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Marlow White vs. "Issue" Coats

Value & Cost Comparison

We are often asked, "Why do the ‘issue’ coats on post cost less than Marlow White's?" The answer is -- you get what you pay for and most often Marlow White is still the best value. We have found that the "issue" coat nearly always requires very expensive alterations to modify the uniform to a standard that a professional Soldier would accept for their DA photo.

Bottom Line Up Front:

The "Issue" coat is not tapered and has a "boxy" cut, making the Soldier appear overweight unless the coat goes through expensive alterations.
Marlow White ASU Coat Comparison Photo
  Marlow White Coat "Issue" Coat
Initial Cost $180.00 $113.00
Attach Adjustable Button Strip $10.00 Feature Not Available
Purchase Sleeve Braid Included in Cost Not Always Included
Hem Sleeve and Attach Sleeve Braid $25.00 Usually Included on Post
Attach Sleeve Rank & Insignia $10.00 $10.00
Taper Sides Through Arm Hole Not Necessary $75.00
Lower Collar Not Necessary $30.00
Total Cost of Coat $225.00 $228.00
     
Remaining Appearance Issues:    
Crooked Front Flap Line Not Necessary Cannot Be Repaired
Front Flap Sticks Out at Bottom Not Necessary Very Difficult to Repair

Initial Conditions:

  • We used the same person for fitting both coats.
  • When sizing him, we fit the shoulders to determine the correct size.
  • Both coats started in an unaltered condition.
  • Both coats will need alterations. At a minimum, the sleeves will need to be hemmed and rank and sleeve braid attached.
  • We steamed each coat before the photo shoot.
  • We did not retouch the photos in any way.

Front View:

  1. The "issue" coat is cut without taper and is boxy, making the Soldier appear overweight. To fix this, one must alter the coat to take in the sides and adjust the taper through the arm holes, a very expensive alteration.
  2. The "issue" coat has its front flap line cut crooked. There is no way to alter the coat after production to repair this problem.
  3. Marlow White includes a "button strip" on the front of the coat that allows the front buttons to be removed when dry cleaning or pressing. While it increases the production cost of our coats by a small amount and then adds about $10 to the initial alteration cost, the button strip allows for two value features. First, it prevents damage to the buttons and fabric during dry cleaning or pressing. Secondly, the button strip can be easily moved right or left about 3/4", often eliminating the need for an expensive side alteration, either initially or if the Soldier gains or loses weight later on.
  4. Marlow White ASU Coat Comparison Photo

    Side View

    1. The shoulders of the "issue" coat are cut such that in most cases (about 80%) the back of the coat rumples at the collar. To fix this, one must open up the collar seam and lower the collar. Note that the shoulders of about 10% of Soldiers are square enough that this alteration is also needed for a Marlow White coat, but the chance that this alteration is needed is much less.
    2. The front flap of the "issue" coat does not lay flat and sticks out. It is very difficult to repair this feature after production.
    Marlow White ASU Coat Comparison Photo

    Finished Coats

    We altered both coats as described above. The total cost of each coat after alterations was about the same, $225 for the Marlow White coat and $228 for the "issue" coat. However, the "issue" coat still had value disadvantages that cannot be done through alterations:

    1. The "issue" coat has its front flap line cut crooked.
    2. Marlow White includes a button stripthat allows for removable buttons.
    3. The "issue" coat's front flap does not lay flat.
    4. The "issue" coat wrinkles very easily. Even during the photo shoot, we had to repeatedly deal with the coat becoming wrinkled.
    Marlow White ASU Coat Comparison Photo
    Marlow White ASU Coat Comparison Photo
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