As winter bites, one fashion staple every well dressed man needs is a trusty overcoat.
Styles and fashions may blow in and out with the seasons, yet a true gentleman knows a well chosen classic will stand the test of time.
To help you through the colder months, we’ve chosen five classic coats which will keep you cosy and classy.
That timeless Scots twill, which takes its name from the Highland river, tweed is a sturdy fabric beloved of college dons and country landowners. Its elegant edge is admired by many a well-dressed man.
Over the years it’s been sported by celebrities as diverse as Woody Allen and Sean Connery, who made it an iconic look in early Bond movies. It’s still a strong look today.
It’s no surprise that such a hardwearing fabric has stood the test of time: at once warm and tough, yet always adding a touch of class to any look.
As Luke Sampson at Fashion Beans notes:
“Tweed’s ruggedly masculine yet classically charming appearance has lent itself to the wardrobes of farmers and landed gentry, making it one of menswear’s most democratic fabrics.”
Shaking off its 18th century Scottish origins and striding into the 21st century, you’ll always be warm and well dressed in tweed.
The trendy trench coat
Originally developed at the turn of the 20th century, what we now know as the trench coat takes many of its styling cues from the military overcoats worn by soldiers in the First World War.
A great overcoat for any occasion, this piece has kept it’s allure for a century, looking just as great with a modern three piece suit as it did on the archetypal 1950s private eye. Who can’t help feeling a little Bogart swagger as they belt up this little beige classic?
And the style has changed very little in the past 100 years, with most trench coats still sporting a double-breasted fastening, chin-strap, belt, epaulettes, D-rings and a belt with multiple lines of stitching.
Designed for practicality, this truly versatile coat has stood the test of time, and is still great for all occasions.
The practical peacoat
Another coat with military heritage, the peacoat can trace its roots back to maritime beginnings in the 1720s.
Originally a longer design, this coat was made from a heavy material designed to shelter the sailors of European navies from the vagaries of a life on the ocean wave.
Today’s peacoats retain the smart, shipshape look of their forebears with a double breast with large buttons, as well as deep pockets perfect for warming your hands. At the same time, the length of the jacket has been chopped to allow greater flexibility and manoeuvrability to the wearer.
Johnathan Bell, founder of fashion blog Guy Style Guide, calls the coat “stylish and practical” and says:
“Peacoats (sometimes called pilot jackets) are a celebrity favorite and are extremely popular among younger guys, particularly university and college students.”
Ideal for a smart yet slightly more informal look, especially if you need to get a bit hands-on.
The name of the covert coat suggests hiding out in bushes, and that is indeed closer to its origins than you may have thought.
As with most great overcoats, this style was designed for outdoors types, and originally created for hunters and made to suit an equestrian style.
Always single breasted with a centre vent designed for horse riding and flap pockets, this riders’ favourite made a smooth transition to urban wear. Those extra three or four rows of stitching to cuff and hem were originally for protecting the cloth from brambles, but add an extra touch of style to this coat.
And the coat’s trademark ‘covert cloth’ material, heavy and durable, will help you look great while feeling snug.
The orderly overcoat
It’s often the right choice to go back to basics and put on a good old overcoat. Especially useful if you’re in a suit.
The no-nonsense stylings of a standard overcoat, with its wider cut and longer length, mean no matter what the outside world throws at you, you can still arrive looking fresh.
As a true style staple, your overcoat could take a lot of punishment, so it’s important to choose a good fabric. A good quality wool or cashmere is perfect for the winter months, and as the days lengthen into spring, try a topcoat of lighter cotton instead.
These five coats should help you stay warm this winter, and with the right gloves or scarf you can make a look that’s completely your own. If you’ve got a fashion favourite coat or look, why not share it with us on our Facebook page?