With the bomb cyclone behind us and much of the nation now thawing out after a week of particularly freezing temperatures, you can now consider swapping your parka for something with a bit more style. A lot of guys tend to think of a dressy winter coat as a formal suit that goes on top on your outfit, which can create a lot of background anxiety around planning your look. Is this jacket dressy enough? Is it too dressy?
As always, it’s a lack of education and a fear of the unknown that sabotages our swagger. Rather than being intimidated by a coat’s innate elegance, think of this classic piece as an elevated bridge between dressier items like suits and ties, and casual pieces like gourmet hoodies, white sneaks and burly flannels. Cop the right one and you might find that it’s your new go-to, as it matches pretty much everything and can withstand almost any elements thrown its way.
The benefits of having a classic duffle coat in your rotation are many. For one, it’s pretty much the only “dressy” overcoat that comes with a hood, making it perfect for snowy situations. Another key feature is its iconic toggles. You might not appreciate the ease with which you can open your coat at first, but just wait until you hear nature call and your near frigid hands are unresponsive and useless. If you are on a budget and need a quick winter coat solution, Uniqlo offers a version that looks just as good as ones that cost five times as much.
A lot of dudes think that winter coats have to be black, dark blue or grey. Maybe it has something to do with the invisible hand of Seasonal Affective Disorder. We say: Combat the winter blues (or greys) by sporting a colorful topcoat inspired by rock gods like Johnny Thunders and Keith Richards, as well as dope MCs like Mos Def. A piece like this would obviously look sick with a rakish suit and a pair of Chelsea boots, but it would also work well with some Converse All Stars and a top-notch hoodie.
It’s always a good move to drink Italian wine with Italian food, and it’s always a safe bet to purchase a winter coat made in a region notorious for its shitty weather. When it comes crafting garments designed to handle brutally cold, biting winds and general meteorological misery, there’s no better brand in the game than LL Bean. For our money, you can’t go wrong with the Maine-based company’s classic pea coat. It’s the perfect coat for those in-between days when you need something heavier than a fall coat but lighter than a three-quarter-length topcoat.
It’s weird to mention that herringbone is super “in” right now, seeing that it’s been around since the days of the Romans, when it was the preferred pattern of the urban planners responsible for paving the roads of the Empire. If you’re in the market for something a little more sartorial than a solid grey or blue coat, but still want to keep things profesh and classic, a double-breasted herringbone topcoat is perfect. Its subtle pattern instantly elevates any look and its elegant silhouette plays well with everything from a clean white tee to a power suit.
A “winter coat” means something very different to a Texan than it does to a New Englander. If you are blessed to live in a more temperate climate, we highlight recommend investing in a waterproof waxed overcoat. Its tough-guy exterior will shield you from the wrath of the elements like a champ and, as it ages, it will develop a killer patina. Rock yours with a pair of dark blue jeans and some heavy English brogues for a snazzy country gentleman vibe.