12 Men’s Winter Coats That Don’t Compromise on Style or Warmth


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Best men's winter coats for extreme cold

It’s Big Coat Season. And that means it’s high time to get in on one of the best winter coats for men.

It’s fun to shop for a winter coat, too. Not like denim, or hunting for the best men’s underwear. Because a good winter coat – the flashy, versatile, punchy sort of coat – can really upgrade your outfit. Everyone likes a sharp coat.

Better yet, everyone notices a sharp coat. And, while they may cost a little more than everything else in your wardrobe, you can nail the cost-per-wear ratio, and you’ll continue to do so for a few winters to come.

“A good coat is the one thing that defines your whole winter look,” says Carin Nakanishi, head of menswear brand and retailer, The Garbstore. “It’s the piece that people see you in the most. Your seasonal statement, so you’ve got to make it count.”

Men Winter Coats

You’ve also got a loose set of rules to follow. As summers get warmer, and winters get wilder, it needs to actually provide some protection against arctic winds. So either look for insulation, or something that can house many, many layers (heaven is: an overcoat atop a chore jacket atop one of the best white T-shirts).

What’s more, know that while your transitional jacket works well in autumn, and looks great year-round, it’ll struggle to give you the plating you need. Don’t moan that we didn’t warn you when a nice, clean, sparse denim jacket gets you a nice Hinge photo and a case of hypothermia.

Nobody wants to go up a few shoe sizes on their carbon footprint. But a core selection of coats should cover all bases, allow for rotation, and prove suitable for different occasions.

“Coats are total weakness of mine and therefore it’s tricky to rate any one style above another,” says Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matches Fashion and self-confessed coataholic. “However, I do think the first thing you need to consider is your lifestyle and what part of that lifestyle the coat is for.”

Mens designer winter coats

Naturally, what’s right for one person isn’t right for all. But, generally speaking, Paul finds that the magic number is four.

“Firstly, a buttoned overcoat, either semi-structured or louche in wool or cashmere, is an elegant everyday option and works well both over suits and with a more relaxed day/evening look,” says Paul.

“Another similarly versatile option is the peacoat; a double-breasted coat which was originally designed to be worn by naval officers. A design classic, it works for all ages and never really goes out of fashion.

“Third, I think a chic yet masculine option is a leather or suede shearling. If you get this one right it can last a lifetime, and will look better and more loved each winter.

The first thing you need to consider is your lifestyle and what part of that lifestyle the coat is for.

“And finally, and probably the most practical of them all, is a quality down coat in either a boxy, to-the-waist silhouette or an oversized parka shape.”

These four classic coats lay a solid foundation, but they’re by no means the only choices on the table. Here, we take a more detailed look at the winter warmers worthy of a spot in your wardrobe.

Technical Parka

As perhaps the singular meeting point of maraca-wielding Mancunians and weather-beaten polar explorers, the technical parka holds mass appeal.

Originally created by the Inuit people, the classic parka has been updated and teched out with features like high-fill-power down insulation and windproof fabric.

The result is a functional coat that’s actually built for the travails of winter, and is best-paired with other similar workwear pieces: heavy denim, sturdy boots, big thick scarves and so on.

Peacoat

We’ve stolen much menswear from the armed forces. But none are quite as ubiquitous as the peacoat.

Designed for sailors in the 1800s, this sharp double-breasted style is anchored in naval history but is equally suited to land-based activities these days.

The name itself is taken from Dutch or West Frisian word pijjekker or pijjakker – a reference to the type of twilled blue woollen cloth that was traditionally used. Its short shape enabled sailors a proper range of movement, which they needed when it came to maintaining safe conditions on their ships.

A perfect everyday urban option, keep things traditional with navy wool and layer with other nautical favourites such as a heavy-gauge fisherman’s knit, or a Breton top for an added touch of Gallic glow.

Puffer Jacket

The closest thing you’ll get to staying in bed (without looking like you’ve stayed in bed, obviously, because that would be depraved).

First pioneered when American outerwear legend Eddie Bauer nearly died from exposure on a fishing trip in 1936, the puffer jacket has since found its way onto the shoulders of everyone from hip-hop royalty to alpine enthusiasts.

The Puffer was especially big in the Nineties (both in terms of popularity and size), and in line with the Nineties trend, the puffer is big once again.

The big names to consider are The North Face and Patagonia, but all the big sexy fashion brands make proper chunky puffers now, too. And of course, all the proper outdoor brands (66 North, Arc’Teryx, Snow Peak etc) are well worth consideration, too.

It’s important to work out what you actually want your puffer jacket for. Is it going to be coat number one, or just a back up for when the cold really sets in? Does it need to be waterproof or windproof, and would you prefer it packed down into its own little pouch?

