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It’s destined to be your companion through winter’s demanding months. It will share with you the ups and downs of your work and personal life during this turbulent time. It’s easily the most expensive piece of clothing you’ll buy all year. You’ll likely wear it every day.
It’s a winter coat. So here are some tips for making one yours:
Well, keep you warm, obviously, but buying a T-shirt on impulse is one thing; getting a coat that doesn’t fit your lifestyle is quite another. Looking for something to wear over a suit? Then a roomy overcoat might be the answer, as opposed to say a tight fluoro cycling jacket. Then again if you cycle to work, or just live in the Netherlands, then that little day-glo yellow number might just be right for you.
WILL YOU STILL LOVE IT TOMORROW (OR NEXT YEAR)?
While some will update their coat each winter, most men will want a piece that can be alternated with other outerwear over the course of several years. This is why buying classics like a navy peak-lapel wool coat or a peacoat makes sense. They will not go out of fashion. They will not fail you.
A CASUAL COAT SHAPE TICKS THE BOXES
In a timeless example of cool — Phil Daniels wore a parka over a suit and tie in the film Quadrophenia. Okay we’re not all Phil Daniels, but what can be particularly persuasive about a parka is its flexibility – it makes for a great for weekend shopping, or an easy-going option for walking the dog (or cat).
GET THE BEST FOR YOUR BUDGET
This is a bit like buying a house, only considerably cheaper. There are a lot of options out there — many of which show promise. What are your priorities? Remember that the coat’s a garment that will live and fall by the cut, the fit and the quality and feel of the fabric. If you plan to wear an overcoat for years to come, make sure you buy a coat that’s 100% wool and that it has a good solid weigh. In general, heavier coats last longer because the fabric is more durable.
CONSIDER ALL OPTIONS
Take the humble duffle coat, which comes in and out of fashion. You don’t have to be a student or Paddington Bear to pull off wearing one. The outcome depends like most things on what else you wear and the type of duffle you go for. It can look equally brilliant with denim or a grey suit.
The top-coat’s not solely the territory of Soviet-era generals. This double-breasted number sits around the knee and keeps you warm on those long commutes across town or to the dacha. The collar has a wide cut that when turned up protects you against the wind without making you look like you’re actually freezing. A belt provides a trim silhouette and allow the coat to drape naturally from your waist, avoiding a box-like appearance.
DON'T GET TOO CRAZY
A pink peacoat? Fire-engine red Arctic parka? Not exactly timeless fashion icons. In most cases, it’s best to say no to awkward colour-patterns, to too many absently placed patch pockets and so on. Your new coat doesn’t need to stand out in dramatic fashion when you have a whole wardrobe to utilize; a sharp scarf, a cashmere sweater or a cracking pair of sneakers to make your coat appear less drab.
IF IN DOUBT GET A TRENCH COAT
Perhaps no garment is as romanticized as the trench coat; developed for the trenches of the Great War, it has remained almost unchanged for over a century ago. Get it in traditional khaki or basic black.
Whichever coat you choose, remember to take care of once the winter season has passed. Have it dry-cleaned and wrap it in a suit hanger bag until you next need it. You’ll preserve your investment, but you’ll also have a garment that’s clean, and ready to wear when the first autumn snap comes and everyone else is scrambling to find something warm.
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