Topcoats: The Clothes For Your Clothes


Often guys have the unfortunate tendency of thinking of outerwear as some sort of necessary evil, so they bury their perfectly fitted clothes under an ill-fitting overcoat.

What’s the point of tailoring if you’re just going to cover it all under a frumpy coat?


Getting the outer shell right is just as important as the clothes you wear under it, especially because it’s the most visible.

Don’t make the mistake of buying a coat you’re swimming in. Whether it’s a raincoat or a topcoat, treat your coat like an extension of your outfit and make sure it’s as fitted as anything else in your wardrobe.

When functionality is key, look for a jacket that combines style and performance. Designers have supersized coat lapels to extravagant proportions, so embrace the notion of dressing with cojones. Play it as it lays, pop it for good measure, or throw a flower in it if you feel like it—just don’t ignore the lapel.


A three-quarter topcoat that fits perfectly is the most dependable and versatile item in your winter wardrobe. It works well for those under six feet, and it has just enough style to work over a suit to the office, with a tux to a wedding, or over casual clothes on the weekend.



Always bring a blazer to the store to ensure that your new topcoat will fit comfortably, even if you don’t plan on wearing it with a suit.

Your topcoat size is the same as your suit. If you wear a 38 regular suit, buy a 38 regular topcoat. (Don’t let the salesmen sell you a size larger.)

Keep it simple: a single-breasted coat with notch lapels.

Cashmere is great, but when it comes to a topcoat, go for 100 percent wool. It looks good, it’s sturdy, and it will last forever.

Your topcoat should be longer than your suit jacket but always end above your knees.

Dark colors like black, navy, or charcoal are the most versatile and wear easily with suits or jeans.


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