One of these days, you’re going to take your own advice and move down to somewhere where the drinks come with umbrellas and the American government may have deposed one of their Presidents a few decades ago. But until that time comes, you’re stuck up here in the cold with the rest of us.
Winter weather is no joke, and serious weather like that requires some serious thought about what you’re going to wear to combat it. With that in mind, EveryGuyed has assembles our ‘Guide to Winter Coats’
The Anorak / Parka
No, we’re not talking about those embarrassing puffy affairs that your mother sent you off to catch the school bus in. We’re talking about a real man’s parka – the kind worn by those rough living men in the military, and adopted by those stylish men of the city.
The original Inuit parka was adopted by the United States military for cold-weather operations, and eventually made its way into civilian life. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, it gained a reputation in the United Kingdom as being standard issue for nerds and geeks, but it’s experienced a resurgence recently, making it an acceptable choice for hipsters and mature men on the coldest of days.
The Pea Coat
Almost pandemic the last few winters, the pea coat is yet another piece of military fashion that’s found its place in everyday life. Originally issued to Dutch sailors to keep them warm, the pea coat caught on with other navies and eventually found a place in second-hand shops and closets among the general population.
A lighter choice for warmer winters, the pea coat is a simple, casual piece that has attained truly classic status. With a classic double-breasted design, and colors like dark navy, black, and charcoal gray, this is a great inoffensive choice that never really goes out of fashion.
The Duffle Coat
After being spotted on the shoulders of the top celebrity trendsetters, the Duffle coat has surpassed the pea coat as the winter coat of choice for the Bowery bunch, and the Camden crowd alike.
Like the pea coat and parka, the duffle coat was a military coat that first became popular in the 1950s. After World War II, navies sold off their surplus coats to the public, who found the design practical and stylish.
This is kind of a tricky category. You could argue that any coat that extends beyond the knee and is meant to be worn as the outermost layer, is an overcoat.
Made from heavy wool, or sometimes fur, these are the businessman’s winter coat. If you’re in a business where you’re required to wear a suit for your day-to-day work, this is likely the coat you’ll need. Less structured than the other options on this list, these coats are subdued, dignified and generally more expensive, and less versatile than any other coat on this list.
Though modern touches and cuts can be found, these are typically still the most conservative of all men’s winter coats. Be conscious of this if you choose to invest in an overcoat as a way to drastically change your look.
The Trench Coat
Though ostensibly a type of overcoat, the trench coat has become so universal, so versatile and so ubiquitous that it deserves a category of its own.
Its origins are unclear with both Aquascutum and Burberry claiming credit for its invention, though its popularity didn’t become clear until after World War I, where it was an alternative to officers in the trenches. The waterproofing and sturdy construction was a popular choice for many, and it soon caught on as an everyday coat.
Take care though, even though the trench is versatile and sturdy, it’s easily the least warming of all the coats on this list, providing only token protection from the cold. However, with winters getting less cold and increasingly wet these days (thanks a lot, Al Gore), the waterproof, hard living trench coat is gaining popularity as a winter alternative. Passable as a casual piece or bit of formal wear, the trench is definitely a coat worth considering if you’re looking at a slushy season.
General Winter Coat Tips
- Winter coats are meant to be worn over sweaters and suits – take that additional space into account when sizing yourself up for a coat.
- Go with casual pieces. Sweaters and casual shirts work well here.
- Lighter coats like the pea coat don’t do well against harsh wind and severe cold. Don’t be afraid to bundle up with layers of sweaters in these conditions.
- Many of these coats – such as the duffle and pea coat – have shoulder padding, which makes them look awkward when worn over suits which already carry padding.
- Be certain of what you need and want before you buy a winter coat. They’re a fairly expensive investment, but a good coat will last decades, and be able to keep you warm without looking too dated.
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