If a man could only own one piece of outerwear, there would be a good case for a classic toggle coat. It’s rugged and manly while being sleek and smart. It goes with just about any outfit and is the perfect middle ground between “casual” and “dressy”.
You see these things all the time, usually within the sea of black, grey, navy and camel outerwear that dominates the streets. I suggest going with olive green instead (which is slowly becoming my favorite color for outerwear, over navy blue). One thing I like about this particular coat is the contrast of the the green wool with the twine rope and the wooden toggles.
Here, 3 ways to toggle – inspired by 3 different NYC neighborhoods.
1. Lower East Side
Casual. Young. Hip
The lower east side is the kind of place you can literally wear anything you want – nobody will look at you twice. A neighborhood so full of young expressive artists and “hipsters” that you’re more likely to see a purple chest hair mohawk than a Brooks Brothers suit. If you think that some of my outfits are too “on the edge”, you really need to visit the LES sometime.
A general guideline (not rule!) for layering: fabrics should get thicker and heavier as they get nearer to the outside. Notice here, all four tops are gradually layered from lightest to heaviest.
Bonus Tip: a hooded toggle coat reads more casual than one with a collar, and thus is slightly easier to dress “down” (and vise versa).
Bonus Tip II: a toggle coat and a duffle coat are very similar in style. A duffle, however, is a traditional British garment made from duffle; a thick, coarse woollen fabric that originates from Duffel, Belgium.
- Tan leather gloves by Hugo Boss
- Necklace from NYC flea market artist
- Neutral chunky cardigan by Caufield Prepatory
- Olive tank top by Hanes
- Olive wool toggle coat by Club Monaco
- Chambray shirt by Rag&Bone
- Brown corduroy jeans by H&M
- Brown leather alpine boots by Alife
- Brown leather belt by JCrew