The Luxe Casual Coat

January 9th, 2015

I love suits. The history, the tradition, the craftsmanship…I could talk about them all day. The beauty of tailoring is that it’s based on a set of rules and traditions. There are literally guide books to wearing a proper suit. Spend some time observing good tailoring and learning about classic menswear, and you can certainly learn how to look good in a well-fit suit.

The thing is, most guys are not wearing suits every day. Our culture is casual most of the time. And casual menswear is a little more tricky. There’s more options, more trends, more diversity, and less guide books. I find that guys struggle more with casual outfits than suiting. And for that reason, a good sense of style, or taste level, shows more clearly in casual wear.

The first thing you have to know about casual menswear is that it all starts with outerwear. Get yourself a bad-ass jacket, keep the rest of your outfit simple, and your off to a good start.

Here are some tips to putting together well-styled casual looks, along with three great outerwear pieces to look-out for.

    The Cropped Duffle

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    The traditional 3/4 length duffle coat is a menswear classic, but at times it can feel a little too conservative, preppy, or old school. Look for one that is shorter, trimmer, and not made from a navy blue wool for an update to your casual wardrobe.

    You know we’re all about casual tailoring here at Articles of Style. I love breaking-up a 3-piece suit and using the waistcoat as a casual piece. It works best in a heavyweight fabric that functions to insulate the body a little, like this forest green donegal tweed.

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    A flannel band collar shirt, donegal tweed waistcoat, trim tailored cords, and captoe lace-up boots. Take that base combo and put any number of coats or jackets over it for a solid casual look; a moleskin topcoat, a leather jacket, a camel, a cotton mac, a peacoat, a bomber, etc.

    Casual style is all about the outerwear. The coat you choose can completely change the overall feel of any outfit.

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    One purchase you will not regret: a simple pair of sharp, well-made dress boots.

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    The Flight Jacket

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    Most of the good menswear designs, especially in outerwear, have been inspired by the military.

    The trim-cut flight jacket is a great casual piece that should work with the majority of your wardrobe essentials. The mouton collar is removable on this one as well, for warmer days and lighter outfits.

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    Subtle “Apres Ski” vibes here. Subconsciously we can’t wait to hit the slopes!

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    There will also be a place in my heart for the classic 6″ Timbs. Just like the white-on-white lows.

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    The Shearling Bomber

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    I don’t think there is a bossier or more badass casual jacket in menswear than the shearling bomber. Inspired by the original B-3 Bomber jacket – originally designed to keep fighter pilots warm in un-heated war planes – this shearling piece is an absolute beast, and an absolutely head-turner.

    With a jacket this awesome, you just want a simple outfit to complement and present it. A simple crewneck, a straight leg selvedge jean and a simple boot will do just

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    If you don’t have the roughly $7,000 for a brand new work of art like this one by Gucci, you can always search eBay for a actual vintage military piece. For example, I got this one on eBay for $275.

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    This is the type of versatile dress boot (fancy leather with a slightly rugged thick rubber sole) that could work with probably 75% of our Fall/Winter outfits.

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    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford. Styling by Dan Trepanier. Modeling by Will Howe

    • Dave Coakley

      I’ve never quite understood why the yanks don’t take more pride in their classic US military inspired style. It’s something that’s inspired the world. The shearling bomber is an absolute CLASSIC and never, ever looks tired. It’s always fashionable, while at the same time remaining timeless.

      A tremendous contribution to style that can be dressed in a number of ways and is also bloody practical on a cold Autumn/Winter’s day!

    • male-extravaganza

      I really like the flight jacket! it looks very stylish. The mouton collar makes it look very posh and warm!

    • AdamE

      The point here are the concepts more than the specific pieces. While all 3 jackets are killer, more budget conscious customers can find similar options at reasonable price points, with some creativity, and diligence… It may not get the exact look, but you can get most of the key points…

      The most important key to casual dressing for me is to realize that casual and sloppy are not synonymous… Casual refers to the effortlessness of the look, and the more relaxed reference to “rules” of dressing…

