Men's Style Filter: I need a recommendation for a fall and then winter coat.
August 25, 2010 11:46 AM   Subscribe

What is the appropriate type of coat to wear over my normal attire? Details inside.

My normal attire consists of a button down dress shirt, a pair of dress trousers, and rotating a few pairs of leather dress shoes. I need a fall coat and winter coat that would match that type of clothing.

I would say most of the other people in our department dress to the low end of business casual. Consequently, I can't wear a jacket or suit, not even a sport coat, without standing out.

I need a recommendation for a fall coat, and then a winter coat. I am not sure what to wear for the fall coat at all. For the winter coat, I had initially thought about an overcoat of some kind, but as I thought about it more I began to wonder, is an overcoat reserved for wearing over a suit?

Specific or generally suggestions would be appreciated. As far as budget, I am not too picky up to the $400 mark. Thanks!
posted by Silvertree to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go for something like this in the fall and a black wool pea coat for winter. Would help to know where you're located, though, and what kind of rain/snow/temperatures you're expecting to see.
posted by olinerd at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm a fan of the car coat style of jacket. Particularly in leather.

It's nice because over a sports coat, it looks formal, over a dress shirt, it looks professionally casual, over hooded sweatshirt it looks good for going out.

It's also dead simple and can mix and match with just about anything.
posted by quin at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Wool pea coat. It's a classic. Done.

A raincoat is also a good idea. Like this one.
posted by mullacc at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Wool pea coats are awesome, but if you want an overcoat, feel free to get an overcoat, especially if you live in a cold place. Full-length coats are just warmer, and I think it's perfectly normal to wear them over business casual. (One of my brothers is in college in Chicago and all the college boys wear wool overcoats with their jeans and sneakers ... with coordinating scarves, even.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:03 PM on August 25, 2010

all the college boys at his school, that is. It's the thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2010

For fall, at least, maybe consider getting a rather chunky cardigan, like this or this. I'm not sure if either are thick enough, but they give the general idea. It's rather casual, but will still look put together with the other clothes you mention.

As for winter, might I suggest a peacoat? They are very put-together, but by no means formal. They take well not only to dress trousers, but to jeans and such on the weekend. I have one from JCrew with Thinsulate lining that managed to keep me warm during some pretty serious Michigan winters without being especially bulky (or expensive).
posted by Schismatic at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2010

For fall, a nice fitted trench. Unless you expect lots of heavy rain, a full length trench would be overkill. The weight of it will depend on how cold it is where you live, but I'd say it shouldn't be too large. Maybe something you could layer a thin sweater under, but not a whole lot larger.

For winter, a wool pea coat as stated already. If you're willing to spend a bit more, you can get a really nice cashmere wool blend.

Most people would go for black for both of those jackets. It's pretty safe, but I'd also look into a khaki for the trench, and grey for the pea coat.

A nice pair of leather gloves, and you'll be set.
posted by fontophilic at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2010

I work in an engineering office and dress similarly. For a fall jacket, I wear a beige harrington. It's conservatively styled and light (no insulation), and works with more casual attire as well. Baracuta makes the original harrington, but there are many other companies making them today (mine is from Jump the Gun, which is slimmer cut than most harringtons, and they ship to the US). The red check lining also looks classy as hell IMO.
posted by mnemonic at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

In here to echo others. The North Face jacket over dress clothes is the standard cool weather uniform for all the young professional dudes I see in Chicago. And you can't go wrong with a classic black wool pea coat in the winter. They make everyone look instantly hot and put together. (My boyfriend got his at Banana Republic, if you're looking for store recommendations.) If you don't want to do black, a steel gray color (as opposed to navy or tan) looks more modern. If you want a long coat (both perfectly acceptable fashion-wise and smart weather-wise), go for a wool overcoat, but pay attention to fit. (e.g. If you're skinny, a double-breasted overcoat can easily make you look odd and bulky.)

And get a nice scarf. It breaks my heart when I see dudes in fantastic coats with chintzy, came-bundled-with-a-hat-and-gloves scarves.
posted by phunniemee at 12:21 PM on August 25, 2010

is an overcoat reserved for wearing over a suit?

Are you asking if you can wear an overcoat over just a dress shirt and slacks? I think that looks silly with a formal overcoat like this, especially since it's cut to allow room for a jacket underneath. If you're not going to wear a jacket but want a longer coat, I'd look into a car coat or something like this.
posted by mullacc at 12:36 PM on August 25, 2010

Peacoat for winter does fine. For a temperate autumn, the harrington style's good, as is something in waterproofed cotton canvas with some light padding in the lining. (I recently bought a "Garage Jacket" by 7 For All Mankind from Gilt which fits that description.)

I've worn overcoats in winter without a suit jacket, but with a chunky jumper underneath to provide a certain amount of bulk. Overcoats are tricky things: long ones can get stood on or caught up during commutes on public transport, and can get dirtied up in footwells if you're driving.
posted by holgate at 3:04 PM on August 25, 2010

A pea coat might be too short, depending on how cold it gets where you live. A mid-thigh length car coat, like the one Mullacc linked to or like this would be good. I personally love the look of a Gloverall duffell coat.

As for colors, black wool tends to be a lint magnet, so a nice charcoal gray would probably look better with less maintenance.
posted by apricot at 7:15 PM on August 25, 2010

Thanks for the great suggestions!
posted by Silvertree at 5:40 AM on August 26, 2010

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