel we offer superb value within that. We hate stuff that falls apart, or doesn’t fulfil it’s promise - be it quality or service and beyond.

This is the inside, shot ultra close up. These seam seals will be red, not grey as in this R&D sample, for a subtle flash of contrast colour. This is our first limited edition run of the Waterproof.

ORIGINS

For me, the sternest test of a waterproof is protecting you and your clothes underneath, in a smart situation. On a hike across The Alps, arriving looking crisp and smart doesn't matter. If you're getting off the tube at Bank in The City of London to meet your potential backers for that crunch meeting in your best suit and tie, you REALLY don't want to get caught in a storm and arrive as a wet dishcloth, your hair stuck to your ears.

Nor do you want to arrive as the sun clears, in a plastic rain cape looking mismatched and sweaty. 

Smartness counts. It's not easy to achieve in heavy rain. That was my challenge.

Make a beautiful, understated, classic and smart coat, that covers a suit and looks good in any weather. As always, it must be tough and detailed.

There's no shortage of great waterproof jackets. Most tend to follow a two paths: outdoors/sporty synthetic or fashion only - not actually properly waterproof.

Both frustrate my design ethos. I want fantastic performance (usually embodied in the mountain - type jacket) and I want classic understated style (that has tech performance). I wanted to combine both.

It doesn't have to be raining to wear this. Use it as your main coat in all but hot weather. Don't hang around under bridges too much though - people get funny about that.

DESIGN BRIEF

We need a fabric that doesn't have that 'loud' crinkly plastic sheen. It must look and feel luxurious, but it must be tough. It would, as with all FRAHM jackets,  be machine washable and practical. I wanted a fabric that didn't crease too. This was NOT an easy task.

The jacket must be long but with good free movement (I went for just above the knee), with a smart collar.

I wanted a removable hood, as there's no point in protecting the arms and torso, if rain runs down your neck and is dripping hair product from your hair into your eyes. A hood is vital.

Lastly, it shouldn't look tech, so let's use beautiful buttons and use concealed storage inside.

frahm jacket waterproof city coat

The first design didn't change much, on the surface. We lost the rear button for the vent, removed the rear pocket and tweaked the collar/hood area and cuff adjusters. We did a lot more minor changes on the prototypes, once in testing.

DESIGNING

Here’s my not-exhaustive list of what I had to bear in mind, as the jacket came together on paper.

  • British but progressive.
  • Classic trenchcoat influence, clean, straight, with detail around neck.
  • Masculine but elegant.
  • Matt fabrics, not shiny, sticky or loud - understated quality.
  • Open at low rear for ease of movement.
  • Natural large buttons.
  • Pleating to articulate shoulders and arms.
  • Room to fit suit or heavier clothing, whilst staying tailored and elegant.
  • Tough and hard wearing for use in countryside (Apply The Bramble Test!).
  • Make it easy to use - washable, no need to iron, smooth zips, storage.
  • Comfort - soft skin contact materials, breathable, water resistant, wind proof.
  • Venting to dump unwanted moisture but not let in cold.
  • Collar can be turned up and hood removed - via buttons.
  • Elastic cord v high quality, doesn't degrade.
  • Hood cord pulls should be leather and unobtrusive. 
  • Everything tough, especially consider zips, snaps, stitching - stress areas.
  • Hand pockets in right place. Don't affect clean lines.
  • Internal seam sealing tapes in contrast colour - red.
  • No flapping cheap care labels - must be sewn in - quality down to last detail.

CLICK HERE TO SEE SIZE GUIDE

FIT

Most men are not twenty-something fashion models with cheekbones that could cut diamonds.

I know from experience that fit is a worry and frustration for us all. It’s simply not possible to fit for every man, so I aimed for the kind of man I am and know - The Dad Bod Man. Reasonably fit, not perfect, not bad - the middle - most of the bell curve - the REAL middle.

Our measurements are the real ones. If you're a 42 chest, we've made a large for a 42 chest. Seems obvious really...Surely?!

I want it to move with me and have space, but be fitted enough to be flattering, smart and to stay smart.

And of course it goes over a suit. That takes some careful engineering.

 

frahm waterproof city coat

A studio image, demonstrating the hood buttoned at neck but hood down. This is what I do when using in cold and windy weather, to seal the neck.

MATERIALS

  • Outer: Italian 20,000 rated waterproof and breathable 3-layer fabric, with tight woven cotton outer for style, comfort and crease resistance. Nylon & polyurethane waterproof membrane and soft to skin inner layer to complete fabric strata. 448 gram fabric weight for strength, resilience and weather protection. Origin Como, Italy.
  • Waterproof seam seals - hand soft matt red, Northern Italy.
  • Zips: Custom hardened stainless steel in gunmetal finish from YKK, Britain.
  • Buttons: Brushed cow horn natural finish, North Eastern Italy.
  • Labels: Embroidered in the UK.

