A winter coat is an investment, right? Something worth splurging on, in the hopes it’ll keep you warm not just now but for many winters to come. Maybe, but more cash doesn’t necessarily buy a better coat. In fact, there are perfectly worthwhile wardrobe investments on the high street, where – unlike many designer brands – dramatic markups won’t play havoc with your wallet. The trick is securing the best value for money: styles that combine good-quality materials and a contemporary cut with an affordable price. And to save you trawling (and freezing your extremities off the in the process), we’ve rounded up five of the best.
New Look by name, New Look by nature. Aware that it hadn’t been topping men’s high street hit lists in recent seasons, the South African-owned retail chain has turned over a more stylish leaf for AW16 – unveiling an offering that’s improved on everything from design to fabrication. The switch-up’s especially noticeable in its outerwear. Alongside real suede jackets and hardwearing nylon parkas, you’ll find a tight edit of single- and double-breasted overcoats. The clincher? They all come in under £100. Best for: Prices that won’t mean digging into the Christmas fund. How much? From £74.99.
New Look Aw16
Depending on your stance on intellectual property in fashion, you either rate Zara or see it as the root of everything that’s wrong with the industry. But what’s not debatable is the Spanish retailer’s unrivalled knack for producing runway-inspired pieces at a fraction of the price (and don’t kid yourself, usually the quality too) of the originals. If tapping trends (and not your credit card) is your main aim, there’s nowhere better for straight-from-the-catwalk coats. Best for: Outerwear that’s right up-to-the-minute. How much? From £69.99 for a Chester coat.
Marks & Spencer
Some wardrobe purchases are, in the grand scheme of things, pretty inconsequential – a pair of socks for example, or a sun holiday T-shirt. Others? Well, others are more practical purchases. An overcoat is one such buy – and where better to pick up something sensible than the British high street’s bastion of pragmatism, Marks & Spencer. That’s not to say it’s boring, though. In fact, the British brand’s one of few on the high street that deftly lands the balance between considered design, quality materials and a tailored cut. No, you won’t find bright colours or bold prints, but you will find a classic overcoat you can wear with pretty much everything. Best for: Traditionalists. How much? From £89.
Marks & Spencer AW16
Although Jermyn Street brand Charles Tyrwhitt isn’t one you’d necessarily place at the forefront of style, that doesn’t really seem to matter when you can pick up a wool and cashmere coat for £199. Yes, that’s right, wool AND cashmere. Smartly cut to sit perfectly over a suit, Tyrwhitt’s classic- and slim-fit overcoats are crafted from a luxurious blend of 90/10 wool-cashmere, which pretty much makes them the sartorial equivalent of a hug. Best for: Men who mostly wear suits. How much? From £199.
Charles Tyrwhitt AW16
Because it’s a vertically integrated company, SuitSupply can afford to provide luxury-quality tailoring – using fabrics sourced from renowned Italian mills like Vitale Barberis Canonico and Reda – at a fraction of the price of designer brands. The same applies to its coats: a pure wool style will set you back £259 (but, aside from a hefty marketing budget, there’s probably not much between it and a luxury Italian style five times the price), while a little extra outlay unlocks pure yak, wool-alpaca-mohair-silk, wool-cashmere and pure cashmere styles. Best for: Unbeatable value for money. How much? From £259.