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 off for years.
Todd Snyder's Balmacaan pays homage to where this style was original seen way back in the 19th century (Balmacaan, a Scottish estate). It's cut from a blend of wool and cashmere and hits at the knee.
For a fraction of the cost of others on this, Uniqlo offers a wool-cashmere blend coat with polyester lining. You're of course going to notice a difference between the $149 option and the one that's selling for a few thousand, but if you're on a budget this isn't a bad buy. Enjoy it, but start saving and set your sights on a splurge.
This knee-length coat comes in a blend of wool and nylon, meaning it's soft and sophisticated yet durable.
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.
Launched as part of COS' The Five collection, a five-part drop that celebrates the brand's most timeless styles, this RWS-certified wool coat is trim the shoulders and body and hits just above the knee.
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.
By budding Sweden brand Séfr, this Wool-Blend Coat has a rich navy body, contrasting tortoise buttons and a high, shirt-like collar.
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.
Into the coats with rich patterns or interesting plaids? Don't want to pay full price for one? Obey's Driving Coat comes in what they call Arthur Plaid, a maroon picnic pattern on gray melange.
HUGO Boss' Double-Breasted Coat clearly harkens back to old British military looks, with its elegant front, extended tail, decorated buttons and raised cuffs. Plus, it's olive green.
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.