Handmade by talented people who care and who are cared for.

MANUFACTURE

We don’t work with the cheapest, we work with the best. Not just that, we work with friends, people we can trust. We help each other. That’s important.

We use Eva’s factory in Sofia, Bulgaria. This may come as a shock to some, who think we make all our jackets in the UK. We would if we could do it to the standards we desire - but Eva’s work, kindness and understanding of our aims is unparalleled. Above all, the quality is the best I’ve ever seen, from the dozens of factories I’ve worked with in my career.

With only 25 staff constructing handmade jackets with pride and care, we know what we’re getting, from whom. We’ve met everyone, they’ve looked after us, we trust them, nobody is getting shafted. That stuff matters as LOT.

We sell most of our jackets by pre-orders, as everything is limited edition and sizes run out. In return we give you a gift of 20%. Once the deadline expires, we sell any remaining stock at full price.

BUYING

We all need to feel safe buying online. We know we have to create trust - real trust that you can believe in - we have to keep our word and let customers do the selling…

It’s worth knowing most of our customers have bought 2 or even ALL of our jackets!

  • Reviews: We never edit or remove them. All are real. Please do check them out - we are so touched, not just by the positive scores, but the detail and passion within. There's even one from Pete Townshend of The Who.
  • Service: I do everything. The owner - the guy who cares most. I answer quickly, politely and always helpfully (I hope!).
  • We’ve never had a customer complaint. Ever.
  • Returns: If you pre-order, as most do, you can get a refund at any time. If you don’t like it, we’ll refund 30 days after we sent it out (which means we have a chance to sell it to someone on waiting list).
  • Sizing & exchanges: Sizing can be intimidating. Best thing is to live chat me from the website, call or email. I can always help. If you do have the wrong size, we can sort that no problem.
  • Faults: I’m proud to say that FRAHM has had only one a fault, ever. For an industry that might write off at least 5% of it’s stock due to QC issues, that is extraordinary - except it’s not, if you know the lengths we go to.
  • Loyalty & Referral scheme: We know we MUST look after you to thrive, so you get bigger bonuses as you go. It’s the blue box on the bottom left.

Miles is 6'5" (196cm) and wears a Medium Tall size.

 WEARING IT:

  • Big meeting
  • Work general
  • Dog walk
  • Collecting firewood
  • Taking the bins out (stylishly)
  • Restaurants
  • Going to get knighthood*
  • Use in persistent heavy rain, torrential rain, high winds, driving snow (with layers for warmth) or even on mild sunny days.
  • As always, widest use possible - most British/temperate weather.

 *FRAHM Waterproof City Coat actually IS smart enough for this, so not really a joke. Oh.

 

frahm waterproof city coat

Look at the beautiful finish and grain on the fabric and this pocket entrance. We choose a dark navy, as this is the best colour for combining with many different colours, effortlessly. I.E: It's subtle and doesn't clash with anything.

CARE

Machine wash gentle, cool, in non-biological liquid or soap flakes. No conditioner as conditioner kills performance (it suffocates any performance characteristics by coating it), if you do, just rinse the jacket.

No need to re-treat, but the fabric will slightly fade (rather nicely we think, as it's cotton) with washing and wear.

We offer a Lifetime Guarantee on faults. That doesn’t cover stuff like training attack dogs or ballistics experiments.

The hood comes just the right amount forward for protection, but not to get into eye-line. It is cord adjustable and removable. It is multi panelled and pleated to fit the head, not lie on or near it, but around it.

SUMMARY

Phew, that was a lot. Hopefully everything you could want? Here’s a reminder:

  • We only make a few once a year.
  • Pre-order is best.
  • We give to charity.
  • Pricey but great long term value.
  • Designed for stress free smartness in severe conditions, but not hot weather.
  • Properly waterproof - rated a stonking 20,000.
  • Built for far greater quality, fit & detail than the big brands.
  • Fit is Real World - sorry pubescent models.
  • Everything is made by talented people we know, that are good, kind folk.
  • Our service is by me (a good thing, I think) and we keep our promises.
  • Lifetime guarantee.
  • Easy to look after, for years and years.

Do grab me on live chat for advice if you'd like. Happy to help.

Nick.

CLICK TO SHOP NOW

Here you can see  the rear vents and pleating detail to shape around shoulders and provide greater fit and comfort. 



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