It’s that cold but splendid time of the year, full of holidays and joy. You have finally picked out the perfect suit, but now you need to add a coat to your wardrobe.
However, you cannot put on your puffer coat and call it a day. The jacket you’re wearing may not be the focus of your ensemble, but most people you interact with will see it.
In other words, your coat is the cherry on top, the finishing touch. Here’s how to get it right.
Wearing a Trench Coat Over Your Suit
While the traditional design elements like the epaulettes and belted waist can be a bit distracting for some, trench coats are a solid layering choice. Especially for the transition seasons of the spring and fall when you’re often commuting during hours when the air can be chillier.
Wearing a Topcoat Over Your Suit
We like a topcoat over a suit in major part for its sleek silhouette. This is because, as far as bells and whistles go, topcoats don’t usually come with a lot of extra ornamentation. Whether in the way of extra pockets, pocket flaps, epaulets, belts, and other distracting extras. This solidifies a clean and formal aesthetic that adds an appropriate amount of sophistication to your suited look without being overbearing or distracting.
Wearing a Peacoat Over Your Suit
Peacoats are shorter than trench coats and topcoats and are always double-breasted in design. They often feature a taller and wider collar (called an ulster collar) that can be flipped up and buttoned up for added warmth.
Its shorter length means you won’t be affording your lower body much heat with a peacoat. We would save it for the less-frigid days of winter. Out of these three types of coats, peacoats are also the least formal and most versatile, easily worn on the weekends even without your suits.
COMMON OVERCOAT & PEACOAT MISTAKES
We see a lot of overcoat blunders from men, so let me go over the common mistakes I see guys making with their coats before we dig in.
This makes stocky men look really wide and/or short and thin guys look even thinner.
This would technically fall under fit, but it’s such a big problem that it deserves its own section. Your overcoat is designed to go over your clothing, not be a blanket you threw over yourself! The worst is when I see guys’ sleeves going past the beginnings of their palms or their coats hitting mid-shin. If a coat goes past your knees, it’s going to collect dirt, mud, and salt stains on the bottom – gross!
Some of my male friends suffer from this: They just have too much stuff going on with their coats. As I mentioned in my first #AskAW episode, you don’t need epaulettes/shoulder straps, sewn-in sweaters or hoodies or a bunch of pockets or zippers or… things hanging off your coat. It looks cheap and tacky.
Even though I work in the fashion industry and attend the various Fashion Weeks around the world, good lord, there are some jackets I see guys wearing on the street and I just wonder what happens once it goes out of style in a few weeks. I would never recommend something trendy as a Men’s Wardrobe Essential because you’ll probably only get one winter’s worth of wear out of it.
Not Appropriate For the Climate
If you live in a warmer climate and are wearing a long overcoat without a suit, you look silly. There’s a time and a place for everything and it’s important to understand this in all things, but definitely in regard to coats. See below for details on when it is or isn’t appropriate to wear your coat.
If you’re in need of some professional help when it comes to suiting up, San’s Suit Outlet is here to assist. We can provide you with all the tips and advice you need to make sure your suit fit is on point, from finding the right style for your body type to choosing the perfect fabric.
Contact us today for more information!