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How to Wear An Overcoat

Drip old-school style with a nice overcoat. While it is well qualified to shelter you from the elements just as well as a plastic or fleecy jacket, the overcoat is also devastatingly fashionable. As knee-length and longer coats have become something of a trend lately, the time is ripe to get yourself an overcoat.

The only formal coat

The beauty of an overcoat is its versatility. Most coats, particularly those coming from activewear stores, prioritise functionality over looks, which means they ruin any stylish outfit. Meanwhile, an overcoat will only add to your look. Wear it with casual clothes or business gear. You can even wear an overcoat with a suit. It is actually the only item of clothing which is ever appropriate to wear over a suit jacket.

Wear a jacket first

overcoat1If you’re feeling a bit chilly in your button-down, don’t reach for your overcoat straight away. It looks silly to wear an overcoat as your second layer. You should have a suit jacket or a sweater underneath, depending on how formal your outfit is. This is particularly important if you are wearing the coat unbuttoned.

Best colors for overcoats

You’re not going to own a collection of overcoats in a spectrum of colors. Overcoats are expensive and not something that you’re going to wear every day, so you’re better off just getting one which will go with every outfit. Black is always a good choice, as is navy or any shade of grey. Tan or burgundy are also not bad choices. Don’t choose a patterned overcoat- it should be a classic piece, not a polka-dotted monstrosity.

Go with wool

Some traditions in society serve absolutely no purpose. The tradition of overcoats being woollen is not one of them. There is a reason why wool overcoats are sought after- because they’re functional, fashionable and long-lasting. If you want something a little softer to the touch, cashmere is also an option.

The weight of some wardrobe items, particularly shoes, is usually a clue to poor quality. Not so for an overcoat- you want your coat to be heavy.

Difference between an overcoat and a topcoat

Just when you thought that overcoats were not as complicated as you thought, in walks the topcoat. Despite the apparently synonymous names, they are in fact different (but similar) items. An overcoat is at least knee length, whereas a topcoat is no longer than knee length, and usually a more lightweight material. Overcoats are traditionally more formal than topcoats, so are better in the context of business wear.

Will an overcoat suit you?

As overcoats are big, imposing pieces, they best suit people who are big and imposing themselves. Overcoats look striking on large men, and help average men look a little bigger than they are. Unfortunately, they make short men with smaller builds look like they’re swimming in fabric. If you’re on the petite side, you should wear a coat which is cropped shorter- definitely no longer than mid-thigh length.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/

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