Winter Suit Up: An Introduction to the Overcoat

By | 2017-01-04T08:44:47+00:00 Jan 2nd, 2014|Categories: Style|Tags: |0 Comments

As the winter chills are creeping up your spine and sale season is nigh, you are probably considering that it would be a good time to invest in something cosy to keep your warm. However, time is short and you need to find it relatively soon before it becomes too late to be a worthwhile investment. After all, you still have your old coat that has helped you brave the harsh forces of nature for years.

Nevertheless, although it may be functional, it is beginning to look a little tired. Perhaps now is a good as time as any to retire your old companion and bring in a new partner. Given the vast variety of outercoats, it may be somewhat difficult to differentiate which would be the most suitable choice for those crisp winter morning commutes.

In light of my obsessive fanaticism of the mob film as well as the critically acclaimed HBO series, Boardwalk Empire, I am an adherent to the overcoat. As opposed to the topcoat, its shorter, lighter variant, the overcoat is an ideal winter garment to huddle into as it extends below the knee and is manufactured from fur or heavy cloths.

Types Of Overcoats

Having now orientated towards an overall category of coat, we can now explore a selection of its most accomplished forms:

Light colored duffel coat for men

The Duffel Coat

Duffel, a coarse, thick, woollen material, earns the name from its hometown in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. The Duffel coat has known a perpetual popularity ever since it was immortalised by Field-Marshall Montgomery during the Second World War. Although a casual alternative overcoat, its hood, cape collar and deep patch pockets, as well as an unparalleled hardwearing build, offer a comforting sanctuary from those biting winter breezes.


Navy blue mens crombie overcoat

The Crombie

Usually composed of heavy wool in dark blue, the Crombie is a general name derived from the prestigious Leeds label. This classic overcoat is a staple of British tailoring and an ideal alternative to the trenchcoat. Although commonly associated with Wall Street or City of London bankers, the style has been a popular choice with clientele ranging from the Tsarist courts since 1890 as well as the Mods from 1960s Britain. The genuine Crombie has enjoyed notable clients such as Cary Grant and Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Fawn colored covert coat The Covert Coat

Let not the name deceive you as an aptly named garment for Gentleman spies. Although it may greatly resemble a slightly shorter variant of the Chesterfield upon first inspection, its uniqueness is in the cloth that gives the coat its name. Initially conceived for equestrian hunting, covert is a light twill makes for suitable apparel in any weather or season. Moreover, a genuine Covert can be identified with four rows of stitching designed to prevent damage from the elements as well as a poacher’s pocket, large enough to store a vanquished pheasant until dinner time.


The-ChesterfieldThe Chesterfield

A longstanding garment that is synonymous with high society, the elegant Chesterfield coat was introduced in the early twentieth century. Conceived to replace the Overfrock, a highly-tapered overcoat that is reminiscent of Victorian London, it was part of the fashion movement along with the lounge suit that sought less restrictive attire that was easy on the waist suppression. For this reason, the Chesterfield rarely has horizontal seams or sidebodies.  A fundamental of the discerning gentleman’s wardrobe from the roaring twenties, it is still commonly worn today.

Countless Overcoat Variation

There are certainly countless more variants of overcoat that have evolved from these long-established models. Nevertheless, these archetypal examples offer an insight that permit further exploration of the overcoat culture. The overcoat can take many forms from Navy-influenced double-breasted varieties to beautiful fur coats that are reminiscent of Doctor Zhivago.  Once found, the right garment can allude to the perfect personal statement of style and refinement whilst acting as durable protection from the merciless ravages of Mother Nature.

Let us know your favorite type of overcoat below or on one of our social media profiles.

About the Author:

Charles-Philippe is a Franco-Briton who in forgetting where he parked his time machine, settled down somewhere between Paris and Champagne during the early 21st Century. A Brie connoisseur and wine enthusiast with a penchant for all things vintage, you can find him loitering on Instagram when he isn’t writing for Bespoke Unit.

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