Best Affordable Outerwear – Fall/Winter 2013

Sharp looking, warm, and your wallet stays intact.

One of the best things about fall and winter is that you get to wear your favorite coat almost every day. A good coat is like a good suit. Put it on and you feel darn near invincible. The following options should help most of us get that nearly invincible feeling for an affordable price (some are more affordable than others). Just don’t go testing out your new found outerwear-fueled feelings of indestructibility by taking on traffic. It’s a coat. Not a flashing 8-bit star (<– NSFW language). Sizes shown are Medium or 38 unless otherwise noted. Head here for a fit perspective.

 

The Affordable Camel: J. Crew Factory Thompson – $145.60 w/ SALE30

Factory Camel Topcoat

Has gone for as low as $124, but that was during a rare 50% off sale. This camel topcoat really is a true camel color in person. Not that washed out pale shade that’s on the Factory website. It’s a nice mid-weight, and the cut is awfully good… but the covered placket won’t be a home run with everyone. It has a tendency to splay open just a bit. But still a winner for under $150.

 

Banana Republic Grey Donnegal Topcoat – $178.80 w/ BRSAVE40 ($298)

BR donnegal

Even though we’re sneaking up on Halloween, not all BR Brick and Mortar’s have their late fall outerwear lines out on the floor quite yet. So this one is still a bit of a mystery. If it’s like BR coats of the past, it’ll fit great… but not be the warmest. 72% wool and well reviewed online. Meanwhile, the camel trench had some not-so-kind reviews on BR’s website.

 

The Cheap Quilted: American Eagle – $89.95 (but often on sale)

AE quilted

Check in store on this one. At 30% off, it drops to a Target-like $62.97. It’s pretty simple, not the strongest feeling thing in the world, but it’s cut slim and the dark navy is a go-with anything color. Want something a little brighter? Try their cotton barn jacket, which plays off the color blocking trend.

 

Suitsupply Brown Wool/Hemp Glenplaid – $569.00

Suitsupply glenplaid

Anyone else have their fingers crossed that this is either the real deal, or, becomes active some time in the future? And season specific pieces like overcoats end up there? Word is that it’s not set up yet, and might not get set up at all. But, that’s all rumor. Glen Plaid shouts a little, but it doesn’t scream. Expensive.

 

Surprisingly nice for the price: Merona Peacoat in Charcoal – $79.99

Merona pea

On a tight budget and your local Army/Navy surplus has already been picked over? These aren’t a bad option in the least. The charcoal color looks sharp, the fit is true to size and they’re nice and warm. 65% wool exterior. Herringbone poly interior. Feels well constructed. Buttons are crummy plastic, but otherwise, awfully nice for double digits. Better than the thin peacoats you’ll find in the low $100s at Macy’s or JC Penney.

 

The Perfect Vest: J. Crew Broadmore Quilted Vest – $114.38 w/ SHOPNOW *

J. Crew Vest

Not cheap for not having arms, BUT… it’s all kinds of right. Fabric is a cotton/nylon blend that keeps the poly-shine you see on puffer jackets knocked down to a minimum. The loft of the quilting is under control too. No life-preserver stuff here. The key that makes this vest is the button tabs on the back, which you can cinch down and prevent that barrel-man look so many vests deliver. Consider sizing down. Size shown is a small, but a small was just a touch too tight on my frame. *How do you get this price? Buy some socks at $14.50. That pushes your purchase over the $150 threshold that you need to knock 25% off with SHOPNOW. Code expires on 10/30. Meanwhile, there’s a cheaper, all poly option over at Factory.

 

J. Crew Broadmore Quilted Jacket – $148.50 w/ SHOPNOW ($198)

quilted jacket

Oh. There’s where they put the arms.

 

Express Slim Fit Topcoat – $268.00 (but on sale plenty)

Express Slim Fit Topcoat

Not bad, but a bit of a disappointment around the collar. It’s a little lifeless. Lots of flopping. Mid to lightweight fabric that might leave some a little cold. Perfect length and a nice off the rack fit. Often on sale, but even with codes + promos, you’re probably better off heading in the direction of UNIQLO (more on them a few scrolls down).

 

L.E.C. Wool Plaid Bomber – $116.99 w/ FEATHER & 2010 ($250)

FandF Wool Plaid Bomber

Already half off but these have dipped lower before. Still kicking around from last year. Great looking pattern, wool blend, standard Bomber layout.

 

Boden Quilted Jacket – $148.00 – $158.40

Boden Quilted 2013

The wool blend option just went on sale, which is rare for that particular model of jacket. BUT… see jb2’s review in the comments of this post over here. Big fan, personally, of the nylon option I picked up last year in olive.

 

The “Would you wear it?”: Zara Faux Shearling Collar Coat – $259.00

Zara faux shearling

Chutzpah required.

 

The Shawl Collar: Schott NYC Wool Blend Peacoat – $275.00

Schott shawl pea

Schott stuff is all but bulletproof. A peacoat of the strongest construction, in a classic navy, with a shawl collar instead of the traditional notch. 31″. Made in Canada.

 

The Best under $100: UNIQLO Chesterfield Topcoat – $99.90

and here we have the latest modern art masterpiece

To all the Menswear Terminology purists: Calm down. No, it’s not a “True” chesterfield. No contrast back to the collar here. But what it IS, is an outstanding, well cut, single breasted topcoat for under a hundred bucks. But it’s a featherweight. Don’t expect this thing to keep you nice and toasty if the temps are under 25. Prepare to layer. But yeah, it’s a looker. Available in grey, black, or navy. Slightly tapered fit out of the box. 70% wool and 30% poly exterior.

 

Best in Show: Topman Wool Blend Trench – $180.00

trench from topman

Flat out stunned by how good this thing is out of the box. Key: SIZE UP. Topman runs small. So follow the advice of Nordstrom.com and order a size up. Size shown here is a Large. Chest high hand warmer pockets, a good & thick 45% wool, 24% poly, 23% viscose (and some other miscellaneous debris) fabric that doesn’t feel cheap. All poly lining. Has a nice cut to it’s shape and nice and trim arms. Marled color to it. Tabs at the sleeves but no epaulets for those who hate epaulets. And a belt that only has two loops on the back, so feel free to either tie it behind you, wear it like a standard trench, or just ditch the belt all together. Ships and returns free though Nordstrom. A little darker in person than shown here.

 

The Splurge: Bonobos Double Breasted Madison Topcoat – $498.00

bonobos Splurge worthy DB

Expensive. But damn dashing. Cut from a super soft, medium weight Italian wool. Peak lapels. Looks good from any angle. Was just 25% off during the $175+ code that was running over the weekend.

 

The “You make MI6 kinds of money” Splurge:  Billy Reid Bond Peacoat – $695.00

Bond Peacoat 2013

Now available in Charcoal and black, as well as the Bond-specific navy. All but the charcoal is backordered. Nice thing about Billy Reid is that these weren’t excluded from their most recent Friends and Family sale. So, if one of these is on your want-list, start saving now and hang out for the next F&F. The patience should save you 20% off.

 

The Reminder:  Go check out your local Army/Navy Surplus store.

The annual nudge to go check out your local surplus store if you’ve got one nearby. Most, if not all, carry high quality, usually made in the USA outerwear. If some coats have buttons that are too showy, like on the Bridge Coat on the right, the price tag should be low enough that swapping out the buttons would be well worth it. Both of these were found for the low $100s.

Additions from you guys?  What do you have your eye on?  Leave it all below.  Stay warm.