Gentleman’s Outerwear: The Tailored Topcoat

November 14th, 2013

There’s nothing more bossy and gentlemanly than a tailored topcoat.

Here are some of my favorites from the TSB archives to get you thinking about looking sharp this season.

1. Cotton

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This is a lightweight jacket that I wear through the Spring and Fall. With a fur scarf (see how I made my own from an old coat here) and a cashmere sweater I can stretch it long into the winter and feel extra cozy. It’s trim through the sleeves with high armholes, which makes for a sharp silhouette.

2. Camel Hair

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Camel hair doesn’t have to be camel colored. This one from Brooks Brothers Black Fleece is super soft and super warm. Also love the classic Americana touch of the gold buttons, and the surgeon’s cuffs.

3. Classic Wool

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The camel coat is a menswear staple that will never go out of style. Who better to show you how to rock a classic menswear staple than our in-house classicist Towni. Here he shows you three ways to wear it.

4. Moleskin

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Moleskin is one of those fabric that you can’t truly appreciate until you’ve worn it for a while. It’s hard to explain the rugged beauty of this fabric which only gets better over time, much like your favorite corduroys. From “Unexpected Layering, pt II“.

5. Cashmere

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A midnight blue or black double-breasted overcoat is one of the most formal pieces of outerwear you can buy. It’s classy, elegant and sharp enough to cover your best tuxedo.  I actually designed this one with a midnight blue body, black sleeves and black lapels – the subtlety is what I love about it.

6. Transform It With A Simple Accessory

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This is another lightweight topcoat (I’m a huge fan of lightweight outerwear) but I can winterize it with a heavyweight tweed suit and a vintage fur collar – which completely transforms the look and feel of the coat. Don’t be afraid to get regal with it. You’re a grown man, dress like it.

 

How should a Topcoat Fit? Should I size up to fit a jacket or sweater underneath?

NO. Buy it in your size. There should be just enough room built-in for a suit jacket or chunky sweater underneath. It’s okay if it’s a hair snug on top of a suit or blazer, this way it won’t look oversized without a bulky layer underneath. When shopping, make sure to try it on with and without a blazer (preferably one of yours that fits properly). Pay close attention to the shoulders – saggy shoulders can kill a coat.

Where can I buy one (that won’t destroy my bank account)?

My favorite places for sleek, tailored topcoats at reasonable prices are: Reiss, J.Crew, Suit Supply, Club Monaco, Massimo Dutti, and Zara. Of course, if you’re crafty, you can probably find something higher quality in a similar price range at your local consignment or second-hand shop (don’t forget to factor in tailoring costs) or the magical world of eBay (make sure to know your garment measurements).

 

 

Thanks, as always, for reading. Great content coming up!

Yours in style,

TSBmen

 

Photography by Alex Crawford. 

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  • http://undefined Dick Lickerson

    Seriously Dan… How many mole’s had to die to make that coat ?!? Like fourteen or so?? I bet you skinned them alive you sicko.

  • Patrick

    Where is the green tie from? Is it wool, silk?

  • Zulhilmi Rahman

    Dan, where’s your stache, bro?
    Haha

  • cam

    Dan, hope you have a minute and this doesn’t really relate to this post but wanted your advice. I’m thinking of ordering some custom dress shirts and undecided on collar style. I’m thinking spread or cutaway. I’m pretty set on only wearing a four-in-hand knot and I realize some are against that with a cutaway but I like the way it looks. What would you advise as the most versatile for business as well as transitioning to an evening out where I would lose the tie? Also, I’m curious as to your stance on whether a button-down collar is strictly casual or if you think it’s appropriate to be worn with a suit. Thank you sir and as always, keep up all the great work .

    • http://wideeyestightwallets.com Adam

      I know this comment was for Dan, but I’ll chime in real quick. Personally, I like both the spread and cutaway collars, but find myself wearing spread way more often. The cutaway gives a great ‘rakish’ vibe, but I think it *only* looks good under a blazer (i.e. I don’t like it without a tie/coat, under a sweater, etc.). Might just be personal preference, but I think it looks too dressy. If you were going to wear it under a suit all the time (which looks GREAT), I’d be all for the cutaway, but if you want to transition to bar-time, I say go for spread.

      Also, I think button-down collars can be dressed up, but are not formal. In other words, I think they go perfectly well with a blazer or even a suit, but probably aren’t entirely appropriate for, say, a wedding, or even a big client or board meeting. Of course, there are varying degrees of formality with different button-downs…if you want to lean more formal I recommend something with a little bit longer of a point, where a slim collar, to me, definitely leans more casual. My two cents!

    • Juan

      Dan’s worn a button-down collar with a suit before. Although he’s always done it keeping the collar in place with a collar pin.
      This picture might help: http://tsbmen.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/reIMG_8464.jpg

      Alas I think it’s a pretty laid-back look, I certainly wouldn’t wear it with a dressed-up outfit.

      • TO

        Jaun- the cats on TSB all the time wear button downs with their suits- 95% of the time they just don’t do up the buttons. Can be hard to notice!

    • TO

      cam- something you may want to look for from your custom clothier is a hidden button spread option.
      The button will cause the collar to stand upright- for wearing the shirt under a blazer/sweater/etc., but it will look like a regular collar with a shirt and tie.

      I know this is not exactly a direct answer to either of your two questions, but just a couple of cents worth of thought related to your inquiries.

  • Kennie Elerby

    That’s the best part about living in the Midwest and colder climates. You get you wear top coats. Awesome looks Dan! Few questions.

    How do you like to wear scarves with your top coats?

    Who makes the top coat with the fur shawl collar?

    Thanks in advance.

    • http://wideeyestightwallets.com Adam

      I think his fur collar is a detachable piece he found/crafted on his own. Which is badass.

  • cam

    Forgot about your Black Fleece number….too good

  • LouCaves

    Great post.

    Dan, because your blog has caused me to look at my style with wider eyes it led me to slim down an overcoat I bought in the late 90′s. I now enjoy it again. But it’s just plain black. Now I’m on the look-out for some dope buttons to spruce up the plain black.

    Thanks, TSB.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Awesome! Glad we could help :)

  • Juan

    Ah, I miss classic Towni! So elegant!

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Same here. But after our conversation the other day, he’s making a comeback…

  • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

    I have a question about the detachable fur piece. How does it attach to a (any) jacket’s lapels? Is it clips or buttoned or what? I’m curious because if I do find one I would love to incorporate it into my wardrobe. Great looks and im glad you dug up past looks to make reference.

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Good question, I had to figure this out myself. I hand-sewed little fabric clips to the backside of the collar – they fasten easily to any jackets lapels (provided the shapes are fairly similar). Your tailor can probably do this very easily.

      Cheers.