Coat of armour: the much-awaited return of everyone’s favourite topcoat

10 min read
13 Jan 2017
10 min read
893 words
Fellas, it wasn’t that long ago that topcoats, as a beloved fall/winter trend, had completely bottomed out

Fellas, it wasn’t that long ago that topcoats, as a beloved fall/winter trend, had completely bottomed out. And there was a rationale behind that. Owing to the luxe semi-formal and athleisure movement that successfully sent shockwaves across every spectrum of fashion, the dress code at work and in the corporate sphere had also come untucked and men completely began ditching their suits and ties. Thus, the topcoat, too, was unfortunately given the dreaded pink slip. But fortunately, things have changed today. Dressing up is officially back, and it’s the stylish young dudes and fellas like y’all that need to give into the ‘it’ trend of knocking off the sartorial habits of the ageing fogeys and infusing your style with the new and updated rock ‘n’ roll attitude of 2017. So, fellas, welcome back to the era where being a gentleman implies having a proper topcoat, no matter how you wear it. In this column, we break down the four essential types to choose from and teach you the sharpest way to wear them.

1. The modern classic

A simple tweed topcoat with a formal or semi-formal collar and lapel detail starts off as your official wardrobe topcoat must-have. Of course, being the modern experimental men that y’all are, you can also opt for one with a contemporarily relevant design detail, like a subtle ombre effect, or go au classic with the archetypal herringbone. This, in particular, comes forth as a truly adaptable option that can be worn on both formal and casual occasions. 

When wearing a tweed topcoat, make sure you lose the tie to create a more relaxed winter workwear look and instead opt for a luxe scarf. Just throw this on under your coat for a simple layering and an extra layer of that much-needed warmth. 

Finally, layer with a dress shirt, a V-neck sweater and work trousers to make the whole look smart-casual and office-appropriate.

2. The wooliest of the wools

The much-cherished wool or wool blend is sensual in its essence and works well with any combination of knitwear and even for those looks more suited for smart leisure environments or luxurious weekend getaways. Thus, make sure you allow for simple but bold design details with your wool topcoat such as spread collars and large decorative buttons to avoid complicating your look unnecessarily by detracting from its textural elements. 

Likewise, look into combining the surface texture of your woolly coat with a knitted sweater (turtleneck, we’ll plead) underneath for a fun play on the grain. 

Lastly, as far as styling is concerned, you could add in varying shades of a single colour, say grey, to draw more attention to the different textures of your topcoat and the rest of our outfit; or elsewhere, you could simply join in the camel cavalry, for there’s no better colour than that perfect shade of beige to pop against the grim backdrop of winter weather. What’s more, it’ll perfectly match every suit, denim, sweater or shoe you throw at it. So, either way, both looks, with their statement wool topcoat, will go a long way to adding to your sartorial sophistication.

3. The quintessential trench

A well-constructed trench coat, versatile as it is, can be worn in a multitude of ways. But before you do that, make sure that it includes all the functional bells and whistles like a throat latch, gun patch and deep yoke for that extra protection from all those external elements. 

The best way, perhaps, to wear a trench coat is to simply pop the collar and throw it over a formal shirt and tie for a style befitting a classic gentleman. 

To close, a subtle check motif on the trouser adds not only an element of personality, but also mirrors the architectural lines of the coat.

4. All hail the hybridity!

Finally, one simply can’t deny how hybridity has become one of the key elements of all men’s fashion in the age of the millennial. Thus, for the more bizarre and extreme of weather conditions, we have a raincoat executed in a windbreaker fabric that in place of a protective hood offers a simple lapel detail. A raincoat as a topcoat is trans-seasonal and fashionably forward and is all about personal style. 

And while you could easily dress the raincoat up or down, its length gives you the option of playing with contrasting proportions, which makes it hip. We’ll suggest that you roll the sleeves up to mid-forearm for a crop that plays against the length of the hem line. 

Lastly, as for pairing, mix and match with jeans or dark chinos or a micro plaid shirt and leather casual boots for a bit of edge that isn’t over the top.