My mother has just adopted my sister-in-law’s great-grandfather’s greatcoat (so… probably 1910s-1920s?) for her own use. It is extremely warm, weighs a ton, appears to be indestructable as it shows no sign of wear, and was evidently tailored with considerable artistry. I found the insides very interesting to examine!
I’m very puzzled by a couple of features. The belt is secured by being sewn to the back, but there are also a couple of slits in the side seams of the coat in a position that suggests the belt is intended to pass through them – but it can’t, because apart from anything else the buckle wouldn’t fit! Moreover on the left side only, there is a second slit just in front of the first backed by a vertical buttoned flap on the inside. On the right-hand side, there is no such opening: instead, there is a semi-circular piece of stiffened cloth attached to the inside front edge of the coat with two buttons. I can’t even guess at the purpose of either.
I’m wondering if this could be a specialised military/uniform greatcoat (it’s double-breasted in grey wool), with these being left-over attachment points for some piece of equipment?