How does one use a trench coat throat latch?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by MRR, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    My new (used) trench coat came with a throat latch.

    Aside from the buckle and two buttons holding the throat latch in the back of the collar when not it use, there are two additional buttons towards the right front collar.

    I have been unable to figure out how this piece of equipment is used, and note the following;

    1) There is a lot of fabric to the left of the buttonholes. Since this is not utilized in "storage mode", it must have something to do with how it's actually used.
    2) The rounded part of the buttonholes is towards the notches. This implies that the throat latch is used in such a way that the notches are not causing stress on the buttonholes.
    3) The throat latch is too short to be used to secure one side of the collar to the other unless the coat is missing either more buttons or an additional buckle (I see no sign of either, and it wouldn't make much sense anyway).
    4) The throat latch is not secure enough to have its use simply be by attaching it to the front collar buttons and have it hang down at the front of the collar. It wouldn't offer any additional protection.

    My research has shown me only the following;
    1) The following image that requires a button that my trench coat does not have and a buttonhole that the throat latch does not have.
    2) A condescending remark by someone who says that it obviously is to go from the buckle, around the neck, to the buttons at the front. While this would be by thought too, it physically cannot be done (even on my thin neck), and the buttonholes are constructed incorrectly for such fastening.

    Does anyone actually KNOW how it is used and able to provide a picture?

    Thank you,
  2. Shaver

    Shaver Well-Known Member

    There are various configurations, please provide photo's of the other buttons and buttonholes which you believe that the latch will secure to.

    At any rate, I find the throat latch to be more trouble than it is worth - most trench coats will also have a hook and eye closure at the throat if you absolutely require more secure closure - but in most instances turning up the collar and re-buttoning the double breast with the storm flap (gun patch) on top will provide sufficient protection against the elements.
  3. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    Can you post only two photos each time?

    This is the right shoulder and collar. The buckle attaches to the throat latch's "belt". What I find odd is that only that specific belt notch allows for the throat latch to link the buckle to the buttons without puckering. If only one notch works, why are there so many? That might be a better question if the garment as a whole did not include an actual belt that is not supposed to ever be buckled.
    View attachment 15541

    Evidence that there are no buttons on the left collar.
    View attachment 15542
  4. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    This is what the coat looks like when the collar is fully fastened and the storm flap is closed.
    View attachment 15543

    This is with the throat latch connected to the two forward buttons. As you can see, this offers exactly zero extra protection. I also note that the belt notch to get it to this position is the same. Again, why the need for all the extra notches?
    View attachment 15544
  5. Shaver

    Shaver Well-Known Member

    The throat latch is meant to connect across from one opposing side of the collar to the other.
  6. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    This is the best I could come up with; throat latch going from the outside of the right collar to the inside of the left collar. My hand is not there because I think it is a perfect example of a masculine limb, it's there because without me holding the collar in place, it will fall out. I have a lot of trouble believing that this is how the throat latch is used, but it's the best i could come up with. The buttons line up, the "extra" fabric at least goes somewhere useful, the "belt" does not pull on the buttons (which would have contradicted the layout of the buttonholes), and the curve of the belt matches the collar.

    Every other aspect of this coat has at least made sense (raglan sleeves) and sometimes impressed me (through pockets, storm flap), or might not have lived up to the mark (hook and eye at the throat that requires at least a mirror to fasten and another person to unclasp).

    I can accept "tedious but useful". The throat latch, however, seems to be pointless.
  7. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    I knew I should have finished that last post sooner instead of going off on a rant. Now your post interrupts my flow. ;)

    I agree in theory, but I see no way for that to happen. If the buttons were on the other collar, it would sort of make sense, but then the buttonholes on the throat latch would have been sewn in the opposite direction.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  8. Shaver

    Shaver Well-Known Member

    What is securing the buckle to the collar?

    From this image I would suggest that unbuttoning the latch, then rotating the piece through 180 degrees, next re-buttoning, should make it more obvious to you as to how proper closure is achieved.

  9. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    The buckle is sewn to the collar. Given the length of fabric securing it to the collar, it has about two inches of play.

