The overcoat has been shielding wearers from the elements for centuries and, as evidence of its timelessness, the design has remained relatively unchanged. It is a piece mostly worn over uniforms and suits, and it traditionally exudes professionalism. Today, the overcoat has been tweaked ever so slightly to be in line with modern tastes (shorter in length and with a slimmer silhouette), and men have started wearing the coat in innovative ways.
In contemporary fashion, the overcoat can be seen worn over any imaginable outfit — from an Italian three-piece suit to a tailored crew-neck sweatshirt and faded jeans. What this means is that the overcoat has become an essential piece of outerwear fit for most any occasion, beating both the elements and trends at the same time.
From J.Crew's popular Ludlow lineage, the Ludlow Topcoat is constructed from wool made by Irish mill, Magee 1866, which specializes in hefty, textured yarns. This is an A+ overcoat you'll own for years — but won't be paying it off for years.
Todd Snyder's camel overcoat made in collaboration with J.Press pays homage to a style ivy leaguers used to wear to football and polo matches. The peak label is super exaggerated but the body remains tailored, creating a killer silhouette no matter what you pair with it.
There are few overcoats this affordable — especially ones made from cashmere. Gentle Herd blends cashmere (30-percent) and wool (70-percent) for a coat that’s super soft but also capable of standing up to consistent wear. Plus, it has stylish, fashion-forward sleeves and accent pockets.
Wearing a white coat, one might argue, is risky. The whole point of the top layer is to protect your other garments from inclement weather, air pollutants and the ilk. But this one looks great, and it’s made from high-quality wool. Plus, the whole shape of it is an improvement upon stiff and stale iterations — the types that make business casual look super boring.
Belstaff’s Milford Jacket classifies as a double breasted overcoat, comprising 75-percent wool, 25-percent polyamide and 5-percent cashmere. Sure, cashmere accounts for a small percentage of the total construction but it lends softness nonetheless. Wool wears nicely and ages well, while polyamide promises even more durability in the face of rain or rips.
Sensing a pattern? Bonobos' topcoat is made from Italian wool, too, and with nylon mixed in. This one has softer shoulders and a more sweater-like look to it, though.
As far as cheap overcoats go — cheap, in this category, is a few hundred dollars — Mango's is great. It's double-breasted, soft and yet very sophisticated; thank the wide lapels and tailored shoulders.
Phew. This thing's luxurious — like a Royal arriving on the red carpet luxurious. It's from Ralph Lauren's upper echelon collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Featuring a belted waist, a body made from a blend of silk, wool, cotton and linen, and adjustable cuffs, it's the complete package.
Need an overcoat for a few formal occasions? Think it'll just sit in your closet after that? It shouldn't, but I get it. Go with Abercrombie & Fitch's topcoat then.
Same goes for Oliver Spencer's Grandpa Wool Coat. It's made from 100-percent wool with dark buttons, adjustable cuffs and a high, tight collar.
Universal Works combines the fabric and flair of a fleece jacket with the shape and structure of an overcoat. The result? This Rocket Fleece, mid-leg-length coat with a traditional collar.
Private White V.C.'s The Cashmere Cuddler Coat has a high profile, sateen sleeves, a slightly oversized fit, and pronounced pockets. Plus, it's made in England from cashmere and wool.