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Just to get this out of the way upfront: This is, hands down, the best traditional style pea coat on the market!
I have been on a binge looking for a new pea coat to replace my original US Navy issue coat, from my time in service, that was lost in a move. I knew I wanted the traditional style and every company seems to have one in their lineup so the choices were nearly limitless. After looking at scores of inferior coats lining the racks of all the "modern male" type stores, I turned to the internet for advice. Two companies continually cropped up in forum discussions as making the best coats and having the most satisfied customers: Sterlingwear of Boston and Schott NYC.
Sterlingwear is the current manufacturer of US Navy issue pea coats and Schott has an incredible history with the Military manufacturing various uniform pieces through the years. Bonus: They both manufacture their pea coats in America. This was a big selling point with me along with the high quality fit and finish I was looking for.
I have a problem many times with my body size falling in between sizes so it is a problem for me to order online. This seemed to be the only way to get a Sterlingwear coat so I was hesitant to order from them. Initially the only way to get a Schott coat looked to be ordering as well, but then I found a Schott retailer close to me using the location link at the bottom the the Schott website. This allowed me to try on different coat sizes and find the best one without a lot of return shipping.
I was initially looking at the 740 classic pea coat but when i called the store they only had the 751 slim fit coat in stock. I decided to take a chance and go try one on. Boy am I glad I did! The slimmer cut fit my body type much better and reduced the bulk of the coat considerably compared to all other brands I had tried on up to this point. While being a fitted cut, the coat still gave me some room to layer clothing underneath if need be. The 24oz weight of the wool is less than the 32oz 740 classic but is still much thicker and denser than any of the mass market coats I looked at. The craftsmanship of the coat is several levels better than anything else close to this price range. Needless to say, I didn't hesitate to buy the Schott coat.
I don't think I will miss the heavier weight wool of the 740 coat and in talking with the store owner, she told me that the sales rep for Schott recommended the 751 over the 740 for the more moderate climate of our area, average winter temps being in the 40's. If you live in a harsher climate, the 740 should probably still be your first choice but I am very happy with the 751 as it is very warm even in windy conditions.
I'm sure the Sterlingwear coat is a fine piece of outerwear but I do not seeing it being any better than the Schott 751. If you are in the market for a traditional style pea coat, you will not find one better than this. Just buy It! You will not be disappointed.