What to look for in an overcoat

What to look for in an overcoat

Overcoat_Morgue file

Over the cold weather? It’s not too late to cosy up to an overcoat.


The seasonal considerations

We all know overcoat season in Australia is reasonably short (though over the last couple of weeks, it definitely hasn’t felt that way). Typically, you’ll need one for only about six to eight weeks of the year. But still, who wants to be cold for six to eight weeks? Comfort is more than half the battle.

But because the season is so fleeting, and you’ll likely want to get several years of use out of your coat, you don’t want to choose something that’s too high-fashion or trendy. Fashion trends can be as fleeting as the cold weather. So steer clear of large check prints or houndstooth, for example, unless you’re planning to replace your overcoat every winter. Instead – and here’s that conservative side of me coming through again – opt for a nice commercial solid colour: grey, navy or black.

The warmth

Again, unless haute couture is your only goal, it should go without saying that you want to find something warm. Choose an overcoat with a high percentage of wool; a good, warm coat should be about 95% wool; the other 5% will likely be polyester. (Don’t let the polyester deter you – it will wick away rain, so the coat doesn’t absorb it.)

The fit

When you do go for wool overcoat, make sure you do up all the zips and buttons when you try it on. A lot of guys get a rash under their chins from the wool. (To combat this, you can also look at getting a soft scarf to wear between you and the wool.)

You also want to try the coat on both with and without your suit jacket, because you’ll likely be layering up, and you want to make sure it feels comfortable no matter what you’re wearing. When you’ve got it on over your suit jacket, make sure the sleeve length fits, too – you don’t want your suit-jacket sleeve showing.

As for length, I recommend a three-quarter-length coat that ends just above the knee area. Anything much longer, and you’re going to ruin the bottom of it when it rains.

The storage

When the warmer weather rolls around and it’s time to tuck the overcoat away till next year, be sure to have it dry-cleaned first. And I’m afraid Mommie Dearest’s Joan Crawford had it right: No more wire hangers! Hang your coat on the hanger that came with it; leaving it on a wire hanger over the summer months will ruin the shoulder pads.

Do you have a favourite piece of warm winter clothing? Share with us below or on our Facebook page

Cheers for reading. H

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