The Grown Man Parka

January 30th, 2013

Speaking of not f-cking around coats, it’s hard to beat a down-filled parka.

The problem with parkas, though, is that everyone seems to buy one of two brands. It’s as if the marketing teams behind The North Face and Canada Goose have effectively convinced the world that unless it’s sporty, black or grey, and full of brand logos, it won’t be “tough enough to endure the extreme conditions of your adventurist lifestyle”.

Don’t get me wrong, these brands make very warm, very functional jackets. They’re perfect for a weekend on the ski slopes or an afternoon game of pond hockey (eh?). For your day-t0-day commute, however, these extreme-sport products are not the most flattering, mature or versatile options.

Indeed, there are plenty of parkas on the market that might fit more seamlessly into your daily wardrobe.

Here’s an example, with three ways to wear it.

    1. Corporate Winter

    With a parka this classy, of course it works over a suit.

    What I love about this coat in particular:

    – Slim through the body and sleeves. Doesn’t have that “Michelin Man” silhouette.

    – No logos/symbols.

    – Neutral off-white/taupe color goes with everything (blues, browns, greys, blacks…you name it).

    – Ultra lightweight down. This jacket is surpringsly light. Has that feeling over “floating” over the body.

    – Removable hood, for those milder winter days.

    – Zipper and/or button closure.

    – Real coyote fur trim (feels nothing like that fake sh-t)

    The subtle pattern-mixing in this look is even more subdued by the strength of the parka.

    2. Business Casual


    A coat like this is a good investment because it can be worn for literally anything. 

    From a casual hangout with the guys, to a corporate luncheon, to a weekend with the misses on the ski slopes.

    A double-breasted jacket might be too dressy for “business casual”, but a double-breasted sweater is perfect.

    Also, I gotta say, I’ve been hooked on pleated pants lately. They’re soo much more comfortable than flat front, it’s true. This pair, from my FIT design collection, has a box pleat (a forward pleat followed by a reverse pleat). The additional fabric provides less restriction than my slim plain-front trousers and makes it easier to store things in my pockets (especially when seated for long periods of time).

    The pleats also look very regal and elegant, in my opinion.

    In a properly curated seasonal wardrobe, solid fabrics don’t have to be boring.

    Texture-mixing is pattern-mixing’s mature older brother.

    3. Weekend Chill

    Of course, a down parka is a go-to coat for casual occasions as well.

    Beefy down coat over thin down vest? Why not? I actually like the contrast of their scales.

    On another note, I’ve always had a thing for exotic-skin belts, but they always seem to be inherently dressy. This American Bison number by Trafalgar has all the texture of an exotic, but it’s a little wider and has an awesome rectangular D-ring buckle. Perfect for a casual look that is more sharp than sloppy.

    Spoiler alert: these Allen Edmonds boots will be one of the five items in our February Giveaway, kicking off this Friday.

    Stay tuned, and bring the heat!


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • http://undefined Smithy

      The parka really is a versatile piece and that one is a beauty! I have a Penfield Hoosac that I have had tailored and wear it both smart and casual. Can’t beat a bit of duck down in the cold weather! Keep up the good work TSB this is a great site.

    • Phil

      those italians truly know how to make stunning outerwear. moorer’s down jackets are amazing but really hard to find. where did you find yours dan?

    • Lothar

      Hey, Dan.

      You’ve mentioned a few times that you’re buying a more relaxed fit of pants lately. On that note, where do you see the fit of jeans heading in the next two years? I’ve noticed some dandy New Yorkers and photography subjects on blogs sporting a baggier, more bohemian look, and it’s starting to look cool again.

      • Marcus Forlan

        Dude. R u for real ?? Don’t be a a groupie.

        Relaxed pants look baggy and sloppy on certain people. But on others, they look better than more streamlined jeans.

        Look around and get some hints, but have the confidence to figure out what works for you and don’t be a b!t** to anyone else.

    • Luigi Cuneo

      My Dear Dan,
      Lovely pair of box-pleated pants.Well, a question.I am new to pleated pants.So, what to keep in mind while getting a pair made ?

      PS. All of my clothes are custom-tailored.

