There is a long-standing, and completely false, American impression that English country clothing has not changed since Edward VII made tweeds socially acceptable. The truth is that some of the best clothing for the out-of-doors has been developed in England since the war with the knowledge that the British gained about protective clothing for their military and for the Everest expedition. Now a new coat, completely radical in the construction of its fabric, has come out of England ( Abercrombie & Fitch, $68). It's of Gannex cloth, a warm, lightweight and absolutely waterproof double fabric of tightly woven cotton on the outside and black, red and yellow plaid wool on the inside, the two shells so firmly bound together that the coat has waffle-weave texture from the heavy weave of the wool. The knee-length coat is tailored with all of the swagger associated with British officers—large patch pockets, bi-swing pleats at the shoulders, epaulets, side vents, leather buttons and lapped seams. With it, in the fields near Chatham, Mass., Bill Bettendorf Jr. wears another English innovation: a soft tweed hat. A. J. Harman of Hilhouse of Bond St., the hatter who first trimmed down the peak cap and started a fad three years ago, designed this trimmed-down version of an English country classic. Mr. Harman views it as a successor to the cap. It will be at Tripler's, N.Y.