Top of the line puffers run into the high hundreds and thousands of pounds, so make sure you don’t over (or under) spend.

Wax Jacket

The Royal Marine of coats, and probably the most do-it-all piece of outerwear on this list. A good wax jacket will keep the elements at bay (within reason) and it’s one of the most flattering coats a man can wear.

Waxed cotton and canvas have been used to make foul weather gear for hundreds of years, and the kind we see on the rails today are not much different to those worn by sailors in the 16th Century.

The first brand that comes to mind when you think of wax jackets is, of course, Barbour. Founded in 1894, the South Shields-based company has been ever-present in British clothes manufacture, but it wasn’t until 1980 that its flagship jacket, the Bedale, was released. The Bedale is the blueprint for a good wax jacket.

Tough, adaptable and reminiscent of a life of adventure, they only get better with time, and if treated well, will last for decades.

The best news is that with the resurgence of preppy style, the classic countryside Barbour is having something of a renaissance (note the reason collaboration with Noa), but it’s certainly not the only wax jacket option on the market.

Duffle Coat

British weather is almost Dickensian in its depression. There are few upsides. But, it has afforded plenty of time to create sharp outwear, and few are sharper than the duffle coat.

The duffle is a classic piece of UK outerwear that, like many of the best coats, has its roots in the forces (thank you, lads). Its lengthy silhouette and thick fabrication made for standard issue in the British Navy of the late 19th century, but these days, they’ve enjoyed shore leave beyond a type-45 destroyer.

As much at home in the city as on the bridge of a frigate, the duffle coat’s biggest strength is versatility: a smart-casual styling means you’ve a happy first mate to tailoring, jeans and everything in-between.

Bomber Jacket

The bomber jacket is yet another decorated military veteran, but this time from the skies.

Cropped, with a roomy body and knitted cuffs and hem, it was originally intended for use by pilots in the US Air Force, but it’s since been co-opted by streetwear, and high fashion, and normcore too, resulting in a brand new bona fide classic.

Its insulation and loose cut work well beyond the optics, too. It’s built for winter, and chilly breezes, and can prove to be a good layering slide-in.

Opt for olive with mid-wash denim and white leather trainers for a failsafe casual look, or black with dark jeans and black boots for something a little smarter.

Wool Overcoat

On the smarter end of the spectrum: the wool overcoat. Timeless, stylish and infinitely versatile, this longer-lined top protection is a natural at layering, and has an innate ability to smarten thanks to clean lines and a classic shape.

This is the sort of coat you can throw on without a second’s thought, safe in the knowledge that it’s going to bring the day’s outfit together. Whether that’s a three-piece suit or a hoodie and joggers is entirely up to you.

The classic menswear staple came to prominence in the late 18th century, worn by members of high society and military men alike and it only gained more popularity in the Regency era, especially amongst dandies.

Fast forward a century, it became a favourite of the Teddy Boys and then the skinheads, and then, well… everyone.

Overcoats can also been worn slightly oversized (as long as the coat isn’t dragging in puddles), which will allow for more layering in your fit beneath. Just don’t overheat.

Waterproof Shell Jacket

You can’t be warm unless you’re dry. And you can’t be dry unless you’ve a technical waterproof jacket. Granted, it’s not the sort of go-to, front-of-mind winter protection. But it is seeing something of a return on the echoes of normcore.

Gore-Tex is the way to go in terms of fabric. As well as being widely regarded as the top-performing waterproof material, it’s also having a bit of a moment with brands like Arc’teryx, Acronym and Nanamica going all geography teacher sensible.

Wear it with cargos, trail runners and seasonally-appropriate headwear for the full look.

You may feel the shell jacket isn’t warm enough for the chilly winters to come. Correct, the jacket’s role is to keep you dry, not warm. Layer up underneath with a down-filled gilet and hoodie for warmth and the shell jacket will do the rest.

Some outwear brands, like The Workers Club, have crafted a three-piece coat, gilet and bomber system for you to interchange depending on the weather outside.

Shearling Coat

Shearling coats were once as likely to be lined with gold watches as they were sheepskin. No longer. As a fabric that is costly (and luxurious), it’s an easy mould for designer brands to fill, and the template is also best-worn in winter.

It should come as no surprise that the shearling, too, has a strong military background – specifically in its association with American and British pilots during World War II.

But the jacket is also synonymous with film icons like Alain Delon, Robert Redford and, of course, Steve McQueen –particularly the very, very nice piece in his 1962 film The War Lover.

Surprisingly, a shearling coat is pretty straightforward to style. You’ve enough texture and bulk on the top-half to go classic elsewhere, so think classic knitwear, trousers and some nice Seventies brogues to finish.

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