Winter Jacket Review

Military pea coat

You really can’t go wrong with a classic military style pea coat in black, navy, gray, or dark brown. This style is appropriate for your casual weekend outfits, as well as for your work wear and suits. Look for a pea coat with a well-tailored double-breasted front for the sharpest appearance. A broad lapel is good for if you wish to tie a scarf around your neck. One pea coat that I am a fan of is the Kenneth Cole Black Pea Coat– it will never go out of style. Or for a twist on a classic, look for a pea coat with toggle buttons, which add a bit of visual interest.

Down (or synthetic down) parka

Remember how when you were a kid, the soft down inside your winter coat made you feel impenetrable to the cold? Today you can get that same super warm feeling in a modern version of the down-filled parka. Synthetic alternatives called PrimaLoft and Thermore are now available, and while down is quite literally the warmest stuff on earth, synthetics dry out much more quickly, and can be cheaper, too. These synthetic down jackets make excellent presents for men, and are great for an outdoorsy guy.

When shopping for a down or synthetic down parka, look for one that has a little bit of definition at the waist, in order to prevent you from looking all around bulky. Details such as a faux fur lined hood can help to keep the snow off your face while you are outside shoveling.

For less volume while still providing warmth, look for a wool and polyester blend parka with a lining, but no down fill. One that I’m particularly fond of is the Spiewak Allerton Parka, which is available in camel and gray. It has nice details such front pockets, and a removable fur trimmed hood.

Wool top coat

A 100% wool top coat is perfect to wear over all of your suits. Look for one that is longer than the bottom of your suit jacket, but does not come below your knees. Also, it may be your instinct to look for one that fits loosely so that it can go over your clothing. Yes, it does need to fit over your suit jacket, but do not size up in an attempt to allow room for your clothing. Ideally, a top coat will be a little bit snug fitting– you definitely do not want it to be boxy. Look for one with a bit of definition at the waist, such as the Polo Ralph Lauren Howard Wool Top Coat. Or, J. Crew’s Officer’s Top Coat, which has button accents and a back belt in order to help create a trim silhouette.

Whichever type of winter coat you select this year, make sure to protect your investment. If you get salt on your jacket, gently spot clean it with a solution of white vinegar and warm water on a soft, absorbent cloth. At the end of the season, have your coat dry cleaned, then hang it on a cedar hanger in your closet. Your winter jacket will then be clean and ready to wear next season.