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How To Style An Overcoat

23 January 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Jessica Sellers in Fashionista

Selecting and styling an overcoat

Keeping the chill at bay when exploring during the winter months or on your winter holiday calls for the right gear. Having the right coat to keep you warm based on the conditions is essential, but it doesn't mean you cannot remain stylish when still keeping warm. Overcoats of today come in so many ranges of materials and styles that consumers are spoilt for choice. So when you have so many choices, it is important to evaluate each one to find which one would be right for you.

What is an overcoat?

An overcoat is perhaps the most versatile coat that is currently available for men. Most commonly made from wool, this coat can provide you with the ultimate gentleman look during the winter months. This coat has long been the traditional coat to wear with a suit, but now it can often be seen amongst denim jeans and a hoodie. So whether you are planning on attending a formal event or you are dressing smart-casual to an evening meal, you have plenty of options to remain stylish with this one garment.

The history Of the overcoat

The men’s overcoat has been a vital part of a gentleman’s wardrobe since it was invented in the late 18th century. They were often worn as formalwear to represent the wearer’s social status or as part of their uniform, both professional and military. Either way, since the 18th century the overcoat has been at the forefront of men’s fashion.

The future of the overcoat

Today, we consider the overcoat a classic style for Winter. Due to its Versatile and stylish nature, it has stood the test of time, and there is no reason why this is ever going to change. Every suit lover should own one; after all, it might be the only thing people see when you are out and about in the brutal winter weather.

Different styles & customisations available

When you think of an overcoat, you might have a completely different image in your head compared to me. The one thing that is widely acknowledged is that an overcoat is the outermost garment of an outfit. So what about style/customisations? There are so many options to choose from after all.

Here are a wide variety of the overcoats you can find globally:

Chesterfield coat

The chesterfield is a man’s overcoat with simple vertical seams, no side-back piece, and a velvet collar, usually in grey or black. What sets this coat apart from the others is the velvet collar which is dissimilar to any other style. Now lighter coloured varieties and coats without the collar are regularly seen, but a genuine chesterfield should always have a velvet collar.

This is the ultimate single-breasted overcoat. In London, one of the first to adopt it in the middle of the nineteenth century was the Count of Chesterfield (hence the name). This style suits a formal wardrobe. Wear with a three-piece suit, or a pair of suit trousers with a high neck jumper to ensure you complete the look.

Trench coat

The trench coat is particularly light, making this coat suitable for wear in Autumn. The trench coat is a traditional and timeless model. The coat has initially been an item of clothing for Army officers (developed pre-war but adapted for use in the trenches of WW1), and you can see the military influence in the modern styles.

Traditionally available in beige/khaki, its design is characterised by distinctive shoulder pads, double-breast fastening, chin-strap, either a removable or attached belt and a triangular brim overlapping the fastener. A trench coat is an indisputable and versatile garment that is suitable for formal and informal situations.

Loden overcoat

The “Loden” overcoat is made from matted and waterproof wool. Originally Tyrolean, the earthy green colour that can be found on the Loden overcoat is now internationally available.

This traditional style overcoat could be found typically in the middle class, students and academia in the 60s and 70s.

The features include a shirt collar, buttons in braided leather (originally in bone), armholes hidden by stitched flaps, along fold on the back, slanting pockets with flaps and bands with buttons at the end of the sleeves.

Peacoat

A peacoat, also known as a caban, is an overcoat, generally of a navy coloured heavy wool, that was initially worn by sailors.

Today the style is considered a classic, and pea coats are now worn by all manner of individuals. In some versions of this style, peacoats have evolved to include hoods to protect consumers from wet weather.

Pea coats are characterised by short length, broad lapels, double-breasted fronts, often large wooden, metal or plastic buttons, and vertical or slash pockets.

Ulster

When you think of an ulster coat, you should think of an elegantly designed overcoat that is worn usually over the winter months. A genuine Ulster is made out of tweed or more specifically Donegal Tweed. This is a kind of heavy tweed and was initially invented in the province of Ulster. It is characterised by its rustic hand-woven look, as well as its multicoloured dots. Modern-day tailors such as Edit Suits Co, use traditional Italian mills such as Loro Piana for a very expensive looking, traditional Ulster.

Fabrics

Wool

Wool is natural and breathable. It is known for its insulating properties and softness. You may consider splashing out on a 100% wool version or go for wool blends – both are viable options that will keep you warm. The good thing about sheep’s wool is that the finishes are customisable. Some examples are boiled wool, flannel, gabardine and felt. Sheep’s wool is also water-resistant, which makes it perfect for snowy weather.

Cashmere

Cashmere is far more expensive than sheep’s wool, but the difference is clear. Fabulously soft and silky, it is probably one of the best picks for one particular coat to use for special occasions. Cashmere is more challenging to care for, but it is worth the risk. Anyone who has owned a cashmere coat before will also agree.

Mohair

With its distinctive frizzy look, mohair is ideal for winter coats and jackets. Made from the fleece of the Angora goat. The material comes second to none in terms of natural durability. It is warm and fuzzy, and it fits both men’s and women’s wardrobes. Either pure or blended with wool, mohair fabrics will keep you comfortably warm all season long.

Tweed

Tweed fabrics are either wool or wool blends; the classic colourways have always been all about earthy tones. Tweeds are sturdy and durable; they are one of those timeless options that never go out of fashion. They are also highly versatile: lightweight tweeds woven with fancy yarn are perfect for those Chanelesque looks, while Harris tweed is the iconic fabric for gentlemen.

Fur/Faux fur

One of the oldest materials used by people to stay warm in the winter, fur is a ‘yes’ when it comes to coats. Mink, chinchilla, sable, fox, beaver fur are just some varieties. It is also available in a synthetic form. You get the same gorgeous look and texture while remaining animal-friendly. If you want to add some fur to your wardrobe, make sure you buy a high-quality fabric, which is usually more expensive. Poor quality fur will not ward off the cold.

Customisations

If you have an ideal overcoat in mind and want to create something a little more unique, you have many customisation options available to you. If you wish to widen the traditional lapels/remove them altogether, pick a particular button style out of the thousands of options available, or finally you want to customise the original single-breasted style and move to a double-breasted fashion, then this is all possible.

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is fashion.

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