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How to Choose a Men’s Overcoat for Winter

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Choosing a men's overcoat for winter is a crucial step when it comes to layering up in style for the season ahead. An overcoat is a particularly refined choice with plenty of historical roots, modern-day functionality, and serious style points. Overcoats are cut longer than a peacoat, designed to hit about mid-thigh, and intended to be worn over formal ensembles (the longer length covers up your suit jacket and protects it from winter weather). To be clear, overcoats are sometimes known as topcoats, but that's just logistics.

That being said, overcoats for men can be as versatile a style move as you like, with the ability to be worn over the aforementioned tailored looks or with casual style essentials, like navy crewneck sweatshirts and blue jeans (as one David Beckham did in recent years). Finding the right overcoat for you comes down to wearability and winter warmth, not to mention the refined style you crave.

How to choose a men's overcoat




15 minutes

Winter overcoats for men run the gamut from traditionally styled wool jackets to patterned wool options that add a dash of style and flair to any look. The key here is finding the right one that works for you, especially if you happen to be on the taller side. Rest assured, there are overcoats for tall men out there, and really, there's a style of the overcoat to suit every look and occasion.

The best overcoats for men normally feature notch lapels, like your luxury jacket, and often also feature three front buttons and two flap pockets at the waist to hold your everyday carry essentials. And you'll find them at luxury price points and at more affordable price points, too. Plenty of your favorite retailers also stock and sell perfectly stylish, well-made men's overcoats. Most overcoats are single-breasted, luxurious options might be double-breasted in terms of design.

The key is finding the one to suit your life, and that's why we're here today.

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Finding Winter Overcoats for Men

As we said before, there are plenty of options on the market when shopping for an overcoat (including Big and Tall options, should you need). But before you can throw one on and dress to impress, you've got to narrow down how exactly to find a proper overcoat. Allow us to lead the way.

Because an overcoat is meant to be worn over other layers (everything from a dress shirt and suit jacket to an Oxford shirt and a wool sweater), fit is crucial. Overcoats are often made out of winter-ready fabrics like wool and are usually lined with polyester or silk-like fabric, both of which make it easy to take the jacket off and on.

Step 1: Know the measurements or size of your best-fitting suit jacket or blazer. Have a friend or your tailor measure your shoulders and chest if new measurements are needed.

how to choose a mens overcoat for winter bonobos topcoat
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Step 2: Use that jacket size or your measurements to find an overcoat. An overcoat should provide you with room to layer over another jacket without being too restrictive. Going one size up from your normal suit jacket size is a good rule of thumb.

Step 3: Select the color, style, or pattern that works with most of your wardrobe. The overcoat is going to be the largest component of any layered winter look, so versatile colors like navy or charcoal are best.

Step 4: Try on your overcoat, taking care that it provides you with ample room to layer, move, and button-up.

Overcoats come in all forms in terms of design and material, but the best overcoat is the one that you can readily wear with the rest of your winter wardrobe, be it tailoring or casual wear. Versatile colors always work best and give you the most leeway when it comes to your winter ensembles, whether it's a charcoal wool suit or a trusted pair of black denim and tan leather boots.

Knowing your size and selecting an overcoat that's neither too slim nor too baggy, will ensure you find an overcoat you can wear for years at a time.

Beau Hayhoe
Beau Hayhoe is a freelance men's style writer, consultant and PR pro based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear and gear writing has…
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