An overcoat is a practical and timeless must-have piece that all men should own. This is everything you need to know about them before investing in a men’s overcoat.
Each man has his own preferences when it comes to fashion, yet there are a few items that can’t go missing in anyone’s wardrobe, no matter the personal style. A pair of blue navy jeans, monochrome leather sneakers, a classic white shirt… All staple menswear pieces, just like the overcoat.
It is a functional and fashionable piece that made its first appearance in the late 18th century, and since then it has become a key element in the gentleman’s wardrobe. There are different alternatives for the winter season, like a puffer jacket or a wool blazer, but there is something about a men’s overcoat that can’t be beaten.
Let’s talk about the benefits. An overcoat is not just a versatile piece that can work for casual, smart-casual and formal outfits. It is a handy garment that can be used to upgrade any look, while it can also help you look more graceful and sophisticated with little to no effort.
Types of overcoats
Just like we have informal trousers and dress pants, there are different styles of overcoats too. You can opt for a warm, water-resistant alternative made of wool. Or you can go for a simpler version for day-to-day errands.
Besides the fabric and the design, all overcoats have pretty much the same structure and goal. They are often made of heavy fabrics一reason why they are so great for winter season一 and they can be single or double-breasted.
When we talk about single breasted coats or jackets we mean that the piece has a narrow front overlap and only one column of buttons. These are the most versatile choice because they are minimalist and subtle, which makes them perfect to combine with a working suit or a casual weekend look.
On the other hand, double breasted items have a wider overlap and two columns of buttons. These look more traditional and therefore they are likely less suitable to match with casualwear. On the contrary, they pair well with tailored clothes. Both single and double-breasted can come with an additional belt as well.
Meanwhile, many people confuse the overcoat with the topcoat, which is actually lighter and shorter than the overcoat. A third option is the greatcoat that is bulkier and heavier than the overcoat.
Before we move on, you might want to check out what clothes to avoid in order to dress your age.
Fit, fabric and style
All men should invest in an overcoat because it is a timeless, versatile piece. And there are a few things you need to have in consideration in order to make the right purchase.
A quality overcoat will protect you during the harshest storms and cold days, if it’s made of the right fabrics. Nowadays, we can find overcoats made of cashmere, wool and even blends.
The ones made of 100% cashmere are softer, warmer and more elegant. Therefore, they can be quite expensive and heavy too. Nonetheless, there are also alternatives made entirely of wool or wool-cashmere blends that are much more accessible.
Natural fibers usually last longer and they are more durable, so you might want to take a moment to think this through before this investment.
On a second note, fit is also an important aspect when shopping for an overcoat. For example, if you are going to wear it on top of your work suit, you need to make sure it is not so tight so there’s room for your blazer underneath and that it has matching shoulder pads. On the other hand, for a casual look it’s best to look for a tighter overcoat with a soft shoulder.
Regarding style, there are, of course, plenty of choices you can make. But here’s our advice. If this is your first-ever overcoat, it is best that you choose a block color instead of patterns. The most classic tones for a contemporary overcoat are navy blue, camel, black and different shades of gray, like charcoal or anthracite.
If you already have a collection of overcoats, then a patterned one can be a great addition to spice up your wardrobe, add texture and make your outfits more interesting. But, as we said, that is if you already have other neutral options in your closet and you just want to add a statement piece.
If you are having second thoughts about what you need (or don’t) in your wardrobe, then here’s how to create a capsule wardrobe for men.
For daily activities, such as grabbing a coffee on a Sunday morning, going for a walk at the park or grocery shopping, you can overlay your overcoat with a hoodie underneath.
A matching pair of joggers or jeans in the same tones will create a stylish casual look, which you can then top off with your favorite pair of sneakers.
On a similar note, you can exchange the hoodie for a patterned knitted sweater along with jeans for a family gathering. Instead of denim pants, you can try on a pair of beige or dark gray chinos with suede Chelsea boots. This is a slightly more refined look, but still as comfortable and casual.
A third option for a date or for having drinks with friends is opting for a monochrome look with a contrasting overcoat on top. Try a pair of black denim trousers and a matching turtleneck. On your feet, you can put on a pair of leather Oxford boots. Through a dark green (or checked patterned) overcoat on top and you’re ready to go!
If you’re looking for an overcoat to wear daily at the office, then you should opt for navy blue, gray and black options because they are more appropriate for business matters. Speaking of which, if you are unsure on what clothes are appropriate for work, here’s an example on how to dress for a job interview.