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. Got a tip on a coat that should have made the list? Send those and any other style tips into email@example.com
Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Merino Wool Trench Coat – $266.98 w/ BC1818 ($698)
Currently an extra 25% off PLUS that 15% off BC1818 code seems to be stacking. From their high end Golden Fleece line, this is for those who live in climates that aren’t as cold as some. Dead simple luxury here. Water resistant, Vitale Barberis Canonico mill merino wool exterior. Timeless mac design. A year round piece of outerwear as long as it doesn’t get too bitter cold, or, if you just plain run hot.
Pretty, pretty good! Lighter weight with a lighter to medium warmth level. Should do well over a sweater when it’s cold. Fit isn’t half bad either. It’s not billowing out at the sides, yet it’s not shrink wrapped either. Size shown here is a comfortable, but not blousy, Medium on 5’10” / 195.
For those who like the double breasted look but don’t want to shell out for higher end brands. Shell is a 52% wool / 38% poly / 10% “other” blend. Would still love to know what that “other” is one of these days. Anyway, not the softest stuff, but not burlap stiff either. Hearty but not overly weighty. Pretty darn dashing looking. Drops to under $180 when 40% off, but currently HALF off at post time. Size shown here is a medium on 5’10″/195.
J. Crew Dock Peacoat – $178.80 w/ SHOPNOW ($298)
Always a favorite. Hearty wool fabric, insulated with primaloft, and the chest high handwarmer pockets + slightly longer length to the tail are huge advantages over shorter, stockier peacoats. Often on sale.
Nice potential here. Haven’t seen it in person yet since it’s a new arrival, and Old Navy stores can be… trying… at the best of times… but according to reader Greg W. who sent in the tip on this coat, Old Navy has been stepping their game up as of late. Which makes sense, being that they’re the flourishing arm of the GAP inc. tree. Fabric is 77% polyester, 15% wool, 8% other fibers. So, not surprising since it’s Old Navy. But still. Could deliver Sherlock Holmes vibes on the cheap.
If outerwear was a video game, these are the big boss you’d have to conquer at the end of the game. Good gravy what a coat. Yes, it’s half a grand, but at other brands? You’d be paying a heck of a lot more. 85% merino / 15% cashmere. Peak lapels. Double breasted front. Patch pockets up front. Single vent in the rear and a “self-belted” back. Geeze Louise what a coat.
J. Crew Highland Skye Jacket with eco-friendly PrimaLoft – $148.80 w/ SHOPNOW ($248)
A surprisingly solid, warm jacket… as long as you don’t mind a bit of room. Has all the heritage details like a corduroy collar, throat latch, button AND zip front, and lined pockets. Hard to beat the blackwatch plaid here too. It just fits a touch on the boxy side. I feel like I’ve got a bit too much room in the medium shown above, on my 5’10″/195 lb frame, but sizing down to a small feels like it’d be a bad idea. But, coats are supposed to be comfortable over layers. You’re not supposed to be shrink wrapped in them. Gotta be able to move. This will do that.
Onions! No really, instead of the usual box baffling, these quilted bombers get the onion quilting treatment. Looks a little more retro, and some think it looks a whole lot better. Ships and returns for free. Should go on sale during upcoming holiday shopping blitz promos.
Banana Republic Italian Wool Melton Topcoat in Camel – $199 w/ BRFAMILY ($398)
Really impressive thanks to the fabric, the fit, and the fact that it drops under $200 during the every once in a while 50% off deals BR seems to run. Italian woven 80% virgin wool, 20% nylon fabric is nice and soft and has a good medium weight to it. You’ll need to layer in the single digits, but it should keep most warm in most conditions. Fit is nice and trim too. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10″/195. One detail this year many of us might have missed? It’s a TWO button. Usually topcoats are three. Makes a heck of a case for the two-button look, doesn’t it? Only improvement would be a switch to the easier to access, side entry slash pockets on the side, instead of traditional (and honestly better looking) flaps. But they just aren’t as good for keeping your hands toasty. They work! But not as good as the side slashes.
Banana Republic Italian Wool Melton Topcoats in Heather Gray or Brown Herringbone – $199 w/ BRFAMILY ($398)
And now something a bit less flashy, when compared to camel. BR knows what they’re doing when it comes to these things. They’ve been cranking out substantial but not overly bulky or stiff topcoats for years. More than a few of us have a BR topcoat in our closet that we wear with everything during the cold months. Here’s a couple more options for this year. Grey option has a pretty standard, four button, covered placket front. Brown herringbone is just like the camel, with a dashing two button front.
Banana Republic Corduroy Puffer Vest – $84.50 w/ BRFAMILY ($169)
Mrs. Dappered approved. As in: “Ooh I like that, looks really rich.” Because it is. Corduroy exterior and a true puffer level of insulation. Will keep you plenty warm. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10″/195, and it’s a hair tight. So, a solidly trim fit for a puffer. Not bad.
Suitsupply is pretty good at what they do, and they’ve got legions of fans because of it. They DO tailor their stuff pretty slim though, so if you’re a broader fella, know that you might be squeezed in these. But if you’ve got Suitsupply suits or sportcoats and you love them? Then these should fit right on over that tailored wear like a glove. Ships and returns free.
