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). Sizes are noted below in any in-person shots. Head here to get an idea as to the height/weight of the fella (hi) in those shots.
Redesigned this year, and they’ve made some nice improvements. Pockets have moved to the side for the much, much more functional hand-warmer style variety. Sizing is made to fit over a suit, but still be fitted and not box like. 85% wool and 15% cashmere. 3/2 roll button front, with functioning top button. 3.5″ lapel. Doesn’t get more classic than this.
Charles Tyrwhitt isn’t just for shirts. Their outerwear is really quite nice. Shown above is their 6 button front wool / cashmere Epsom topcoats. Looks like they’ve taken down the gray option in favor of a 4 button front, but the navy is still there. Regardless, Italian wool/cashmere fabric is super nice. Warm but not stiff. Will be tough to get on sale, but they do run 20% off codes every so often. Size shown above left is a 42R.
Lands’ End Primaloft Quilted Jacket – $89.40 w/ CORN & 3026 ($149)
One of the better, casual jacket deals out there. An annual, really quite affordable favorite. Classic, Barbour-like sporting looks without the heritage brand price tag. Corduroy collar, brass-tone snaps, raglan sleeves, and a vent in the rear for ease of movement. Could drop even further this upcoming weekend?
One of the best of the bunch from this season. No, the 64% wool, 31% poly, 5% “other” fabric isn’t the most luxurious stuff. But I’ve certainly felt worse at a much higher price. It’s not bad. Not bad at all. All polyester lining. Made in Vietnam. Does go on sale too. Size shown above is a large. Warmer feeling than the UNIQLO wool/cashmere topcoat, but not super insulated. You’ll still need to layer up in bitter, bitter cold. Shown at the top of this post. Also available in a charcoal plaid, but the wool blend is a bit different on that plaid coat, so it might feel and drape a little differently.
Made in the USA out of some seriously well considered materials. And don’t be worried about it being an early fall jacket. This thing is WARM thanks to the blanket stripe flannel lining. Full review here.
J. Crew Dock Peacoat w/ Thinsulate – $223.50 w/ BUNDLEUP ($298)
Yes, you could easily get the real deal at your local Army / Navy surplus for less, but 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. Goes on sale plenty.
An ultra light. Very soft fabric, but also extremely light in weight. Not gonna be that warm. So be prepared to layer. Or? The perfect lightweight but still super handsome topcoat for those that live in warmer climates. Note that the shot on the left is last year’s model. They relocated the pockets this year (just like Spier & Mackay) to make them more functional, side-slash, hand warmer style. You might want to consider sizing down this year (or, ordering two sizes and sending one back). UNIQLO has really made their fits more generous for the American market.
Leans heavily casual, but this is one rugged lifer of a coat. Made from their cover-cloth/waxed/oiled cotton material. Nice and substantial. Incredible construction and attention to detail. Super heavy duty hardware. Moleskin collar that stands up just fine against the wind. Interior draw string can be cinched to keep the wind out/create a little more shape. The one drawback? It collects lint and fuzz and pet hair like crazy.
A classic of the shorter, mid-butt variety. Cuts it too close if you like to wear sportcoats and blazers, BUT, if you’re looking for a peacoat that’s NOT a mid thigh length? These are always kicking about at Nordstrom (or here at Nordstrom rack, for a hell of a lot less). 62% wool, 28% polyester, 10% other fibers.
I don’t usually go for the celebrity collaborative stuff, but the Kevin Love collection at Banana Republic this year really is something else. The one issue? This collection is almost always excluded from sales. Both are made from Italian 80% wool / 20% nylon material.
J. Crew Destination Topcoat in Water Resistant Italian Wool – $332.50 when 30% off ($475)
Not gonna lie. This is a love it or hate it (yet I find myself, personally, somewhere dead inbetween?) This thing is a true knee length, while the rest of the topcoat world has been going just above the knee / mid thigh. And there’s NO vent in the rear. So it’s really… tubular? But what it DOES have going for it, is the middle to lighter weight but still warm and very nice feeling fabric. If you run hot? This is a great coat. J. Crew’s “destination” line is supposed to be a merging of classic materials and technology. So, think breathable, lighter-weight, etc. They say it’s tweed, but it’s soft. Not super rough. Hardly. Raglan style shoulders. Covered placket. I have a weird feeling that this is gonna end up in the sale section and on mega discount come spring. Often excluded. But it has gone on sale in the past. Size shown above is a 42R.
JC Penney hasn’t changed these much, if at all, over the last few years. 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. Always on sale.
A huge splurge, but man are they something. A warning. THESE RUN SMALL. Like real small. I could barely get into a large. And at 5’10” / 195-200, I usually wear a medium or a large.
UNIQLO BlockTech Cotton Mac – $89.90 ($129.90)
Meanwhile, THESE RUN LARGE. Real large. The size above? That’s a Medium. And it’s very boxy, especially with your hands out of the pockets. Nice coat though. All cotton exterior that looks a little like wool, and the interior is engineered to keep water out while allowing your body heat (and moisture) to still evaporate. Sizes are all over the place this year depending on brand. I’m an XL in Suitsupply, but a Small in UNIQLO? Beats me fellas.
Not cheap, but you’re getting F&T’s USA Made quality, super soft moleskin, and a well designed shirt jacket. A nice in-between layer, or, something extra to throw under an overcoat or parka. Huge fan of the vertical hand warmer pockets.
Those are some statement coats right there. 85% wool / 15% cashmere. 5″ wide peak lapels (measurement taken on a size 40). Button vent in the rear.
Banana Republic Italian Melton Wool-Blend Car Coat – $226.80 when 40% off ($378)
One of the best, again, this year. I don’t think they’ve changed this coat much since last year? Terrific fabric, despite the mix being a pretty standard 80% wool / 20% the rest. Soft and smooth. A good depth to it for warmth, but still flexible. Big fan of the slanted hand pockets. Size shown above is a large on 195-200lbs. 80% wool / 17% poly / 3% other.
J.C.F. Cotton/Nylon Quilted Jacket – $58.80 w/ PRESTO ($98)
Lighter in weight than some other quilted jackets, but the design stands out for all the right reasons. Has cotton in there as the base to eliminate that shine that all poly/synthetic can bring. Dead simple. Zipper front this year instead of the snaps that last year’s olive color version had.
A departure from their classic Peacoat styles. Called a “slender” fit, but still layerable. Made in the USA from an 80% wool / 20% nylon blend. Walks the line between tough and refined. An investment, but something you’re gonna have for a very, very long time.
Yes it’s a sportcoat, but it’s a true “sporting” coat that’ll do plenty fine as outerwear. Unstructured but made from hearty wool blend tweed. Lots of functionality like extra pockets, a 4-button front with throat tab, and a game pocket in the rear. Ships and returns for free via Huckberry.
From their “Essentials” line. Soft wool, classic shape, and plenty of width to those lapels. Ships and returns for free being that it’s Suitsupply. Bummed that the price has gone up by $100 in the last year, but, materials and labor are getting more expensive every day.
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.
And that’s just the first crop. Remember, sometimes it takes a little bit for seasonal stuff to go on sale, so while the above prices might feel a little steep on some of the items, a little patience can pay off. Got a tip on a coat or jacket for this fall or winter? Send those into firstname.lastname@example.org