    I have rotated the piece 180 degrees (every fashion of 180 degrees). Doing so causes the buttons to not line up with the holes. If you are suggesting that the throat latch should go the other way (around the left side of the collar), there is absolutely not enough fabric to do so. Even my scrawny neck wouldn't fit.
  10. Searching_Best_Fit

    Searching_Best_Fit Well-Known Member

    May I add something? I thought following Shaver's idea, the throat latch is supposed to cover the opening of the collars to provide protection. Therefore, from this picture, you need to take the fabric circled in red and flip and rebutton it and place it like the shape of blue. Then you extend the pieces with holes to the back of your neck. There are 4 holes to accommodate difference sizes of neck.

  11. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    I realize that nobody wants to believe me, because it makes no sense, but I will say it again;

    The piece is NOT long enough for that. Not by at least eight inches.

    It cannot go around the left shoulder without a different buckle. It cannot go from the existing buckle and attach to the left side without additional buttons. In the dozens of photos I have seen of Burberry's trench coats in the past week, none of them have an additional buckle or buttons (if they did, then it would make the existing ones rather silly). Likewise, I have never seen a photo of a Burberry's throat latch actually in "storm" position.
  12. Searching_Best_Fit

    Searching_Best_Fit Well-Known Member

    OK then. Maybe we were thinking this is a throat latch, but in fact it is used for something else....

    In googling around, I ran into this thread from SF about the same question. Someone raised a good idea that this piece of fabric is to help the collar stand up, not for throat latch. While in the second picture it seems to cover the little slit between the collars in the first picture, thus it provides some protection.

    Link to this thread on SF:

    So now, using the second picture as a guide, if you fold the right collar (jackets), left collar, and this extra piece over in this buttoning configuration, I think there should be *some protection* along with that the collar will stand up all the time. Maybe this is the correct use of this piece of fabric?
  13. Shaver

    Shaver Well-Known Member

    As odd as it seems perhaps we may be obliged to consider the possibility that this is an ornamental feature? Certainly I have not encountered such a conceit previously- a trench either has a functional throat latch or not at all, in my experience.
  14. Searching_Best_Fit

    Searching_Best_Fit Well-Known Member

    The google gave me some new links about this feature: chin strap, from women's fashion:

    And a flickr page:

    It seems that piece should be sewn to the collar and allows you to rotate it once unbuttoned and unbuckled. Then it can connect to the buttons on the other collar and buckled it together. @MRR, in your case that thread was broken so that you can remove the whole piece.

    The mystery continues.
  15. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    I just cannot accept a thread as being the answer. Things attached by loose threads are either to keep them in place (pocket flaps) or keep accessories attached to garments for retail. It makes no sense for the potential stress on a throat latch to be borne by a couple loose strands. With both buttons and a buckle securing the latch to one side, it would be all to common to have the thread break from the slightest mistake in using the latch.

    Besides, I see no markings at all of where any thread would have been stitched on my coat.

    I would still say that the buttons are on the incorrect collar, except then the buttonholes in the latch would be cut incorrectly. The "thread" idea works for the shape and placement of the buttonholes, but that fails for undue stress on a thread that has no evidence of ever existing.

    Looks like I will have to contact Burberry for an explanation.

    Given that every Burberry trench coat I have seen with a throat latch has this exact same kind, I remain stunned that nobody here can give a definitive answer. Hopefully I will be able to post it when I hear back from the company.
  16. Searching_Best_Fit

    Searching_Best_Fit Well-Known Member

    ^ and I fully agree with you on the insufficient support for this chin strap thing that Burberry chooses to implement it. There are buttons and buckles on the other end to hold it nicely, but relies only on a single point of contact at this end, which puzzled me as this is simply the weakest point.

    Maybe this is simply a design element from some odd tradition?

    From some other pictures, it seems that there are throat latches implemented with hooks and eyes so the purpose of this latch seems strange.

    Do let us know what the official answer from the company to enlighten us.
  17. meanoldmanning

    meanoldmanning Well-Known Member

    It seems to be a tiny vestigial decoration rather than a functioning throat latch/chin strap
  18. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    But it's not a decoration; it's is "stored" under the collar where nobody can see it.

    Maybe, just maybe, it becomes more useful when the wool collar is added.
  19. phyrpowr

    phyrpowr Well-Known Member

    I think you're right. Without sewing the buttons onto the left collar, no way this thing closes the throat gap. Plus, a working latch should be quick and obvious.

    PS I'm even more puzzled by the fact that buttons on the left collar point would make this work just fine.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  20. MRR

    MRR Well-Known Member

    It would make it work adequately. The buttonholes would still have the rounded part on the incorrect side of the hole.

Share This Page