Winter Is Coming
As hard as it might be to admit, lazy evenings spent sipping crisp white wine in rooftop bars will soon be swapped for nights sheltering from the cold in a pub with a warming tumbler of whiskey.
Not only does the change in seasons mean a difference in the way we socialise with our friends, the transition from summer through to autumn acts as a reminder that it’s time to start thinking about swapping lightweight clothing for more durable and practical pieces.
But while it’s easy to trade cotton shirts for cosy flannel styles and bright chino shorts for thicker wool trousers, deciding what outerwear to don instead of that trusty linen blazer can be tough. After all, what might look great at an important business meeting is likely to be far too formal for a casual weekend brunch.
With this in mind, FashionBeans has devised a pocket guide to choosing the perfect winter coat, which will help alleviate any cold-climate style stresses. By discussing different social situations and outlining the key trends for AW14, we’ll explain when to favour a duffle over a puffa and demonstrate how a raglan-sleeved design can work on dress-up and dress-down days.
We’ll end with a breakdown of the best wet-weather accessories to ensure that you still look dapper even if you get caught in a dreaded downpour.
The Office: Double-Breasted Overcoat
Choosing what coat to wear for a day at the office is as important as remembering to iron your shirt, press your trousers and polish your Italian calfskin monk-straps. Would you think differently about your usually sharp boss if you saw him grabbing a coffee wearing a tatty old Mackintosh before your monthly appraisal? Yes, we thought so.
There should be space for a neat double-breasted coat in every man’s work wardrobe. A recurring feature in fashion shows year after year, it’s a well-known fact that the traditional structured style – which should finish between mid-thigh and an inch above the knee – is great at protecting your two- or three-piece from the elements on the morning commute.
Black, grey and navy are of course timeless options, but there is scope to get experimental with colour and pattern this year, especially as this piece will be removed once you reach your central heated office.
Burgundy, maroon and scarlet shades all featured heavily at London Collections: Men AW14, with designers such as Katie Eary, Burberry and Richard Nicholl including them within their showcases, while heritage brands like Hackett favoured subtly striking checked versions.
Khaki is also a business-appropriate shade, and a great way of giving a subtle salute to next season’s military trend.
On The AW14 Runways
- Grey Double-breasted Coat
- Brown Double-breasted Coat
- Camel Double-breasted Coat
- Richard James Herringbone Wool Overcoat
- Austin Reed Black Zip Out Wool Coat
- Alexandre Savile Row Charcoal Herringbone Double Breasted Overcoat
Dress-Down Friday Option: The Duffle Coat
Fancy rocking something a little less formal on dress-down Friday? Go for a duffle coat.
With its generous cut and rain-ready hood, it’s easy to see why the duffle has been a winter staple among fashion-conscious gents for countless seasons. Keep your choice neutral and avoid bright shades to ensure your look is still appropriate for the workplace.
Camel offers a rich and sleek alternative to the neutral tones mentioned above.
- Topman Navy Wool Blend Duffle Coat
- Asos Wool Duffle Coat In Black
- Gloverall Duffle Coat In Boiled Wool
- River Island Teal Duffle Coat
- French Connection Admirality Duffle Coat
- The Kooples Leather Panelled Duffle Coat
AW14 Mini Trend: Raglan Sleeves
If you want to break away from the obvious and try something current, invest in a coat with raglan sleeves. For those who aren’t aware, raglan sleeves feature a curved diagonal seam from the underarm to collar, meaning the sleeve is sewn directly into the neck of the coat.
Slightly oversized and more casual by nature, this type of jacket has never typically been associated with professional wear, but designers like Jeremy Hackett and E. Tautz looked to re-write the rules by sending models down their AW14 runways wearing raglan coats over well-cut tailoring.
The strong shoulders of the suit jacket helped give definition to the outerwear, taking it from slouchy to smart. Allow the coat to fall in its natural way at the weekend by shunning structured under layers:
The Weekend: Parka Jackets
After you’ve clocked off work and no longer need to impress your superiors, you can afford to loosen your tie and fully embrace some of this season’s more casual coat trends.
As proved by Calvin Klein and Christopher Raeburn, parka jackets will be back in a big way this fall.
Suitable for virtually any lazy weekend arrangement like a late brunch or spontaneous afternoon pint, you’d be hard-pressed to find outfits they can’t be worn with. For an effortless low-key vibe, team with a cable knit cardigan, distressed jeans and your favourite trainers.
Alternatively, if you want to embrace the parka’s Britpop heritage, try throwing it on over a checked flannel shirt and straight-legged dark denim – dishevelled fringe haircut optional.
- Allsaints Datton Parka
- Topman Khaki Heavyweight Parka
- Asos Parka Jacket
- Woolrich Arctic Parka Coyote-trimmed Down-filled Coat
- River Island Dark Green Biker Parka Jacket
- Ted Baker Wildery Hooded Parka
The Weekend: Quilted Jackets
Quilting is set to return to rails this autumn/winter in varying forms.
