A Word About Winter Coats

According to the Wire’s Bunk Moreland, ‘A man’s gotta have a code.’ And according to the Rules of Fashion, a man’s gotta have a coat. Seriously, men of Baltimore. We’ve seen you out there this Winter wearing two sweaters or trying to pass off a hoodie for a parka. You look like a bunch of teenagers, running out of the house without a coat to spite mom for having the temerity to remind you to wear one.

In fact, we’d argue that a man should have several coats in his closet. A proper grown up doesn’t simply own one pair of shoes and wear them every day for any occasion. Just like shoes, coats that split duty and aren’t pressed into service daily tend to last much longer than the favorite jacket that gets subjected to coffee stains and road salt every winter. That’s to say nothing of having the right coat for the right outfit. You could be dressed to the nines in your best third date ensemble but if your only coat is an old baseball jacket you’ll look and feel ridiculous all night long.

Way back in 2010 we did a three part series here explaining that we favor wool for Winter. Part one focused on pea coats. Part two was about wool bombers and part three extolled the virtues of a proper topcoat. Those three are just about enough to carry you through the rest of your life, but if pushed even we would have to admit that there are other materials in the world besides wool.

Now, we know that at this point it’s mid-March and after a brutal Winter most guys are sick to death of winter coats and the last thing anyone wants to do is buy another one. But that’s exactly why you should, like right now. Retailers need space on their racks and coats take up a lot of it. This is the time of year that they get marked down as deep as they go, with $300-400 coats sometimes going for a quarter of that. Below we’ve picked out a few styles from online retailer ASOS which represent updated versions of classic looks. If you need to step up your coat game, keep an eye out for something along these lines the next time you’re out browsing.

The Duffle Coat

The model here is a little under-dressed. There’s no question the coat is the nicest thing he’s got on by far. That’s the nice thing about most duffle coats- the toggles lend a bit of ruggedness to what is an otherwise refined style. A little outdoorsy-meets-metropolitan. Link.


The Quilted Coat

Quilted coats go back to ye olde English hunting days. Or something like that. Makes sense: most quilted coats look a bit like jackets and offer both maximum warmth and maximum flexibility. Definitely a better choice for the man who spends his winters chopping firewood than carrying his briefcase from the car to the office and back. The two-tone here is a nice touch but even the plainest coat can pop with the help of a scarf. Link.


The Parka

Chopping firewood is one thing but there’s a reason people who work outdoors wear parkas: maximum elemental protection. The main thing to remember here is to try not to look like an Eskimo. Nothing too puffy and skip the fur lining around the hood and neck. The one shown here can actually be worn two ways, with the liner zipping out to be worn as a quilted jacket- perfect for days like these where it’s sunny at noon and freezing the rest of the day. Link.