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 almost invincible. The following options should help most of us get that feeling for a relatively affordable price (some are more affordable than others). In-person items were tried over a suit jacket or blazer to make sure they fit, and sizes are noted below. Head here to get an idea as to the height/weight of the fella (hi) in those shots.
J. Crew Ludlow Peak or Notch Lapel Topcoat – $315 w/ SHOPMORE
Spendy, but they’re something else. Shown above is the peak lapel option made from a 90% virgin wool / 10% cashmere blend from Italy’s Manifattura Tessile Risaliti mill. And boy is it soft. Feels pretty warm too, even if you opt for the non thinsulate option. Goes on sale quite often. Beautiful shade of light grey. Moves extremely well. No stiffness or grabbing or pulling. Size shown above is a 40R. Notch lapel options available in camel, navy, or charcoal. Normally $450, but currently 30% off with the code.
Gustin Made in the USA Harrington in Army Green or Navy – $119
A complete classic, made in the USA, for $119. The catch? You’ll have to be patient. If the project funds, you won’t get yours until November. Maybe December. That’s the Gustin model (more on the Gustin experience here). But that patience sure can pay off. 12 oz duck canvas means the classic Harrington collar should stand a bit easier than cheap, floppy, poly or poly blend alternatives. This isn’t your dad’s khaki Harrington.
7 Diamonds Quilted Panel Lambswool Knit Jacket – $149
Big fan of this thing. Made last year’s best-affordable outwear list, and for good reason. Quilted front panel for extra wind resistance/insulation, with the rest of it being a knit, breathable lambswool. A nice alternative to 007’s from Spectre. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10/185, and while Nordstrom suggests sizing up, I’d say stick with your normal size. And please pardon the flecks of snow. It was starting to weather pretty good during that shoot. Also available in navy.
UNIQLO Wool/Cashmere “Chesterfield” Topcoat – $129.90 ($149)
Looks like these had their sizing expanded compared to last year (much like the rest of UNIQLO’s stock, which has gone through a more Americanized sizing process in the previous months). Many of the reviewers suggest sizing down. Got one on the way, but a shipping delay held it up. Will update this post as soon as it arrives. Do know that while the fabric is pretty nice, these are never that warm. Good for those that live in warmer climates, or those who run hot and/or prefer to layer up.
GAP “Crombie” 60% wool / 40% poly Topcoat – $118.80 w/ STYLE ($198)
Obviously, it’s inside out on the right side of the above image. Why? To show that the entire thing is unlined. Sleeves too. And as much as I love me some lightly constructed sportcoats/suitjackets, etc… An unlined topcoat is a tough ask. Why? Because when the fabric has some texture/roughness to it (like a 60% wool / 40% poly blend)… it can grab at your shirt or sweater or sportcoat or whatever you have on underneath it. It’s just tougher to get on. It’s nicely constructed, sure, and all of the seams have been nicely taped with chambray. But getting it on can be a bit of a chore. Still a nice coat though, and the use of slash/vertical running pockets, instead of flapped horizontal pockets, make it much easier to keep your hands warm. Camel color is a little less rich than the competition. Leans more sandy brown than caramel. Always on sale.
Old Navy Wool Blend Topcoat – $93.71 w/ SAVE ($124.95)
Gonna be brutally honest: This thing is extremely flimsy. Thin, and a bit wobbly feeling. Like, it’s fully lined, but I wouldn’t be shocked if that lining started to come detached pretty quickly. As stiff as the GAP option is, this is the opposite… but not in a good way. Fabric is pretty wimpy. Still? It’ll drop under $75 at 40% off, and could be a nice, entry level topcoat to some. Just be warned. Size shown is a medium.
Massimo Dutti Quilted Blazer – $245.00
Shirt jacket? No. It’s not. Sportcoat / Jacket hybrid? Yes! It’s a… Spacket? Whatever you want to call it, Massimo Dutti isn’t the only one to produce one of these hybrids, but they sure do make a good looking one. Just be warned that MD seems to run lean and mean. So you might want to size up. Should go on sale around the holidays if you can hang tight. Also, just to be clear, this is outerwear. I don’t care if it’s cut in the shape of a sportcoat. Don’t wear it like one. It should come off when you head indoors (assuming the heat is working).
H&M Double Breasted Wool Blend Topcoat – $99
From the David Beckham line. Here’s the thing about H&M coats. They can look great on the outside, but often times they come with a terrible, scratchy, poly lining. Haven’t been able to source this thing in-store yet, so, jury’s out on that detail. But the not-so-normal (yet not crazy) green shade might be a good way to mix it up among the sea of black, charcoal, and navy coats this season.
Flint & Tinder Made in the USA Waxed Trucker Jacket – $199
7 oz. Martexin waxed sailcloth. Lined in 100% cotton flannel for softness and ease of wear. Cut and sewn in Los Angeles. Down to size Large at post time, but they promise they’re gonna re-stock this thing soon, and there’s a list to get on if you so choose. Ships and returns free.
Suitsupply “2.5 Button” Overcoat in Grey or Navy – $399
It’s a 2/3 roll style, which leaves a little more open up top than some would prefer. So know that your scarf tying game will have to be strong on the coldest of days. Ships and returns for free though.
Schott NYC Made in the USA SLIM fit Wool Blend Peacoat – $375
The real deal, for the real slim fellas. Remember, outerwear needs to FIT over a few layers underneath. So, if you’re a normal/athletic body type, these might be too tight of a squeeze. Made in the USA from a Canadian wool blend. Hearty. Tough. An investment, but something you’re gonna have for a very, very long time.
