When it comes to outerwear, there are few looks more iconic than the classic men’s peacoat. Believed to have been developed by Dutch sailors in the early eighteenth century, the coat’s moniker comes from the Dutch word pije, a term that describes the coarse wool fabric from which the coat was originally made.
Those days, clearly, are long gone. The peacoat’s status as a workingman’s garment has, over the years, been elevated with incredibly fine materials such as merino wool, cashmere, and even leather. However, throughout the past two centuries, the peacoat’s styling has remained virtually unchanged; a form-fitting silhouette, double-breasted design, wide ulster collar, vertical slit pockets and a slight flare at the hips are the hallmarks of the peacoat. It’s as though the Dutch were planning on it becoming an icon of gentlemen’s style. Little surprise that the British navy adopted the design, followed in short order by the U.S. Navy. The coat became popularized for street wear by the dapper Prince of Wales in 1869 and has been a mainstay of men’s style ever since.
The modern peacoat of today can sport any number of small adjustments — a slimmer profile, side or back vents, epaulets, even a hood — as well as a variety of materials that befit various occasions and functions. Keep reading for our roundup of the warmest and most stylish variations on the classic men’s peacoat.
First up, an infinitely affordable classic men’s peacoat from Andrew Marc. Made from a wool and synthetic blend, this coat is light on weight but heavy on the warming with the addition of a quilted liner and two, large front slant pockets. The notch collar and double-breasted button closure keep to the traditional design of the peacoat, while the coat’s slim cut adds a modern flair. This is the most basic peacoat you can wrap around yourself and we suggest starting here if you don’t already have one in your wardrobe.
This quintessential English peacoat is as expensive as it is classic but is well worth it in the end. Constructed out of 100 percent Melton wool fabric from a Lancashire mill nearly as old as the peacoat design itself, this peacoat is lined in silky viscose and features two zip-secure inner breast pockets along with two lower welt pockets. Subtle but distinctive details include an oversized lapel made with a four-piece under the collar with channel stitching, a copper-riveted back neck hanger, and handwarmer pockets lined in luxurious ultra-fine needle cord.
Boiled wool offers a step above standard wool construction, offering a heavier weight, a softer drape, and a soft boucle texture that prevents the itch factor. Along with being warmer, boiled wool is extra weather resistant because the felting increases the strength and friction resistance. It’s also better for retaining shape, thanks to the natural elasticity in the fabric. Wide lapels, an extra-slim fit, and slightly padded shoulders elevate the simplicity of this peacoat to the level of sublime.
The classic peacoat gets the rockstar look from treatment in black cowhide leather while still keeping you warm with quilting nylon lining, even in freezing temperatures. With its slim profile and uncompromising material, this style of peacoat is nothing if not aspirational — it’s just the thing to get you back in the gym after the holidays. And since it comes from legendary New York City coat manufacturer Schott’s, you can expect it to last for years.
Constructed out of 100 percent English sheepskin with full-grain leather taping, a rich buttery-gold interior, this shearling peacoat brings cowboy styling to the refined men’s peacoat. Don’t let the rugged good looks of this seamed shearling peacoat fool you—this coat hews to the Ralph Lauren pedigree with the highest-quality materials painstakingly hand-finished to achieve a vintage-style patina. Notch lapels, a buckled leather throat latch, adjustable snaps at the interior cuffs, and two chest welt pockets balance out the flapped pockets at the waist, making this coat as functional as it is gorgeous.
If you’re looking for extreme warmth with classic peacoat styling, the Kato model from Canadian designer Nobis is your jam. Brought to you by the design team behind Canada Goose, this peacoat offers the traditional peacoat’s sharp, tailored style combined with the warmth benefits of a down parka. Lined with premium Canadian Origin White Duck Down, its features include a removable hood with moldable framing wire, a removable coyote fur ruff, adjustable cuffs with heavy elastic rib knit and thumbholes, and windproof and waterproof construction.
If you’re the type of guy who won’t give up his puffer jacket in exchange for a peacoat, at the very least, get a good one like this Bison Puffer Jacket from United By Blue.