December 28, 2011

Style Feature: The Wool Coat

A good wool coat should be one of the staples of any winter wardrobe. As with all your clothing, fit, function, and fabric are the most important things to consider when shopping for a new coat. I have picked four of my go-to styles to feature here, but this is just a small sampling of the variety that is available.

1. Classic Peacoat

This peacoat was bought when I was wearing a suit to work everyday and it is also one of the heaviest and warmest wools that I own. I have searched for years to find another as heavy but without much success.

Extra Tip : If buying a coat to wear over a suit or sport jacket, make sure to wear the jacket when you go shopping to make sure the fit is comfortable enough.

Extra Tip II : Probably the best place to go for a warm and durable peacoat is a military surplus store. They will be affordable, built to last, and will keep you as warm as just about any other comparable coat you will find.

Peacoat by INC; Chinos by Kenneth Cole New York; Boots by John Varvatos;
Scarf by Psycho Bunny; Gloves by Isotoner; Sunglasses by Prada.
2. Three-Quarter Trench

This updated take on the belted trench shortens it and slims down the fit. The military-inspired detailing in the epaulets and gunflap add some structure to an otherwise soft coat.

Extra Tip : In a lighter weight wool, such as this, you want to either buy it fitted (and keep it for the slightly less frigid temperatures) or make sure there is enough room to be able to layer a chunky sweater underneath for warmth in the dead of winter.

Trench by French Connection; Pants by Marc by Marc Jacobs;
Boots by AllSaints Spitalfields; Scarf by John Varvatos.
3. Modern Overcoat

Not all overcoats need to be the same shapeless black, camel, or navy that flood the streets of downtown NYC during the winter. Break out of the mold and go with an overcoat that has a more updated style and silhouette like this glen plaid.

Extra Tip : The slim silhouette that is nipped in at the waist provides a more fitted appearance while still providing enough room to layer underneath. At the same time a narrower button stance helps slim and lengthen the silhouette.

Extra Tip II : It’s all in the details! The ticket pocket adds a bit of classic flair while the leather trim on the pockets, buttonholes, and collar straps really makes this coat unique.

Overcoat by John Varvatos; Trousers by Fink Clothing;
Boots by AllSaints Spitalfields; Shirt by Charles Tyrwhitt;
Quarter-zip by Nautica; Scarf by Burberry; Gloves by French Connection.
4. Double-Breasted with a Twist

This coat is an updated take on a classic, with styling that hearkens back to mid-century military dress. The wool has a rougher hand than is usually found on winter-weight wool that, when paired with the fitted cut, gives the coat a decidedly rugged and more casual feel.

After two seasons, this has become my go-to wool for daily wear. When you put the snug fit, hearty hand, and hard details together, it has the same place in my wardrobe that a motorcycle jacket might (but with the ability to be a little dressier if needed).

Coat by AllSaints Spitalfields; Cords by Nautica;
Sneakers by Paul Smith Jeans; Scarf by Moschino; Sunglasses by Prada.
There are dozens more styles of winter wools and I have seen zippers becoming incredibly popular over the last few seasons. My advice would be to avoid anything with zippers because in the freezing cold, metal (and zipper teeth in particular) is the last thing that I want to have to deal with.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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