Five Coats Every Man Should Own

January 26th, 2015

Last week at the Liberty Fairs show in NYC we had the chance to look-over some of the menswear collections coming up for Fall/Winter 2015. There was some great knitwear and sportswear on display, but it was the outerwear that really stood out.

Here are our five favorite coats from the show, in the form of a mini wardrobe that could serve as the perfect outerwear collection for any stylish man. Each of these would be a fantastic long-term addition to a well curated wardrobe.

The Heavy Duty Parka

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We’re expecting a blizzard on the east coast today, and there’s no better coat for extreme conditions than a fur-lined parka like this beauty by classic American brand Schott Bros. Look for one that’s waterproof, neutral in color (like this earthy olive), and cut longer than your suit jackets. You can dress it up, dress it down, or wear it with just about anything as long as you’re staying warm out there.

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The Trim Topcoat

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Our favorite all-around brand at the show was Private White, a vertical operation that controls the entire garment manufacturing process from the herding of the sheep in Scotland, to the pattern-making and sewing done in their family-owned Manchester UK workshop. The fabric for this particular raglan-back topcoat, a smooth wool with a slight stretch, was specially milled specifically for this piece, which is about as classic as a menswear coat gets.

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The Vintage Leather Piece

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As I’ve written before, every well-dressed man should have at least one great leather jacket in his closet. Preferably it’s trim cut, un-padded, neutral in color, and build to get better with age. Nobody knows vintage leathers better than Dave Himel, a fellow Canadian who started as a vintage clothing dealer in the 90’s when Toronto was the international mecca for used fashions. After a couple decades learning classic functional design and manufacturing techniques he’s now producing his own jackets that are built-to-last, just the way they used to be made.

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The Impermeable Rain Jacket

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Bergen in Norway is the rainiest city in the world. We’re talking heavy driving rains on a regular basis. Therefore, you’d expect a rainwear-focused brand called Norwegian Rain to have some innovative waterproof designs. Well, uber-stylish designer T-Michael (#6 here) did not disappointed. This fully waterproof trench is complete with chest guard, removable hood, face shield, and edged “funnel” seams to catch any water that might sneak its way between buttons or up the sleeves. It’s the smartest waterproof coat I’ve seen.

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The Heavy-Duty Bomber

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The first leather piece above is a jacket, it can be worn in the Spring or Summer and can even be layered under a larger overcoat. This bomber is not a jacket, it’s a coat. A casual coat, although it can also be worn with a tailored look. It’s beefy, warm, and indestructible. There are several types of cool casual bombers on the market, but our favorite is this military pilot inspired piece in rich cognac leather by our friends at The Brooklyn Circus.

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So what does your outerwear line-up look like this Winter? 

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.

  • guest

    Sorry, but the Norwegian raincoat is NOT a trench! A trench-coat is double-breasted and belted and also has an array of subsidiary features.

  • Mondo Moda

    Optional: Red & black lumberjack…with the hat to match

  • jordan

    Do you have a link for that Schott Bros parka? Can’t find it anywhere! Are there any places in NYC that may have them?

  • RandomThought

    This is a nice list, but I would include the classic 100% wool peacoat. I live in Chicago, and when the temp falls below 0, my peacoat, scarf, and hat keep me cozy, and styling when outside.

  • Ilya

    Why not pea coat?

    I remember Dan as a huge fan of versatile pea coat.

  • Jack W

    Hey Dan! I recently purchased a Canada Goode Parka (Chateau) and I am very happy with my purchase. I just wanted to know what the teams thoughts on these jackets were?

    • Jack W

      *Canada Goose

  • Kevin

    This winter I have been rocking a black Alpha Industries fishtail parka and a camel Tommy Hilfiger single breasted topcoat pretty exclusively. I also have a navy LL Bean duffel coat that is crazy heavy and warm and I have a black lightweight bomber and a Patagonia down vest.

  • Zach

    That parka is gorgeous. I love the leather details and I bet it feels like you’re wearing a cloud.

  • Stuart

    1. Wax Cotton Shooting Jacket
    2. Navy Peacoat
    3. Asymmetrical Leather Jacket
    4. Shearling Lined Denim Jacket
    5. Knee length Wool Overcoat

    Love the parka in look 1 but still reticent to get behind the fur lined hood. It still gives me nightmare flashbacks to the monstrosities that were worn in the early 2000’s.

  • Philip Funderburk

    Good list. I would add some sort of lightweight jacket and a peacoat.

  • Sean

    nice list Dan!!!’but no need for two leather jackets in my I would go with

    1. Extreme weather: parka or down jacket
    2. Rain coat: trench or Mac coat
    3. Med weight all purpose go to coat: field jacket, canvas jacket, or car coat
    4. 3/4 length Dress coat: topcoat or overcoat
    5. Pure casual: pea coat, bomber, biker,, or varsity jacket

  • Lasse Ellingsen

    I´M FROM BERGEN!! Finally you showed Mr. T and Norwegian Rain some love. Great post :)

  • BenM

    Generally wear a pea coat over my dress clothes unless its unbearably cold in which case I wear my knee length camel coat. Rotate between a leather biker jacket and a down filled Mountain Hardwear jacket on the weekends

  • Juan Zara

    I mostly get away with a tan-colored toggle coat worn over my sport coats and suit jackets and a vintage Burberry mac for the rainy days, as Milan rarely gets overly cold. But I really want a navy Casentino wool overcoat (possibly double-breasted) and a B3 bomber (been hunting eBay for years for an Avirex one that won’t break the bank.)

  • Loscv29

    “So what does your outerwear line-up look like this Winter?”


    Gotta love Miami!

  • Miguel

    Love all coats and jackets, currently trying to find a bomber and a leather jacket within my budget or a combination of both like the last one.

  • Geezer

    Coats going through the rotation: DB Camel Hair (my Grandpa’s, the heaviest coat in the world ;), Gloverall Duffle, Navy Herringbone Wool Top Coat (though rarely worn as Ontario is cold), a Barbour, & a plain tan raincoat with zip out for when it rains….which is never right now where I am.

    • Dan Trepanier

      Geezer style all the way! Love it.

  • cam

    the title says “coats” but your question at the end states “outerwear line-up”. going off the title, i’ll say maybe a duffle or a pea coat is classic and needed. but from an “outerwear lineup” standpoint, i gotta have a down filled vest in there without question. crucial layering piece that i consider outerwear.

  • tommyjohn_45

    That topcoat is gorgeous… Don’t see it on their site though!