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December 16, 2013

Three Considerations When Choosing an Overcoat

A quality overcoat is an essential element in a man’s winter wardrobe. You wear it every day for months during the winter, so don’t skimp here. Opting for traditional styles and quality fabrics ensure you’ll have it for years to come. When looking for an overcoat, keep these three things in mind.

1. Material

Wool/cashmere blends are the most popular option here. Cashmere will be the warmest, but for the best cost/value ratio, opt for a wool/cashmere blend to keep you protected from the elements.

2. Color/Pattern

Stick to dark colors. That way, you get the most versatility and stains don’t show as easily. Subtle, tight patterns like herringbone, check, glen plaid, or small textures add dimension to your overcoat, while maintaining versatility.

3. Fit

Your overcoat should pinch in slightly at the waist to show your natural shape. Doing so creates a clean, masculine silhouette. Make sure you have enough room so you can wear it over your suit or a thick sweater (hence, “over”coat), but not so big that you’re swimming in it. Try a size up from your regular suit size. The sleeves should be longer than your suit jacket. Ideally, they should go ½” to 1” past your shirt cuff, as to not show any clothing underneath. For length, keep it in the range between mid-thigh to just below the knee. This maintains a clean silhouette while keeping you protected from the wind. Any longer and you’ll start to look like a mob boss.

A quality overcoat is an investment, so take your time finding the right one for you. You’re going to want something versatile, so stick with basic styles, cuts, and patterns. Find something you can dress up or down, to get the most out of it.