***BEST SUPER CHEAP*** A new favorite for those who like them some Tahr-zhay? The entire body is lined in sherpa fleece, including the collar, which stands up nicely. The sleeves are then lined in polyester, allowing your arms to slide in and out easily without getting caught up in the sheepy stuff. There’s some kind of padding/insulation in the arms, too, so your entire upper body is kept nice and warm. 99% cotton and 1% Spandex, but that gives it just enough flex to keep a close fit to the body for maximum warmth. Extremely comfortable. Button adjustments on the waistline for fine-tuning the fit. Size shown is a small on 5’9″/155.
All kinds of right. Double breasted with a subtle glen check… and then that’s it. Double breasted coats can look way too busy, way too fast, depending on any unnecessary accoutrements like epaulets, sleeve cuff tabs, etc. Not here. Just a back belt for a little more shape, but that’s it. Nails. Ships and returns free.
***BEST ATHLEISURE/PUFFER*** A new favorite. Not cheap, but in terms of fit and execution, a step above your standard puffer. A BIG step above. Why? Because it makes you look athletic instead of, y’know, puffy. Super easy to move in too. It’s like they’re a company built around movement or something. Size shown here is a large on 5’10″/195.
Charles Tyrwhitt Italian Wool Cashmere Peak Lapel Epsom Coat – $369 | Notch Lapel Overcoat – $269 w/ FORYOU30 ($499)
Whereas most guys use CT as a source for shirts, they do an awfully good job with their outerwear too (here’s their Epsom Coat from a few years back when it still had notch lapels). Really, really nice Italian wool/cashmere fabric. Timeless details and fits. Nice corozo nut buttons and that pop of contrasting color under the collar. They do ship from the UK, and do know that you’re on the hook for returns.
Five colors to choose from, but I love this “pomegranate” dark red. It screams fall to me. From cranberry sauce at thanksgiving, to college football powerhouse uniforms, to deep-hued leaves a-changin’.. there’s just something so fall about a dark red. And a puffer vest is the perfect way to introduce a color like this to your wardrobe, because it’s not overpowering. With two chest pockets and two buttoned slash pockets, there’s lots of storage options, all while maintaining a fairly slim profile. The back sports the same three-column design as last year’s puffer vest, and the gray contrast liner is sharp as nails. Zipper is a tad flimsy, though, and it would be nice if there was another zipper to let the waistline breathe a bit. Size shown is a small on 5’9″/155.
Ohhhh lordy. Those are something. A good chunk of cashmere should mean a very, very nice fabric. Plus it’s Spier, so you know the attention to detail is gonna be top-notch. Hand pockets are the slash variety, which are much MUCH easier to use than basic horizontal flap pockets. A terrific choice by the Spier folks in terms of design. 3 roll 2 button front. Lightly padded shoulders. Not cheap. But it should treat you well for years to come.
Form meets function. If you’re all-in on the outdoorsy, mountain man trend, you will love this jacket. Shown here in a size Medium on 5’7″ / 175, this jacket is 100% polyester fabric, but it’s a high-quality soft touch fleece. My guess is that this will keep you warm through November during the day, and can serve the role of a “house sweater” if the traditional shawl collar cardigan or chunky fisherman sweater isn’t your style. Goodthreads absolutely nailed the construction, fabric, fit, overall style and value proposition on this one.
***BEST CASUAL*** Bit of a legend and for good reason. I’m pretty sure these are the most popular thing that Huckberry sells. Waxed cotton exterior that wears in and molds to the individual wearer over time. Body and sleeves are fully lined with a soft, striped blanket lining (which is plenty toasty). And? They’re made here in the States. Impressive. C’mon fall. Do your thing. Full review here if you want it.
Puffy, but still sleek, Spier’s new vest checks all the right boxes for something substantial but also pretty refined. A 70% wool / 30% poly outer shell notches up the elegance, while a genuine 90% down fill provides ample warmth for your core. Buttons are nicely done and strongly affixed. Angled hand pockets are both convenient for warmth and ergonomically friendly. No doubt, this is a pricey vest, but the craftsmanship and material quality are premium and make it a worthy investment. Size shown above is a medium on Jason’s 5’7″/175 frame.
90% wool and 10% cashmere. If past is prologue, don’t expect these to be heavyweight. Or even medium weight. They are lightweight topcoats, which is GREAT for those guys who live in warmer weather climates and love the look of traditional winter outerwear… but would sweat to death in a standard insulated coat. Shown above left is a camel option from a few years back. Not sure if their new “brown” (which looks like a rich camel) is quite the same shade in person. Do know that UNIQLO’s return policy has tightened up recently. It’s now 30 days instead of 60, all online purchases must be returned by mail (no in-store drop offs), and online returns will cost you a $7 return label. Big thanks to reader D.G. for the tip!
***BEST IN SHOW*** Perfect slightly speckled, Italian wool fabric that’s flexible and warm. Long enough to easily cover your suit jacket or sportcoat tail, but won’t drown your frame either. Chest high hand warmer pockets. Shoulders that have enough room to get the thing on easily, but don’t restrict movement by being anchored too low. And the collar is perfect. Wide enough to pop up against blasts of winter wind, but lays flat just-so too. Also, the inverted box pleat in the back really does make moving around in this thing a real pleasure. It goes with you. Doesn’t fight against you. Cheaper coats just don’t feel like this. Also available in a charcoal herringbone as well as a light oatmeal. Size shown is a 40R on 5’10″/195.
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, and it’s safe to do so. 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.
What’d we miss? Got a favorite piece of outerwear for 2020 that should have made this list? Send those tips into firstname.lastname@example.org