      While you can’t necessarily learn to master casual looks from a book, I see that as an opportunity rather than a limitation, you can define it yourself (which really applies to more formal or business dress too, albeit with less flexibility, that in order for it to be “pulled off” you have to dress to your body/personality, there is no universal perfect look…).
      The other key point, and there are exceptions, is that casual often refers to looks rather than pieces… some pieces are inherently casual (cuts, materials, etc.), but a lot of the your more formal pieces can be pulled into casual (i.e. casual pants such as dark denim or cords, with a textured waistcoat, and a more casual softer button up…) when you split them up and mix them with more casual pieces…

      • TO

        Good points AdamE. I definitely agree on multiple fronts, and for your reasons above I have come to love casual dressing even though I was initially drawn to menswear by the glamorous images and feelings evoked from the wardrobe of my late grandfather and of the more ‘dressy’ decades such as the 50’s/60’s…

        • AdamE

          Amen to that! I love getting dressed… period. I love my suits, and can nerd out over suits for hours, but I love the opportunity to play from the whole closet, not just the Mon-Friday parts…On the casual side. I would say that what I’m trying to master is what I call the up/down sweet spot (that perfect balance of of not being too dressed-up or too dressed down, so that you can seamlessly be ready for wherever the day leads you, and never worry about being over or under-dressed, which can be greatly facilitated by nailing the fit on the casual items, with immaculate fit it tends to step up even the more casual items in the closet).

          • TO

            I definitely know what you’re talking about. Whereabouts do you live AdamE?

            • AdamE

              Ottawa. The city has a pretty bad rep for dressing, as a government town, but we’re getting better stores, and people starting to make more effort..

              • TO

                Just awesome. Always glad to cross paths with a fellow Canuck on these pages. Also glad to hear about the improvement in the style department in Bytown!

    • cam

      i wanted to throw out a question for dan, the team or anyone really. i’m curious to anyone’s experience with Suit Supply’s outerwear. i typically get my outerwear from RL and have even found J Crew to have some quality pieces despite the rest of what they sell. i haven’t had any experience with Suit Supply but i typically think about them in the way i would J Crew. that all being said, any feedback on the quality/construction of Suit Supply? thanks in advance.

      • Julien

        I had ordered the wool bomber from them about a month ago. The quality was amazing, it felt nice, not itchy and looked really good. I didn’t kept it however because I ride a bike most of the time and the elastic waist (or whatever it was) was too tight and kept going up and letting air in my back.
        But in terms of quality, it was great and the shipping is amazing, you get a huge box kinda like a suit and the returns are free (at least in Europe, don’t know for the States).

    • TO

      I can definitely attest to this. The past 5 or so years for me have been all about trying to mix up my casual (also vintage/thrift/discounted) style. I almost always lack the “need” for a suit. At times I get bored with my outerwear selection, especially in the colder months, which is why I am always looking for new ways to switch that up. All great ideas here- love the short-er boiled wool duffel coat.

    • Rams

      The ochre, gold or mustard brown casentino by Gucci is incredible! Hope they start carrying this wool fiber coat on this side of the pond more often. Can’t find this material in NY any suggestions or resources where I might find some to make my own? And the leather bomber. 4 Star!

    • cam

      Will’s Gucci pieces are, to say it mildly, another level.

      • tommyjohn_45

        Seriously.. The texture of that cropped duffle is unreal.

        • Juan Zara

          The texture is characteristic of and can only be found on Casentino wool. Another sartorial gem from my beautiful country.

          • tommyjohn_45

            Good to know… Now I just need to plan a trip to Florence :D

    • Julien

      I agree with Shawn, this Gucci bomber is amazing! Unfortunately, it’s a shearling bomber which means it already cost at least 600$ and it’s a Gucci which bulks up the price even more.

      The bomber from Sandro is nice too, it’s no easy to find real sheepshearling but I’m not sure I would pay 740$ for a bomber made mostly of Polyester… (Sandro is actually not a great brand as it’s really a BRAND instead of a clothing manufacturer)

      And what’s with the dufflecoat? Why does it look like the sleeves of an old cotton sweater? I like the mustard color because it’s not easy to pull off but can really bring an outfit to another level though!

      Nice article Dan!

      • Vince Granado

        The dufflecoat is made of Casentino wool. This wool is taken from the Tuscan region and is known for its durability and is considered a very luxurious cloth.

        • Julien

          Alright, thank you very much for the precision. It actually looks good in certain colors (forest green)!

    • Shawn

      That leather jacket is dope!!