Wednesday, 10 November 2010

How to buy men's coats

With winter well on the horizon we are all thinking about our winter wardrobes.
Especially with coats and jackets.
Buying outerwear can be a daunting experience with so many different styles and fabrics around. But it really need not be. I like to buy a new winter coat every year and 2010 is no exception.
Along the way I learned a few tips to help you get the perfect coat and the most out of your outerwear this season.

It helps to break your criteria down through questions and answers you need to ask yourself. This way through a process of elimination you’ll be left with your winning coat. Parfait!

1) Do I wear smart clothes often?/Do I want a smart coat?
If you often wear smart clothes or are after a coat for wearing to and from work then a smartly tailored coat is going to be the best choice for you. Coats like a clean lined wool coat go perfectly well over suiting as well as keeping you warm.

2) Do I wear navy trousers or black trousers more?
Colour is always a personal choice but as every well dressed man-about-town knows mixing navy with black is a no-no. So if you personally favour navy trousers then aim for colours such as browns and greens that enhance and set off blues wonderfully.
If you tend to wear black trousers then of course you can wear black coats but also grey shades make a classically striking contrast.
Grey coats can also go with navy trousers so if you wear both black and navy shades then a grey coat is the one for you.

3)What size should I get?
Obviously try your regular size first. I’ve always tried to make sure there is allowance of space for thick knitwear or suits underneath the coat so it’s wise to keep this in mind whey purchasing your winter coat. When trying on the coat the key areas to focus on are the shoulders, cuffs and chest.
Do the shoulders sit well on your frame? Make sure they are not continuing after your shoulders end. Are the cuffs touching the end of your wrist/beginning of your hand?
Sleeves that are too short make you look like you’ve had the coat for a while and you’ve outgrown it (think back to that child in your primary school class who was forever wearing ‘half-mast’ trousers and shrunken jumpers) which is never a good look.
The chest is another key area. Use your normal chest size as a guide. The fit of the chest should be neither too big nor too small.

4)What style? This is where you can let your personality and style shine through.
Keeping in mind the times you’ll be wearing the coat most will help you decide between a smart or casual design. 2010 A/W’s coats for men have two clear winners as the must-haves of the season.

The duffle coat is a timeless classic that has made a comeback in a big way.
With the essential toggle fastenings, hood and warm wool fabric the duffle coat instantly conjures up images of school days, rioting 1960s Parisian students and Paddington bear. Go for either a traditional design or one of the many updated styles on offer.

Quilted jackets first created by Barbour are the other ‘on-trend’ choice and there are a wealth of options available. With the diamond quilted design these jackets give you excellent warmth.
I often refer to mine as my ‘portable duvet’ as it’s so cosy it’s like walking around in your bedding. These jackets exude country style. The perfect choice for winter, quilted jackets look great worn with both jeans or tailored trousers for that archetypal city boy look.

Whatever your style, whatever your outerwear needs there are many coats out there for you to choose from and make your own.

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