Good advice – commissioning a custom-tailored overcoat
There are days in Australia – or months even, in the case of well-travelled businessmen – when even the heavier winter-weight wool suitings do not offer enough protection for the everyday commute.
On days such as these, what one needs is an overcoat – but not just any overcoat. Considerations of colour, style, fabric and length must be carefully assessed and cross-referenced against intended use, body shape and desired finish. That said, it shouldn’t be a major concern – instead, let a made-to-measure tailor sort that out for the winter season ahead.
If that sounds grandiose for a garment that might only come out of the wardrobe on a handful of occasions each year, be in no doubt that a quality overcoat created in a classic style and colour variant can last for decades. Though seemingly more expensive at the outset, a carefully considered overcoat represents outstanding value for money in the long run.
Begin by considering colour. Navy, of course, is the most classic and timeless of overcoat colours, complementing almost any suit and a wide range of casual ensembles too. Still classic but slightly more contemporary is the camel overcoat – it pairs beautifully with a grey suit and additionally, with jeans, boots and a knitted jumper for a rugged weekend look. Black is a great colour for a belted trench coat while shades of grey tweed can also lend an understated sense of elegance.
The next consideration is style. The classic overcoat should be elongated and warm, often with a streamlined design aesthetic that includes welted side pockets, minimal button points, and balanced by a prominent lapel. Originally designed for military use to extend past the knee and provide greater warmth to the legs, contemporary designs often stop short of the knee and hence, create a more streamlined silhouette.
A trench coat also sits around a full knee length but is typically comprised of a lighter material such as cotton or gabardine that might be treated for water resistance – a perfect foil for unpredictable shoulder seasons. It can be single- or double-breasted and feature a number of design details such as the defining waist belt as well as wrist fasteners.
Or there is the pea coat, which is warm, more practical and a casual substitute for an overcoat – extending only to cover the buttocks and upper thighs. Typically double-breasted with a generous peaked lapel, it can be tailored to create a waist suppression and look more on-trend with a jauntily popped collar.
The choice of fabric, and fabric weight, will influence the overcoat’s warmth, durability and drape. Wool, including various weaves such as tweed and worsted, is the standard recommendation for weather resistance and robustness.
Talk to our Melbourne and Sydney showroom fitters about finding the ideal fabric weight based on the climate and usage for your overcoats – choose from Dormeuil’s selection of wool-cashmere blended fabrics to create hard-wearing garments with a softer hand and opt for its cashmere selection for ultimate luxury and comfort.
For an overcoat that will carry one through three seasons, lighter materials of the aforementioned styles might also form a quintessential part of one’s layering strategy. It’s worth noting here that an extended coat length adds a more mature and elegant overall look, whereas shorter coat styles appear trim and contemporary – but might not be as practical while dealing with strong winds or rain.
An overcoat is best tailored because measurements are of significant importance – considering how the garment needs to take into account sufficient room for layering a shirt, knitwear, jacket and sometimes scarf underneath in the coldest of winter. The finished overcoat should neither be too tight-fitting nor should it inhibit movements. Furthermore, sleeve lengths should also extend slightly beyond both the shirt and jacket cuffs in order to keep the wrists warm and for the purpose of overlapping gloves.
Alas, consider incorporating an overcoat into your casual wardrobe too which can as easily be worn with denim jeans, suede chelsea boots and knitwear as with a two-piece business suit; or even present intriguing alternatives to pair with heavyweight cotton chino trousers, popover shirts, knitted cardigans and even a beanie.
Book a fitting with our Melbourne and Sydney showroom fitters to discuss overcoats today – we’d like to keep you covered, literally and figuratively.