    • Vlad

      Very, very similar to my Woolrich grey Parka. I swear by it and worn it every other day this winter. Never let me down, from going clubbing to daily commute it really is a piece to invest in. Great inspiration!

    • Tjay

      Today was truly my first time ever seeing a knit DB, haha. By the way that last look is killer with those Edmonds.

    • Derric

      Those wingtip boots in #3 are exceptional. Sometimes I have to force myself to wear decent shoes or boots in the Winter. I never want to get sludge, mud or salt on them.

    • Lee

      Awesome deck out again Dan. Very similar to the Nigel Cabourn arctic parka I own. Although I have to admit I’m leaning more towards my orange woolrich piece at the moment as its slightly slimmer in the body.

      Keep up the good work.

    • Michael

      I’ll swear by my Penfield Summit down parka which I got in cobalt blue earlier this season. Quality jacket, warm and way cheaper than Canada Goose. Goes great with casual looks, though maybe less so dressy (although I haven’t tried it with a dressier outfit). Another plus is that I haven’t seen anyone else with the same jacket and that gives me extreme satisfaction.

    • Alex

      Love seeing the Allen Edmonds again. Had been eyeing them for a while, and just pulled the trigger on them last week(though maybe I should’ve waited till after your Feb giveaway, lol). That dark chocolate is not something you see a lot of on the sidewalks, looking forward to rocking them.

      Really loving the posts this new year, keep on keepin’ on!

    • Leroi

      Loving the hopsack tie. What knot tie is that?

    • Nando

      Ahhh the Canada Goose debate. Being a fellow Canadian and having to deal with harsh winters, I’m going to have to disagree on the Canada Goose frown. I realize these things have been played out by many just grasping at the name alone, but I feel that it’s all in how it’s presented. Their models are not all Michelin man style. I have the “chateau” model in a steel grey and it has quite the slim fit to it. I enjoy it thoroughly on cold days and pair it up with many different looks I’m going for on that particular day. Even though I despise seeing some punk kids simply wearing them for the label, I think it looks great and it keeps me extremely warm!!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Not denying they’re very warm and functional. But in Canada it’s even worse. I was in Toronto a while ago and it seemed like every third person walking downtown was wearing the grey Goose.

        Just me two cents…do you Nando.

        Thx for reading.

    • J Saltzman

      Looking good, brother!

      “Slim through the body and sleeves. Doesn’t have that “Michelin Man” silhouette.”

      You’ve read my mind with the above quote. I have a beloved parka in the rotation that could be slimmer thru body. My question is can the garment be taken in? I’m no tailor but would like to include the parka to the stack that will be headed to him.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thanks player.

        Bring it to him and see. Every tailor has a different skill set.


    • Brian

      Killer. Great looks all around. Definitely got to try and hunt one of those down. (Pun initially unintended.) Thanks for the continued inspiration.

      • Dan Trepanier

        haha changed your intention on that pun eh

    • John

      I love outerwear and these last posts have been really inspiring.

      Although the pleated pants look good, the second shot makes you appear a bit heavier. I think I’ll stick with flat fronts for now, butI have to admit I saw some pleated shorts I’d like to try. (Yes, I know it’s still January!)

    • TO

      Brilliant as usual.

    • cam

      how about a 1-piece 3-ways on that double-breasted knit? that thing is perfect!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Too easy :)

    • Brady

      Love that third look, parka looks surprisingly smart in those first two looks as well.

      AE wingtips in feb giveaway?! Have that exact pair on my wish list, better start prepping some outfits!!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Yea. They’re awesome. Good luck playboy!

    • shane

      I love the parka I have the same one and it is amazing!! Also I really love the To Boot NY’s I have 3 pairs now and I have to say they are the most amazing shoes I own!!

    • Sundown aka Bob

      Something I’ve been wondering about the biting cold — when you opt for the 4 layers (5 if you’re donning an undershirt) like you have done here, and it’s just enough to keep you warm, what’s going on downstairs, exactly?

      I mean, is a single layer of denim really doing the trick, or are you packing a layer of fleece like one would on the slopes?

      From sunny, warm Austin,

    • Shawn

      Nice looking parka, never seen one so stylish and elegant before!