Key Outerwear for Autumn/Winter 18: The Overcoat

Key Outerwear for Autumn/Winter 18: The Overcoat

There are so many different types of men's coats and men's coat styles out there, but one that's a constant classic is the overcoat. It's simple, timeless and gives you a hint of sophistication. This guide will break down the overcoat and why it's a must-have, as well as teaching you how to wear one with style.

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Guide to Buying The Perfect Men's Overcoat

When it comes to picking out the perfect overcoat there are a few things you'll need to consider. Firstly, before you start thinking about anything else, it's all about the fit for purpose. If it's a casual overcoat you're looking for, there's a bit more flexibility in terms of the style and fit of the coat.

When looking for that perfect overcoat to sit over your smarter tailored look, there are more things to consider, including the suitability of your coat to your suit colours, the size of your coat to fit over your suit and, of course, the level of formality - you can't be throwing an oversized loose fitted jacket over your smart fitted suit.

With all this in mind, we've covered everything you need to consider when picking up your overcoat below.

The Fit

When looking at the fit of your overcoat, the number one rule is to wear the outfit you plan on mixing it with when heading out to purchase. By nature, an overcoat should sit comfortable on top of your other layers without restricting movement. In other words, it should really be able to work as a last minute addition that you can throw on as you dart out the door.

While they're typically worn open, another good way of judging the fit is to button the overcoat up entirely, and if it doesn't close then it's too small. When looking at the length, the ideal and most classic fit should leave it sitting roughly three inches below the knee, although modern iterations are often sitting above or on the knee as a feature of the design.


Smart Fit

If it's a smart overcoat your after, it doesn't get much better than a classic camel option. Easily mixed with almost any colour in your wardrobe, the camel overcoat is a necessary staple for every man's smart attire. You want it to fit comfortably over a suit and other formal outfits, so having breathing space around the arms and shoulders allows you to move around. If you've got this right, you can slip it on and wear it everyday.

Casual Fit

With a casual overcoat, you're not quite as restricted with the fit or colour combinations as you would be with a smart alternative. Look for a slightly oversized option for an element of style. This gives off a casual fit to the coat structure, making it incredibly easy to layer over any casual clothing. Also, a textured, natural woollen feel will add depth to an otherwise muted option, making it ideal for layering over an all-black-everything ensemble.


With a few options at your disposal when considering materials, once again, thinking about how you plan on using your overcoat is a must. We'd all love to go for the soft, plush feel that cashmere brings to the table, however the soft and supple nature of the natural fibre doesn't offer the best durability. Likewise, while 100% wool may seem appealing, if you'll be wearing it all day every day it may be worth considering a blended material which will preserve colour and shape better.

  • Men's Wool Overcoat: The most popular choice of material for an overcoat, and when you stack up the benefits of this naturally occurring fibre it's pretty clear why. First and foremost, it's thermal insulation properties make it ideal for a year-round jacket, meaning it'll be warming in winter and cooling in summer. On top of this, it's completely wrinkle resistant, hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, anti-static, flame resistant, eco-friendly and very easily cleaned thanks to its scale like composition. If that hasn't sold it to you then thanks to the surplus nature of wool, if you're clever about things you can really grab a bargain on a 100% wool coat. While you'll be just as likely to find one sitting on the shelves of a high-end luxury store, you can easily find one at a reasonable price on the high street.
  • Men's Tweed Overcoat: While tweed has often been associated with stuffy old British countrymen, recent years have seen its revival on the high street with contemporary twists on the historically traditional designs - not to mention it's a commonplace among high-end designers such as Chanel. Similarly to wool, it's incredibly warm and very easily cleaned. One of its most appealing characteristics, however, is in the durability that tweed possesses. Originally used in country hunting jaunts and the likes, tweed will hold its shape incredibly well and will take a serious battering before showing signs of wear and tear.



Smart Look

When looking for a smart men's long overcoat, you should aim to go for a wool / cashmere blend as it'll typically not have to withstand the battering that a casual coat would, and it'll look smart and suitable for the office. Offering all the benefits of a natural fibre with its superior warmth, breathability, and opulent feeling, the coat will give off ridiculous amounts of comfort and style. As mentioned previously, you can comfortably go for something more natural - the blended polyester / wool fabric adds suitability with wrinkle and stretch resistant features, as well as quick drying and having the ability to hold its shape for longer periods of time.

Casual Look

When looking for something a little more casual, you really want a coat that's got a synthetic fabric blended in for added durability. You want the coat to withstand the wear and tear of continual wear when out and about without the loss of shape, colour and texture. The casual overcoat gives you more options when it comes to material as you can invest in a textured bouclé one or a smoother synthetic version - depending on your look, the coat can be adapted.

How to Style Your Overcoat

Typically worn undone for a cool and casual look, or when you just get too hot commuting in the morning, the overcoat will be your best friend. Alongside this, the pockets on the front allow you to store your things away safely with very little chance of them falling out. Now if that hasn't sold you on the overcoat I don't know what will.

Casual Styling

Suave, smart and sophisticated. Choosing a black suit, some patent formal shoes and a black overcoat is a perfect way to up your sartorial smarts. The overcoat will add to the professional look you're going for, and with the clean lines and fitting shape you can wear this from autumn all the way through to spring.

Formal Styling

A classic ensemble, mixing a simple pair of jeans and a grey sweater with some trainers is an outfit that'll suit many casual settings. Throw a camel coloured coat over the simple getup for the perfect finish - job done! If you're going for a black or grey coat then why not try pairing it with a casual pair of slim fit chinos and jumper for a trip down the pub after work.



Your Quick Guide to Men's Overcoats

  • Overcoats are versatile and can be worn both casually and formally.
  • By nature, an overcoat should sit comfortably without restricting movement.
  • Colour comes down to personal preference. Camel, black or grey are the classics.
  • Consider what it is you want to wear your jacket with, be it jeans, tailoring or something else.

On That Note

There you have it! With all the information above you're all set to both buy and style your camel coat with confidence. Remember; when purchasing a camel coat always consider the suitability as to where it is you'll be wearing it. Think smart, tailored, simple colours with quality finishes for a smarter ensemble. And when looking for something suited to casual wear, feel free to get a little more experimental with silhouettes, colours and texture - once you're not opting for a luminous green shade, you should be pretty safe.


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