A coat is a very special garment and it might be the most satisfying in your wardrobe. When you try on a quality coat, sometimes it just feels right. Something about the protective fit and the heavy fabric can make you feel simultaneously safe and elegant.
Let us look at the three aspects that makes a winter coat great, so that you also may enjoy this feeling.
Mr Richard Gere in American Gigolo (1980). Photograph by Paramount Pictures/Photofest
As with any garment fit is very important. However, with a coat you can play a little with oversize as well. It can actually be quite a cool feeling and look to wear an oversized coat, but make sure it looks purposefully oversized.
If you want the classic perfect fit, then make sure it is tailored like a suit but larger. It has to frame your shoulders and go in at the waist and be around mid thigh length. It is important to note that you will often be wearing either knitwear or a blazer underneath your coat, so that is why it has to be slightly larger than your normal clothes.
When you buy or have a coat made, you must wear what you will most often wear in the fall and winter seasons, but that being said it has to have a flattering tailored look.
For a coat the cloth is particularly important because it is the largest garment in your wardrobe. It requires more fabric than any other and is in a much heavier fabric weight, which is why your choice of fabric is important.
As always, natural fibres are often used in higher quality garments that will last longer and age better. Think about how you want to wear your coat. If you a coat for walking in the forest that will protect you from rain and be sturdy enough to avoid small tears, you can consider a woollen tweed or maybe a good technical fabric.
If you are looking for a coat to use in the city and at the office, you can chose materials that are more soft and luxurious, but also more delicate. A classic is a double breasted camel coat, but you can also get a cashmere coat in a nice herringbone fabric or a soft double faced construction.
When you chose the weight of the fabric, measured in grams per meter of fabric, you should remember that lighter fabrics are easy to wear in early fall and late spring, but heavier fabrics are necessary for cold winters and give the protective and comforting feeling of a heavy coat.
It is not what you wear, but how you wear it.
A great coat can be worn in many ways, and a great coat isn’t necessarily a classic tailored coat.
One of the great joys of a great coat is its ability to dress up or dress down an outfit. Imagine you are wearing a casual outfit of high quality pieces like suede Chelsea boots, light jeans and a cashmere hoodie. This outfit can be blessed with the structure and elegance of a minimalist tailored coat.
Likewise you might be wearing a formal grey suit and tie with black oxfords on a cold winter day, and instead of a black overcoat you might pick a light grey casual parka to balance your look. A great coat is a versatile coat, that feels great when worn in many ways.
When you become more and more interested in coats there are many small details that you can take pleasure in studying. If you like utilitarian outerwear then you can learn about the new developments in breathable waterproof fabrics and if you like formal outerwear you can learn about different tailoring cuts and details.
The power of a great coat is that you can wear it often and that it can transform your outfits. Maybe you want to look more elegant or more down to earth, if you chose the right coat you can make it happen.
The most important is that you wear your coat with attitude, that you love your clothes and feel confident in your coat.
“A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.” – Hardy Amies