By John Jannuzzi
When it comes down to it, few pieces of clothing are as valuable to your wardrobe as an overcoat. As far as we’re concerned, they’re to be put on the same pedestal as your jeans, perhaps on an even higher one. There are few circumstances in which it will have you looking out of place — truly. We’d even make the case that you could build a wardrobe of them, but we’d reserve that for the guys who are like, next-level into getting dressed.
There’s the obvious use to consider of course. A topcoat is the king of outerwear; it’s the most debonair and certainly the most professional. When sized appropriately, it complements a suit with ease. If your workplace is one of the more casual ones out there, a good topcoat will elevate a weekday look into something more elegant, commanding, and dare we say, impressive.
But that’s the use case everybody knows. And too often we hear that a good coat is relegated to the closet outside of professional settings or formal settings. It’s similar to that dated idea that a guy should have a suit “for work, for weddings, and for funerals.” It's downright wrong! Hogwash! The stuff of stuffiness. Banish that thinking from your mind. Let your coat breathe, let it see the cold light of day whenever you can.
There’s no law or reasoning that bars you from wearing it to pieces. And after all, topcoats are an investment, so you should be getting some good returns. If you want to make them look cool, you need nothing more than a hoodie and jeans underneath them — it’s the casual and toasty way to do it. You can wear them in a monochrome way, drenching yourself in one color from top to bottom (try it with camel as pictured above, we dare you). Who's stopping you from pairing them with something as simple as a henley or T-shirt? Nobody. If you want to keep it extra comfortable, throw one on with track pants and you’ll be welcome anywhere you go.
While you’re looking for just the right one, think of it as shopping for your clothing’s second skin. The fit should hit your shoulders just as they slope down, but with enough room for a sweater or sweatshirt underneath.
It's worth saying that we’re not expecting you to toss your other jackets and coats aside. We’re just saying that this one should be on the hook, not buried amongst the clothes you don’t often wear. C’mon, how many things in your wardrobe look as cool and at home in the grocery store with sweats as they do on the streets of some far-flung cosmopolitan paradise?
Give topcoats a chance.