What to look for in your ideal coat in cold weather

Q I recently moved from Louisiana and am now working in Fayetteville. I have seen 40 degree mornings before and I know it will get worse. What kind of business coat should I buy for the winter when it looks like it can go down to the 1920s?

A You are smart to consider the importance of continuing your professional look to your overcoat. And you should know that buying an overcoat (or overcoat) is different in many ways from other clothing purchases. You have to consider which elements are essential to arrive at the right layer for you. What’s the right fabric, the right fit, the right fit, the right color, and where to find that perfect garment at an affordable price?

• Fabric: An overcoat is supposed to keep you warm while looking classically well dressed. Therefore, you want one that is 100% wool or a blend of wool and cashmere. Avoid all cashmere because it is too light, cooler, more perishable and costs much more than wool.

• Fit: Tailored coats are the current look, with a slight nip at the waist. Your choices are simple or crossed, or belted. Double breasted is warmer; single-breasted is more versatile; the belt is less dressed. Try all three to see which one is the most flattering and makes the most sense for you.

• Fit: don’t buy a coat that is too long; buy a thin overcoat that goes all the way to the knee or just a few inches from the knee. Too short is too casual, and too long is heavy and dated.

• Color: Overcoats (and slightly lighter top coats) should be one of three solid colors – navy blue, charcoal gray or camel – or a beautiful tweed in a subtle combination of various lighter colors. Since this is your first coat, I suggest you avoid the overdressed black coat.

• Where to buy: An overcoat is a classic item, designed to last for many years. Don’t skimp. Go to the best high end store you can afford and be prepared to spend more than you think. Or, if you’re shopping at a second-hand or vintage store, plan to spend more on sewing. It is an investment that is worth the extra expense.

• How to shop: Be sure to try on the coats when wearing a suit jacket, blazer, or sports jacket. That is, try them on a jacket. No matter what you have read or what the seller tells you otherwise, your overcoat or overcoat should be the same size as your costume, not the next larger size.

• Shoulders should fit snugly over the jacket shoulder without creasing.

• Unlike buying a suit, the sleeve must cover the sleeve of the shirt and jacket; it should reach the base of the thumb.

• When buttoned, the silhouette should be a little thin, but not tight.

Wearing an overcoat is an adult endeavor and should be business-friendly. Do it well. You can add a real hat (fedora), scarf and leather gloves. Don’t add unnecessary accessories, like a buttonhole, velvet collar, or pocket square.

Please send your questions and comments about men’s dress and grooming to MALE CALL:

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