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Overcoat guidePublished: Found in: Tailoring guides
The overcoat has stood the test of time. When the colder months of the year approaches, you need to make sure that your outerwear wardrobe can manage both style and the cold with ease. Since you want to look presentable and elegant even when everyone else is wearing puffer jackets, you want to gravitate towards a wool overcoat. The design and fit has been adapted to the trends of the time, but never strayed too far away from its original shape and style.
A high quality men’s overcoat is a staple piece in the fall and winter wardrobe due to its versatility and a garment that will never go out of style. There are a few different options to consider when choosing what wool overcoat to get and in this article we will dive deeper in its history, quality and designs.
The classic men's overcoat
The overcoat first appeared in the 18th century and was worn by the Dutch at sea and was made from thick coarse wool to keep the navy warm and soon after, became a staple in the military force and Navy.
Since it first appeared, the design of the overcoat has not changed a lot but has followed the trends of the time and been adjusted accordingly. As the overcoat grew and became available to working class men, the silhouette became looser to better suit proletariat needs.
We prefer to create our overcoats with a quite straight cut that contributes to a classic appearance. It also leaves room for layers, such as knitwear and a jacket, underneath. The length is of course, adjustable, but should end just below your knees to create a well balanced outfit.
Wool – The optimal fabric when it comes to keeping warm. Due to its natural isolating characteristic, wool is a natural choice for a coat. Our wool qualities are soft to the touch but has the perfect structure that you want a coat to have. Wool is a durable fabric and preferable if you are searching for an overcoat for your everyday needs.
Cashmere – Few other materials are as soft as cashmere. The softness combined with a beautiful luster creates a luxurious fabric that is perfect for overcoats. Cashmere is not as durable as merino wool, but it keeps you warm and creates a nice drape. If you are looking for a soft and warm overcoat with a luxurious feeling, cashmere is the way to go.
Double breasted wool overcoat
Perhaps the most classic interpretation of the wool overcoat, the double-breasted one. The main difference between the double-breasted and the single-breasted overcoat is the button closer. There are two layers of fabric in the front of the double-breasted coat when closed, followed by two rows of buttons. The double-breasted wool overcoat is highly versatile in its area of use, hence a must-have in the wardrobe. The double-breasted overcoat is preferably made in a dark shade of blue, brown, or grey and with a more generous length.
To maximize the versatility we like to design our double-breasted coats with a so-called ulster lapel, which falls somewhere in between notch and peak lapels. Commonly used on outerwear such as wool overcoats and pea coats. They give the coat the in-between formality that makes it wearable for almost all occasions and with all outfits.
The single-breasted wool overcoat
The most common interpretation today is the single-breasted overcoat. Characterized by its centered button closure and notch or peak lapels. Also a highly versatile piece of outerwear. Best worn in the middle of the formality scale, and combined with garments such as odd jackets and knitwear. And when being long enough, still a perfect piece for the more formal approach with a suit.
The key here is to go for a darker color and not make it too short, as mentioned before the overcoat should be at least knee-long. There are a few options for the choice of lapels on a single-breasted overcoat. It can both be done with a notch and peak lapel, but also with a shirt collar. While being the least formal version of collar, the shirt collar on single-breasted coat is a great choice. It makes it more wearable with casual outfits while still not looking out of place while dressed up.
How do I decide on what formal overcoat to get?
A formal overcoat could be either single-breasted or double-breasted, however, it has to have real lapels and a full length. The ideal formal overcoat should be double-breasted in a dark cashmere fabric, designed with a peak lapel and welt pockets.
In this way you get a very sleek look with the added formality from the lapels and the cashmere luster. If you however want to have a formal overcoat that should still work for everyday use, a good choice is the dark blue coat with the ulster lapel. The fabric is dark enough to be formal as well as the design of the lapels. But it can still be worn with a pair of denim and a roll neck (unlike the dark cashmere one with peak lapels). Here are two great examples of versatile formal overcoats:
What casual overcoat should I get?
The best casual overcoat is the one you can wear every day to almost anything. The key here is to look for something that fits the majority of your existing wardrobe. For example, a blue coat if you mostly wear darker colors and a light brown one if you wear a lot of earthy tones. The lapels could be done in a number of different ways, depending on how casual your casual attire is. To give your coat a more relaxed look, aim for the patch pocket and unconstructed shoulder.
For someone that wears a lot of denim and casual pieces to work a light brown single-breasted coat with notch lapels would probably work best due to the minimal amount of details and approachable color. For a more dressed-up casual attire, a double-breasted coat in camel-colored cashmere is the go-to. A very elegant way to look sharp while still not being formal in any sense. Simply a great coat to dress down.
Something special happens when you take a piece of such extravagance and dress it down with a piece of knitwear and denim for a Saturday stroll in town, see for yourself.
Read more from the journalThere are many ways of defining a classic suit, both regards to fabric, color, how, when and for how long (historically), people have been wearing it....
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