Menswear Monday: Coat Up

Alex wanted me to post about outerwear, which was pretty much the best way possible to ensure that it would be 85 degrees and sunny today.  Not that I’m complaining.  But at some point this fall and winter, you will have to put on a coat.  Your mom will yell at you if you don’t.

In more temperate climates like ours, there’s no real need for heavy parkas or technical North Face camping gear jackets, unless you’re planning on spending the night hiking in the hills instead of going to dinner and a movie.  So what stylish options are out there that don’t look like an REI threw up on you?

  1. The light layer.  When it’s in the low sixties or high fifties and you don’t feel like adding a sweater or just want something that you can loan to your lady friend, you need something lightweight to wear.  There are two ways you could go with this; first, you could wear a blazer, which makes you look more dapper and dressy (but should NEVER be worn with a t-shirt.  I’m looking at you, 2003.), but also may not be especially warm.  Second, the classic windbreaker.  Just buy one that doesn’t make you look like a golfer, and you’re good to go.  The Baracuta G-9 worked for Steve McQueen.  It’ll work for you.  Buy a navy one and wear it everywhere.
  2. The pea coat.  Heavy wool and water-resistant to meet the needs of the sailors it was originally designed for, the pea coat is usually short and double breasted.  Get one in charcoal and it will go with anything.  Honestly, if the weather rarely dips below the 30’s, this is your heavy coat.
  3. The water-resistor.  Whether you live in a urbanized swamp (like me) or the middle of the desert, you’ll need a coat for rainy days at some point.  Two different ways to go here, too.  First, the classic trench coat (either single- or double-breasted) is the more classy, stylish piece.  Just don’t get a khaki one, unless you want to look like Sherlock Holmes.  Try something from Ben Sherman instead.  If you prefer a less film noir look, grab a waxed canvas jacket, like this collaboration between Filson and Levis.  Looks like a jean jacket, but better and drier.

For now, keep to the t-shirts.  But as soon as the mercury drops, don't settle for looking like a snowboarder.  Wear something masculine and functional.  Oh yeah, and stay warm.