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NeedToKnow Mens Guide on Buying the Perfect Winter Coat

  • By Anastasia Koko
  • Published 12/12/2011

There’s nothing more important for surviving the cold winter months here in the UK than having a warm, good quality coat. Especially for guys, it can be hard knowing which coat will be both practical for your needs and appealing to the eye.

The following guide will discuss the ins and outs of mens coats, so you can get a better idea of what to choose.

Coat Fabric

It’s always good for the cold months to have a coat with a thick inner lining. For the ultimate in warmth, opt for a coat that has a layer of insulation such as Thinsulate or goose down.

Wool is extremely warm but it can also be heavy and it’s not fully waterproof. It depends on your taste; if you find a great wool coat then you can always carry an umbrella.

Then there is Tweed – this is a roughly, unfinished woollen fabric, made in either plain or twill weave. Is was highly popular back in the day for outdoor activities as it is durable, very warm, has a soft, flexible texture and is even moisture-resistant. Tweed has endured in popularity to this day; it is synonymous with the iconic English country gentleman and comes in interesting heather mixtures of colour.

For those who like to travel light, and especially if you want a coat that will suit both urban short runs and more rugged outdoor activates, its best to get a coat that has been treated to be waterproof. This is one by coating natural or synthetic fabric with a waterproofing material such as rubber, polyvinyl, silicone elastomer, fluoropolymers or wax.

And if you’re more the formal type, you can’t go wrong with a black cashmere coat for sheer style. While these are pricey, they are the ultimate in warmth and luxury.

The Right Fit

When choosing your winter coat, the right fit is highly important for the sake of both comfort and appearance. It’s generally advisable to choose a mens coat that is one size larger than your suit jacket to allow for ease of movement without catching at the shoulders. As a tip, the shoulder seams should fall just over the edge of your natural shoulder. It’s also a good idea to pay a visit to the High Street rather than buy it online since its best to try the coat on and even move your arms about to ensure it fits comfortably in any situation.

Winter Coat Options

While there are numerous styles and fabrics to choose from, there are three basic types of coats that complete a wardrobe:

The Parka or Anorak

The original Inuit parka was adopted by the United States Military and eventually filtered through to civilian life. It is generally stuffed with down, which is the warmest natural insulating material. This type of coat is suited for casual outdoor activity. In the less casual office environment you can also get away with wearing a parka over your suit.

The Daily Wear Coat

A good option for everyday wear is a coat that multitasks while being warm and comfortable. The coats in this category are made from high performance material with extra additions that are designed to keep wind and water out.

The Pea Coat is a simple, casual garment which is a classic. The double breasted design is a great choice that never goes out of fashion.

Like the pea coat and parka, the duffle coat originated with the military. It became a fashion statement when navies sold their surplus to the general public and is popular as well as practical.

The Formal Coat

For elegance and style, a simple single breasted coat in dark wool or cashmere is ideal. It is extremely important that the fit is perfect for both style and comfort.

Final Tips When Buying your Winter Coat

  • Don’t be dazzled by glossy fashion ads, choose a coat that is suitable for your body shape and practical for your lifestyle. Also remember that while you want to look stylish, keep in mind that warmth and comfort are paramount for the cold winter weather.
  • As a general rule of thumb, your winter coat should be longer than your suit jacket but should not fall much below the knee.
  • Do remember when sizing your coat that you may be wearing a heavy jumper underneath, however don’t go too large.

Caring for Your Coat

Once winter is over, have your coat dry-cleaned and store it in a suit hanger to preserve it in top condition and ensure it lasts for years.


Mens coats come in a multitude of fabrics and styles these days. The main point to remember when shopping around is that it’s better to buy a good coat will last you a many years – with a little more investment, you will also ensure it is warm, comfortable and stylish.

About the Author: Anastasia Koko is an independent Mens coats designer.



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