Overcoats: The must-have for the big chill
When winter’s looming we all reach for the old faithful overcoat that has served us well for several seasons, but maybe it’s time to change things up. Outerwear is just as if not more important than what lies beneath and outerwear trends vary more often seasonally than suiting. As well as keeping the wearer warm an overcoat is designed to protect the wearer’s garments from rain, snow, sleet, mud and anything else the less predictable elements might throw at it.
The overcoat is a versatile garment and can be worn many ways. During the week it means business worn over suits and shirts, at weekends with jeans and sneakers it’s an uptown way of dressing down. Even thrown over the shoulders as a makeshift cape, it can make brave trips in the cold out to get coffee a tonne more stylish.
So what should you look for in an overcoat? Choose premium fabrics in winter weights to keep you warm. Wool, cashmere and blends of both are a natural choice that breathes and still keeps the cold and wet out. Your overcoat should also accommodate whatever’s underneath, so make sure you size up for suits, knitwear and scarves to have room to move.
In terms of design, go classic or bold. Dark colours in black, navy and charcoal are definitely the archetype and will work well with your existing wardrobe. Lighter colours like camel and oyster grey are excellent choices for a more fashionable look, particularly when worn with a turtle-neck jumper. Or maybe you want something a little louder, something stylish and individual? Lighter coloured fabrics like baby blue, or racing-car red make a statement in wet and bleak winter landscapes. Coloured plaids and checks are also another way to have more winter fun without block colouring and are less restrictive in terms of mix-and-match options.
As for closures, single or double-breasted are both sensible options. A single-breasted coat will never go out of style, while a double-breasted coat gives you a more buttoned-up military look and the feeling of extra warmth and security. It’s a matter of personal taste and dressing for your frame, on which your tailor will advise in your fitting.
However you wear your overcoat, they’re an essential component of every gentleman’s wardrobe. Even having just one will make the world of difference and will give you a good basis to build up a collection cold season after season. Make an appointment today before the freeze hits to create your unique Oscar Hunt winter overcoat.