Let’s discuss winter’s unsung hero, the overcoat. In a world of parkas, fleece coats, and bomber jackets, the overcoat is set apart. Whether you are heading to dinner or the office, you want to make a good impression and be taken seriously. Your solution is the overcoat.
A gentleman's overcoat has been a staple of function and fashion for as long as the suit has. There are many types of overcoats; the Greatcoat, the Topcoat, the Ulster, the Paletot, the Chesterfield, and the Peacoat. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of styles, but for simplicity let's talk about the single or double-breasted version that can be worn either in a casual or professional setting.
Not much has changed since the inception of the overcoat – except, unfortunately, the quality. Often, today’s overcoats are created with inexpensive mass-produced synthetic fibres and are designed to follow fickle fashion trends. Let's re-write that story with a return to the classic, high-quality, sophisticated overcoat.
Material: Traditionally overcoats were made of natural fibres, built to last. 100% wool or wool/cashmere blends are designed to naturally stand up to the elements and keep the wearer warm and comfortable.
Fit: Overcoats, as the name implies, are designed to fit over your clothes, whether it is a suit or more casual attire. So, if you are buying an overcoat or having it tailored, make sure to allow for a little extra room. This doesn't mean it has to be sloppy – it should still fit YOU properly. The sleeves should be a little longer than your suit jacket to cover past your wrists and the cuff of your glove. Don't be afraid to have the length of your overcoat a little longer. While it is a matter of choice, remember this key fact: the length needs to be proportionate to your body type. A simple rule of thumb – just above the knee is perfect.
To sum things up, whether you are buying an overcoat for the first time or you are looking to reinvent your professional image – remember to focus on the quality of material and construction first, then consider your fit. Make your impression a clean, sophisticated, and classic one.