The Burberry Coat
Madge was recently at her favorite eyeglass joint: Le Stanne when she got into a conversation on her favorite topic – Vintage. Leslie, eyeglass framer extraordinaire, wanted an opinion on her dad’s coat. Not just any coat, but a Burberry Hand Woven Irish Tweed from the 1940s. Well of course Madge was very interested.
Founded in 1856, Burberry is the most storied fashion label name in English history and the company is considered the inventor of the trench coat. There’s a great timeline on the Burberry website showing the founder, Thomas Burberry, a former dress-maker, plus shots of the original shops, clothes, ads and some of the famous owners of these classic coats. I love this ski bunny ad.
Madge also found this 1930s ad with a coat somewhat similar to the one owned by Leslie’s father.
Leslie regaled me with tales of her dad who was 6’3″ and an impeccable dresser. Well, let me let Leslie tell it in her own words.
“My dad, Morris Gilmore Thomas was born in 1916. He was a man of great commitment and impeccable taste. His Burberry overcoat was either purchased before he enlisted in the Army or just after his release from duty.
I can only assume that he purchased the coat for the very cold winters of Philadelphia and New York City, where he worked. He normally needed to have his attire tailored for his 6’3″ frame. While stationed in England, before his deployment to the European Theater during WWII. He had his uniforms and boots made to order. He always cut an imposing image of class and elegance. “
Alas Leslie couldn’t find a photo of her dad wearing his Burberry but here’s a fabulous one of Mr. Thomas during the war years. As Leslie said, “you can always pick out my dad. He’s the tallest one in every photo.”
Also here’s a great one in his “tailored” uniform.
Madge just had to post this 1950s shot for the fabulous hats. Mr. Thomas is standing in the back.
So the here’s the coat. It’s an amazing 1940s Burberry Irish Tweed with gorgeous leather buttons. This thing is so heavy, it will keep you warm in Siberia. And the way this winter is going across the country, we may all need one of these.
Aren’t the labels great?
Madge just loves the details on this coat. Click on the two photos below to see that amazing hand woven tweed. The coat, save for some damage on the inside of the collar, is in amazing condition.
I tried to google the shop, MacDonald & Campbell, but didn’t have much luck. If any of you Philly vintagers have any info please let Madge know.
Thanks so much Leslie for sharing these wonderful memories of your dad. Madge promises to find your coat a good home.
Soooo when do I get to take a look at his hats?
Calling all northern gentlemen, about 6’3″ looking for a winter coat. Madge has got you covered.