J. Crew Factory Thompson Topcoat w/ Thinsulate – Mid to High $100s
One of the best bang for the buck options. Not cheap, but not crazy expensive either. And certainly looks and feels the part. 80% wool / 20% nylon exterior isn’t super soft, but isn’t crunchy or terribly scratchy either. Color is a nice, rich camel. Pockets aren’t super easy to stick your hands in to keep em’ warm, but that’s really the only complaint. A fine alternative to more expensive options, and head and shoulders above GAP’s competing Crombie. Fitted but still easy to get over a sportcoat. Also available in navy or charcoal. Shown above is a size 40.
L.E. Moon Mills Wool Topcoat – $239.50 w/ INCREDIBLE & 8952
Tweedy. Has that speckled thing going for it. Shell has that authentic, slightly-rough texture of tweed. Not the heaviest thing, and you might need to layer up if it gets real cold. Tailored Fit. Lined in nylon. Size shown is a 40R. Currently 40% off with the code and pin shown above.
J. Crew Field Jacket – $148.50 w/ SHOPMORE ($198)
Mid weight, quality cotton exterior with nice zippers. Pockets. Lottttttta pockets. If you layer, it’ll take care of you down into the 30s. Green is a bit brighter than what you’d find at your local Army / Navy surplus store (and the obligatory reminder to check said store is coming up further down the post). Remember, just two bucks shy of the next threshold, so consider adding something super cheap to your cart. Full review of this thing on the way. Size shown is a medium on 6’0″/170 lbs.
John W. Nordstrom Quilted Jacket – $199
Shouldn’t have been surprised at how nice this thing is. Nordstrom knows what they’re doing. Not super warm, but warm enough for the fall and the not crazy cold winter days. Really well designed. Hand warmer pockets behind the snap-close flap pockets in the front. Dual rear vents that unsnap for more ease of movement. Interior drawcord cinches down for a closer fit (note: it hasn’t been cinched at all in the image above…) Runs true to size. Size shown above is a medium. Available in any color you want, as long as it’s navy.
Banana Republic Wool Blend Topcoat in Camel or Navy – $210 ($350)
Banana Republic seems to put out a fantastic, well executed, classically styled topcoat every year. And this year is no different. By far the best of the GAP inc. offerings this year. 75% wool, 21% nylon, 4% cashmere Italian blend exterior. A mix of poly, acetate, and nylon for the fully lined. Mid to lighterweight overall, but should keep plenty warm. Covered placket this time around (they’ve done uncovered in the past). Perfect, mid-thigh length. Hacking pockets on the front. Starting price is $350, but on sale often. Size shown above is a medium, and please excuse the lean to the silhouette of the coat. It’s got one of those security cables/tags running up one of the sleeves, so, it’s wearing a bit awkward in the shot.
J. Crew Dock Peacoat – $208.60 w/ SHOPMORE ($298)
J. Crew gets a LOT right about their Dock Peacoat. A touch longer than most peacoats (good for protecting your blazer or suit jacket tail), plus those chest high hand warmer pockets are extremely convenient. More of a straight fit. Some super slim guys might find them to be a bit boxy. Currently 30% off.
JCP Stafford Wool Blend Topcoat – $94.49 w/ BIGSALE ($275)
JC Penney hasn’t changed these much, if at all, over the last few years. It still feels like the super soft wool used on their camelhair blazers, the shoulders have a little bit of structure but aren’t too boxy, and the slash pockets at the waist are well placed. Wool/Poly blend. Just about knee length. They have tended to run a bit larger than other topcoats. Size shown is a 38R. Always on sale. Going to be noticeably warmer than the UNIQLO topcoat, but won’t be overly toasty either.
Best in Show Cheap: Target Wool Blend Peacoat or Topcoat – $79.99
From Target’s Merona brand. The peacoat is noticeably better than previous incarnations, and the addition of the topcoat is more than welcome. The wool blends this year are much, much more flexible than what they’ve used in years past on the peacoat. According to the tags those blends are, for the peacoat, 63% wool, 29% poly, 8% “other,” and for the topcoat it’s an almost identical 64% wool, 29% poly, 7% “other.” Fits are more of a straight fit but not enormous on most frames (sizes are both medium above). And each comes with a bit of insulation inside the framework. Tough to beat for the price if you’re on a serious budget.
Best in Show Pricey: C. Tyrwhitt Wool/Cashmere Overcoat – $385*
Yes, Charles Tyrwhitt does more than just shirts. Incredible 90% wool, 10% cashmere Italian Fabric. Extra ticket pocket on the right side. Lapels don’t dip quite as low other topcoats, which some might prefer. No covered placket here, which makes it a bit easier to button up quickly. Flap pockets, but they’re angled, and thus, easier to use to keep your hands warm. Spendy, but can go on sale. Just $15 at post time, but hey, fifteen bucks is fifteen bucks. Best in show. *Note: You’ll need the code 15OCTFS! for fifteen bucks off the regular price of $400.
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. There were a lot of peacoats & topcoats from wheelhouse retailers that were tried on and could have made this list, but most cost more than an Army/Navy surplus coat,without delivering equal quality or better looks. Most surplus stores carry high quality, usually made-in-the-USA outerwear. Feel free to swap out buttons if they’re too showy (like on the bridge coat on the right). Both of the coats shown here were found for the low $100s.
Note: Just because a brand/retailer isn’t represented above, doesn’t mean it wasn’t scouted. The crop isn’t overflowing this year. That said, what’d we miss? Send in your tips for worthy, reasonably priced outerwear to email@example.com