Outerwear could well be the most important part of your wardrobe. There’s no other garment that does quite as much to transform a look as a coat or jacket – outerwear is armour, both aesthetically and functionally. And because it takes up most of your outfit’s real estate, it has the potential to either make or break it.

That’s why it pays to keep an eye on outerwear trends during winter coat season. While it’s never a good idea to base your entire look around the season’s latest trends, it doesn’t hurt to nod to them with a garment here or there, and what better way to get involved than with the most visible part of your look?

From specific fabrics and patterns, to fit and coat styles, there are plenty of outerwear trends to lean into this winter that will remain in style for years to come.

Oversized Overcoats

Oversized outerwear has been doing the rounds for the past few seasons, and is unlikely to disappear any time soon. Apart from anything else, it’s incredibly comfortable and layers well, making it ideal for wintertime. The cut, of course, tends to be purposefully boxy, with dropped shoulders and a roomy middle that will easily accommodate multiple layers underneath.

AllSaintsAllSaints

How To Wear It

Oversized outerwear tends to fall on the more casual end of the spectrum, and naturally pairs well with laid back staples such as dark denim, workwear and flannel shirting.

We’d advise against wearing oversized coats with traditional tailoring, unless it is equally slouchy and unstructured. You don’t want to look like you’ve pinched your grandad’s coat.

– Charlie Thomas, senior editor

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Reimagined Puffers

Growing up (usually while being shoved into an older brother’s grubby, grass-stained coat for school) “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” was just about the most annoying phrase known to man – up there with “elbows off the table” and “you’ll understand when you’re older”.

Fast-forward a few decades and mother dearest may have had a point, as thanks to advances in technology (and ethics), down and synthetic down-filled coats are having more than a moment in menswear. And not just because “we say so.”

AllSaintsAllSaints

How To Wear It

Big, warm and full of stuff that makes The Beast From The East feel about as powerful as a nightclub hand-dryer, a padded puffer jacket is a no-brainer for winter.

Whether you opt for an inky indigo to go with your tailoring or choose to amp-up the coat’s outdoorsy appeal by throwing a khaki shade over a denim jacket, ensure what you buy is responsibly sourced and backed up by third-party certifications, such as the Responsible Down Standard.

– Luke Todd, deputy editor

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Technical Fabrics

Rainwear has always been a must in this rainiest of seasons. But what makes the latest line different from the rest is the leaps and bounds made in technical textiles, meaning you’re more protected from the drizzle than ever before.

Rubberized cotton that’s soft to touch, pliable waterproof materials that can be easily cut into intricate overcoats, soft draping fabrics that protect your outerwear from dirt as well as rogue droplets – it’s all happening in rainwear, and all in the widest array of colours and patterns in outerwear.

StutterheimStutterheim

How To Wear It

The magic with rainwear is you can go big on colour and not have to worry about the shade dirtying before the season is out. If you’re looking to wear your rainwear over your suit into work then choose a size up to make sure your tailoring slips neatly underneath. Also, think about a darker shade to suit the formality.

A simple jumper and jeans combo will support the more statement raincoats in less formal offices and through the weekend – a bright yellow anorak looking particularly smashing with a bright blue sweatshirt below.

– Richard Jones, staff writer

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Big Checks

It’s hip to be square again as designers go large on winter’s favourite outerwear pattern, the check. This year’s best check coats all amplify the design, turning what can be a quiet motif into a bona fide statement. Think oversized tartan, big windowpane and houndstooth in Great Dane proportions.

It’s worth noting that big checks also have the effect of making you look broader than you are – that’s either a blessing or a curse depending on your body type.

ZaraZara

How To Wear It

Supersized checks can work with heritage, workwear or streetwear looks but different rules apply to each. For smart and sober looks, let the checks do the talking and pair with block colours in neutral tones. Wool trousers, heavyweight denim and chunky knitwear all make sense.

If you’re feeling braver, try some pattern clashing with smaller checks on a shirt or overshirt. Or go bolder still by clashing a heritage check overcoat with a tracksuit underneath.

– Ian Taylor, editor-in-chief

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Heritage Styles

For some (Prince Charles, we’re looking at you) heritage outerwear is not merely a menswear trend, but a way of life altogether. But, if you don’t have access to a royal wardrobe or a royal budget then what’s at your disposal will be subject to the seasonal whims of menswear designers.

Despite this, and irrespective of the season, heritage outerwear always draws on classic pattern (read: herringbone, houndstooth) and squarely practical materials (read: waxed cotton, heavy-duty wool) and design made for weathering unpleasant weather.

ZaraZara

How To Wear It

No matter if you choose a schoolyard-worthy duffle coat or a peacoat fit for Captain Birdseye himself, wearing heritage outerwear well depends pretty much entirely on making sure you’ve modernised things suitably.

So, tweed won’t pair well with tweed and a waxed jacket won’t look all that stylish accessorised with a pheasant carcass. Look instead to low-key sports-inspired staples such as a classic loopback sweatshirt, tailored joggers and minimal trainers. It’s peak heritage without the fustiness.

– Luke Sampson, head of creative

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Rust And Orange

We might have left the crunch of orange leaves and Halloween pumpkins in autumn, but burnt oranges and rust tones aren’t ready to wave goodbye just yet, and they’re making your outerwear rotation it’s new home.

The colour is bright enough to stand to attention but the darker tone makes it a natural bedfellow with winter. The proof is in just how many brands have the zesty tone within their winter collections, a ‘statement’ option against the blanket of traditional black and navy overcoats that remain the evergreen choice.

TopmanTopman

How To Wear It

Contrast the orange and bring out those darker tones with all black underneath. A turtleneck and pair of tailored trousers will be the perfect foil to let the burnt orange shine – a basic uniform that will work with all outerwear from a traditional overcoat to a high performance down jacket.

Steer away from pairing the colour with anything navy though. Both colours sit on opposite sides of the colour wheel, and not in a good way. To successfully pair burnt orange with blue you’d have to dabble in the latter’s lighter shades.

– Richard Jones, staff writer

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