Championed by Gant and Burberry, the traditional heritage-inspired diamond design is perfect for a jaunt in the country when worn with slim-fit chinos/cords and cashmere-blend jumpers.
For city trips, take inspiration from James Long and Moncler by working a sporty quilted coat or bomber featuring an interesting pop of colour or shiny texture. Match with black skinnies and retro trainers to encompass classic European cool.
- Adidas Quilted Dog Keeper Jacket In Blue
- Barbour Chelsea Sports Quilt Jacket
- He By Mango Ultra Light Feather Down Coat
- Ted Baker Kemond Diamond Quilted Jacket
- Burberry Brit Quilted Jacket
- Barbour Pantone Tony Heritage Quilted Padded Jacket
The Weekend: Heavyweight Bombers
Just like last year, luxe leather, wool and suede cropped jackets will carry you seamlessly from now until next spring.
Although classic black bikers with zips are still on trend, shearling-collared aviator designs – as seen at Ralph Lauren – offer a subtly striking option for use on a night out or layering over a smart-casual day look.
Other versatile silhouettes include James Dean-inspired Harringtons and wool-blend bombers. Stick to seasonally-appropriate earthy shades or try a tartan print – both of which look just as good with jeans and a tee as they do dark chinos and an Oxford button-down.
- Allsaints Cargo Leather Biker Jacket
- Asos Suede Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Victor Caviar Grain Leather Jacket
- Band Of Outsiders Brushed Wool And Cotton-blend Bomber Jacket
- Band Of Outsiders Harrington Corduroy Jacket
- Folk Wool Bomber Jacket
The Great Outdoors: Padded/Puffa Jackets
If outdoor events will be on your agenda in the coming months, purchasing a thicker outer garment is advisable. Feather down-filled puffa jackets offer warmth on icy days when other fabrics just don’t cut it.
Key brands to consider include outdoor specialist brands like Penfield, Moncler, Berghaus, Elvine and Barbour, along with a couple of key high street names: Uniqlo, ASOS, River Island and Next.
- Penfield Eska Shirt Jacket With Down Fill
- He By Mango Waterproof Feather Down Coat
- He By Mango Waterproof Feather Down Coat
- Uniqlo Men Ultra Light Down Jacket
- Ted Baker Noworie Hooded Puffer Coat
- Polo Ralph Lauren Core Treck Padded Jacket
Black Tie: Faux Fur/Velvet Trims
Versatile as they might be for use twenty-four-seven, a parka, puffa and leather biker aren’t up to scratch for a formal occasion with a dapper dress code. A tuxedo and bow-tie needs to be complemented with something exquisite, which offers us the ideal scenario to try out one of AW14’s trickiest coat trends: fur.
Important Note: FashionBeans does not condone the use of real fur in fashion and any reference to fur within our suggestions below should be taken to mean faux fur. We are purely reporting this key trend for a sense of roundedness.
Admittedly, there are few people who could (or would want to) pull off looks as dark and dramatic as the ones seen on Dior Homme models at Paris Fashion Week, but a few designers – Agnes B, Billy Reid and Fendi, to name but a few – presented wearable coats with fur detailing around the collars or lapels.
Not ready to go for full-on fur like Games Of Thrones’ Jon Snow? Leather or velvet detailing will add a sense of sophistication to your ensemble.
On The AW14 Runways
Key Wet-Weather Accessories
Let’s face it, now that summer’s starting to fade away, the risk of unwanted rain moves from probable to highly likely. And if damp drizzle or hailstorms are on the forecast, an umbrella is an essential. But rather than feeling irritated by having to carry around an extra item, see a brolly as a chance to give a winter outfit a final flourish.
Although black and navy have always been the go-to shades, now’s the time to think twice before grabbing a plain parasol. Key AW14 patterns – camouflage, plaid and stripes – can be found decorating the colourful fabric of both high street and luxury umbrellas these days, meaning there’s a statement rain shade to suit every budget.
Fulton and Barbour offer wallet-friendly options while specialists such as James Smith & Sons and London Undercover sit at the premium end of the spectrum.
- Barbour Tartan Umbrella
- Fulton Khaki Grid Printed Umbrella
- Brooks Brothers Windowpane-check Automatic Umbrella
- Francesco Maglia Lord Chestnut Wood Handle Umbrella
- Francesco Maglia Lord Maple Wood Handle Umbrella
- London Undercover Collapsible Bamboo-handle Umbrella
Picking the right winter coat for your lifestyle and wardrobe can be somewhat challenging. But with such a wide range of options now available to the contemporary gent, you are sure to find something that fits your specific needs.
But now we want to hear from you – what is your favourite silhouette showcased today? And which AW14 outerwear trend are you looking forward to the most?
Let us know in the comments section below…