Christmas and the New Year have now come and gone, and the retailers are suddenly releasing a raft of new clothing and accessories with the spring/summer months in mind. It is something we have come to expect each and every year; the fashion world doesn’t slow down for anyone. Here at FashionBeans, we will soon be previewing new trends, key pieces and looks that you will need as the warmer months appraoch.

However, don’t become disillusioned by all this talk of spring/summer 2012, we are still very much in the midst of winter. As I sit here in my office, I could swear I was in the middle of a hurricane the way the wind is pounding on the windows – and when I do step outside I am reaching for my outerwear and heavy boots, not shorts and espadrilles. We have a long way to go yet gents, and I don’t see the sun rearing its head again until at least April/May.

With this in mind, today I want to showcase another piece that has made a huge comeback this autumn/winter season. That item is the camel overcoat, and its 2012 equivalent – the camel jacket.

The Camel Overcoat

The camel overcoat is an iconic piece within men’s fashion. It has stood the test of time and is a real statement piece of outerwear for any refined gentleman. The rich colour and texture oozes class and sophistication, with more than a hint of luxury thrown in for good measure. I defy you to find a picture of a guy wearing a camel overcoat that doesn’t look elegant, smart and refined – especially when paired with a suit.

It was a very popular piece in the 70s – especially for professional men – but it has had a fashion renaissance in both 2010 and now 2011 as well. For those of you who automatically associate the camel overcoat with the maturer male, you couldn’t be more wrong. The camel overcoat for 2011/2012 has been revamped and given a contemporary makeover. The lines are cleaner, the fit is skinnier and sharper, and a lot of the weight has been removed from the construction – all these features combining to make them a much more versatile piece to own.

Of course, the camel overcoat will always look its best when combined with a suit or tailoring. It shows much more confidence, creativity and personality than your typical black/grey wool overcoats, whilst remaining just as timeless. Your traditional neutral suit colours (grey, black, navy and brown) will all contrast beautifully against the camel backdrop, meaning that it can be integrated into your professional wardrobe immediately with very little thought.

However, due to the renovation the coat has undergone – and men generally being more receptive to innovative ways of wearing items – in 2012 you do not have to be shackled to a smart or formal look. The camel overcoat can be worn with everything from jeans and t-shirts, to casual wool trousers and polos. In fact, the clashing of styles between a traditionally formal piece and a casual outfit can make you stand out for all the right reasons.

Take a look below at a recent lookbook created in order to really emphasise the point…

Camel Overcoat Lookbook –

Men's Traditional Camel Overcoat Lookbook by GQ

How To Style

As you can see in the lookbook, the camel overcoat is much more versatile than you initially think. Keeping the fit slim and sharp is imperative, and will allow you to utilise it with more fashion forward items such as slim/skinny jeans and even bold coloured chinos. My favourite look above is the Riveira Chic outfit [top left], which pairs the overcoat with white jeans and a simple t-shirt. Although I would probably be a little more considered with the footwear choice, it goes to show that the look can be adapted to youthful and modern.

Notice how camel seems to make every item you pair with it ‘pop’. Colours seem bolder and richer, whilst monochromes come alive and really play off the neutral tone. This means you can literally pair it with everything in your current wardrobe – even other beige/cream tones if you make sure you alter the hue slightly to provide the contrast.

Of course, the camel overcoat lends itself very well to smart-casual looks. It is naturally a refined piece, so smart-casual footwear such as brogues, suede shoes and relaxed loafers will all look superb and help compliment the slightly more refined undertones. For those looking to inject some life into the look, bold coloured socks, patterned tops and your trademark accessories will all help casual down the look slightly and give you that personality and individuality you desire.

  • J.crew Mayfair Wool-blend CoatJ.crew Mayfair Wool-blend Coat
  • Br Monogram Camel Double-breasted JacketBr Monogram Camel Double-breasted Jacket
  • Etro Wool-blend CoatEtro Wool-blend Coat
  • Acne Winston Wool-blend CoatAcne Winston Wool-blend Coat
  • Paul Smith Double-breasted Camel CoatPaul Smith Double-breasted Camel Coat
  • Jil Sander Camel CoatJil Sander Camel Coat
The Camel Jacket

For those of you that cannot shake off the formal connotations associated with the camel overcoat, there are still options for you. A wide range of camel jackets are now available from a multitude of brands and designers – from premium fashion houses to the high street. Everything from duffle coats and blazers to dyed denim jackets and trench coats are available, so you are sure to find one that suits your personal style and current wardrobe.

Of course, the camel colour will still integrate seamlessly within your existing wardrobe, whilst offering the same benefits that the overcoat provides – namely versatility and the ability to bring your other items to life.

Camel Jacket Lookbook

Men's Camel Jackets & Coats Lookbook

  • Asos Coloured Denim JacketAsos Coloured Denim Jacket
  • French Connection Kicksies Canvas JacketFrench Connection Kicksies Canvas Jacket
  • Carhartt Squire CoatCarhartt Squire Coat
  • Diesel Jiccon Trench CoatDiesel Jiccon Trench Coat
  • J.crew Holborn Trench CoatJ.crew Holborn Trench Coat
  • Br Monogram Camel BlazerBr Monogram Camel Blazer
  • E Tautz Tweed BlazerE Tautz Tweed Blazer
  • Ralph Lauren Black Label Anthony Wool Sport CoatRalph Lauren Black Label Anthony Wool Sport Coat
  • Folk Waterproof RaincoatFolk Waterproof Raincoat
  • French Connection Kicksies Canvas CoatFrench Connection Kicksies Canvas Coat
  • Peter Werth 4 Pocket Military JacketPeter Werth 4 Pocket Military Jacket
  • Fred Perry Camel Duffle CoatFred Perry Camel Duffle Coat
  • Gloverall Made In England Melton Wool Rope Toggle Duffle CoatGloverall Made In England Melton Wool Rope Toggle Duffle Coat
  • Burton Camel Hooded Toggle Duffle CoatBurton Camel Hooded Toggle Duffle Coat
  • Marni Classic Wool-blend PeacoatMarni Classic Wool-blend Peacoat

The camel overcoat is an iconic piece of menswear that is now more wearable than ever. It will take both formal and casual looks to the next level, whilst providing that key individuality and separation from the crowd that most men desire. In a day and age when everybody is looking for an edge, the camel overcoat may just provide that for all the professionals out there. Easy to integrate within your current wardrobe, it makes other colours and neutrals come alive and provides the perfect backdrop for all your existing outfit combinations.

There are also plenty of alternatives out there for the younger or edgy types who love the camel colour but want something a bit more contemporary or modern. Whether you are looking for a new trench coat, quilted jacket or blazer to upgrade your smart-casual looks, they are all available today and provide much of the same versatility that the overcoat does.

But now we want to hear your views:

  • Have you ever considered purchasing a camel overcoat?
  • Do you think they should only ever be worn with formal/professional wear?
  • Do you own one already? If so, how do you wear yours?
  • Which is your favourite look showcased today?
  • If an overcoat is not your style, would you consider a camel jacket or blazer?

Let us know in the comments below…