How to Choose and Buy An Overcoat

by Jamie

An overcoat is a staple part of men’s winter fashion. Traditionally used in the military, this formal piece of outerwear has grown to become one of the most stylish coats around. Here’s how to find the right one for you. 

An overcoat has been an essential part of men’s wardrobes for years, and the most stylish men know just when to style them. They usually run a bit higher in price, but they are also high quality pieces that you’ll wear enough to justify the price tag. Although they seem like a formal piece through and through, there are definitely ways you can style it casually. Overall, you won’t regret dropping some extra cash on this piece, and you’ll look infinitely more stylish.

Types of Overcoats

Men’s Camel Overcoat

Arguably one of the most popular colours around, a camel overcoat is a classic piece of men’s winter clothing. The lighter colour is great for bringing some extra dimensions to your look. Winter outfits are usually relatively monochrome in colour. A camel coat for men is therefore a perfect way to bring some extra detail to your look.

Try teaming a camel topcoat with a thick jumper and some simple black jeans for a classic winter look. Add the finishing touches with a pair of suede Chelsea boots or some brogues. With a men’s camel coat, you’ll have no shortage of stylish ways to keep warm.

Navy Overcoat

Just as classic as camel, the navy overcoat is arguably a lot more versatile. A double breasted overcoat or a peacoat were originally worn by sailors in the navy. Choosing a dark blue coat is therefore great if you’re looking for a more traditional style. In addition to this, the darker colour means you can wear it with more clothes. For a simple winter style try teaming your coat with a plain white T-shirt, some black jeans and a pair of boots.

Peacoat Over Suit

As already mentioned, a peacoat is a type of overcoat that was traditionally worn by the navy. The double breast design and large lapels meant it was perfect at defending against the harsh ocean weather. Despite its practical history, the peacoat is also one of the most stylish and formal coats around.

What to wear with a peacoat? Unlike other styles, the peacoat isn’t that long, making it a great way to wear a peacoat over a suit. Get your hands on a dark shade and wear it with your work outfit to stay looking smart this winter.

Topcoat vs Overcoat

The main difference between an overcoat and a topcoat is weight. Whereas an overcoat is generally made from a heavier fabric such as wool or cotton, a topcoat may come in a more lightweight material. They are also typically shorter than an men’s overcoat, and end just above the knees. These are also not to be confused with a gilet – a kind of coat without sleeves.

Men’s Topcoats

A trench coat is a typical example of a men’s topcoat. The lightweight waterproof material makes it a great addition to any formal outfit. This style of jacket is great for when the weather isn’t cold enough for a full on winter coat.

How to Style an Overcoat

How to Wear an Overcoat Casually

Despite the formal overtones of this style of coat, it can look great when worn in a more casual outfit. Try wearing a black overcoat with a grey sweatshirt for a simple monochrome look. Add some streetwear essentials like jeans and a beanie hat to add the casual details.

How to Wear an Overcoat Formally

Fortunately wearing an overcoat formally is extremely easy. Although you have to be careful with colour combinations, overcoats will go with most smart outfits. For a classic look, try wearing a camel suit overcoat with a dark grey suit coat. The contrast between the grey of the suit and the brighter outerwear is perfect for bringing some extra dimensions to your outfit.

How to Fit an Overcoat

When choosing and buying an overcoat, the size is one of the most important parts to get right. There’s no point in wearing a really nice coat if it doesn’t fit properly. The first thing you need to do is get yourself measured. If you’re unsure on how to do this yourself then most suit shops or tailors will do it for you.

However, when purchasing a coat, take the amount of layers you will be wearing into account. It may be worth getting a coat in a larger size to compensate for the clothes you’re wearing on top.

How to Choose and Buy An Overcoat

  • Make sure you get the fit of your coat right. Measure your chest and remember to compensate for layers.
  • Choose the right colour. Camel and navy overcoats are classic styles that will always be in style.
  • A peacoat is a short overcoat style that works great with a suit.
  • Topcoats are lighter than a classic overcoat. They’re perfect for a formal style when it starts to get warmer.
  • Try wearing an overcoat with a more casual streetwear outfit for something different.

On That Note

Whether you prefer the traditional wool overcoat or something a bit more lightweight, there’s something out there for everyone. The popularity of this long coat is impossible to deny. It’s rich history means that it’s great for creating an old school look that is still extremely stylish. However, despite all this, the versatility of this coat is perhaps what makes it such a great piece of winter fashion.

Feature image from Pinterest

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