Smooth Operator: The Casual Topcoat

December 7th, 2015

At Articles of Style we believe in quality over quantity. We work directly with each of our clients to curate long-term wardrobes that are properly tailored for their unique body type and meticulously crafted to last the test of time.

No single design embodies our philosophy of versatility and interchangeability better than our American-made topcoat. It’s a timeless and flattering style that works just as well over a bespoke suit as it does with a t-shirt and jeans. Consider it an everyday coat, for the gentleman who dresses with style and class every day.

Here our long-time friend Westley Dimagiba shows us the versatility of a tailored topcoat.

    One-Coat Winter

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    A wardrobe-boosting overcoat should be cut with just enough room to fit comfortably over a suit jacket or sportcoat, but also trim enough to look suave with only a sweater and jeans, like Wes here. To learn more about how a topcoat should fit, check out our Menswear 101 series by searching AOS for “How It Should Fit”.

    The proportions can be tricky to balance and should be carefully reviewed by your tailor, because once you get it right, you shouldn’t need to invest in another coat for a few years. Our goal, as always, is to help you develop lasting memories with your investment pieces.

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    On another note, if you’ve been in a styling rut lately, maybe think about doing less. Try sticking to a monochromatic color palette, for example, something like all navy everything.

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    Our custom topcoats are crafted with all the hallmarks of quality you’d expect from a garment made in America’s most historical tailoring factory; soft natural shoulders, real chest canvasses, high armholes, working sleeve buttonholes, etc.


    Tweed in the City

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    There’s nothing quite like the ruggedness of genuine Harris Tweed imported form Scotland. There’s a reason you always find those 50-year-old tweed sportcoats hanging in vintage stores – the fabric is virtually indestructible.

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    I love the cleanliness of a thin fitted turtleneck. There’s a beauty in its simplicity and straight-forward aesthetic. Psychologically it strips down and un-distracts the body from the complications of “fashion” and presents a man’s face on a cloth pedestal in a way that projects maturity, refinement, and confidence.


    I’m wearing the same midnight wool topcoat from look 1 here. It’s my favorite coat from our first collection and the only one I brought on my month-long trip back to the East Coat; NYC -> Boston -> Detroit -> Canada -> LA.

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    The dressed-up version, click to see more detail:

    Houndstooth Tweed Gentleman's Coat OPEN

    Casual Camel

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    If you take a look through the history of menswear, you’ll see that the camel hair topcoat has always had its place on the backs of legendary gentleman of style.

    And if you take a look through the streets of well-dressed cities like New York, Paris and London, you’ll see that camels are very much still pulling their weight.

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    I usually recommend a topcoat in 3/4 length, hitting around mid-thigh.

    The proper length (which can vary greatly depending on a client’s height) is a big factor in creating a versatile garment that you can wear day-in and day-out. That’s why it’s very important to have a tailor you trust, who understands your style and takes the time to review your individual body type.

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    I should probably mention that our camel hair topcoat has been one of the best sellers since we launched AOS Tailoring. Unfortunately we only have enough fabric to make a few more coats (less than 5, actually). So if you’ve been thinking about adding this beauty to your wardrobe, it’s time to get started with your initial fitting.


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • TheSartorialBully

      That Herringbone is beautiful but there is something about that midnight wool. Might be my natural transition of just wanting to do anything in the grey’s and black’s this fall/winter but that is definitely an overall winner, well done Mr. Wes. I can see why its your favorite Dan haha

    • Hasan

      Can shorter guys pull off a topcoat? I’m 5’6 and I have a bit of a stockier build, and I’m not sure if a topcoat is good option for me.

    • Nick Allen

      I like the Sebago Collier boots, but I wonder about the lighter color of the soles. Are they harder to pair with other clothes because of the sole color? Dark-colored chukkas seem easier to pair.

      • Dan Trepanier

        The lighter sole makes them more casual, generally. If you’re looking for something to dress-up more often, I would keep to a darker sole option. Cheers Nick

    • Austin

      The tweed look is ON POINT, I’d love a high contrast and noisy light grey to black donegal wool topcoat. Wouldn’t get MUCH use for me down in San Diego but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about.

    • cam

      i just cant decide which piece to buy…decisions

      • Dan Trepanier

        If you don’t already have a go-to topcoat, go with the midnight blue 4-ply wool. It will pay you back day after day. Cheers Cam!

    • JoeFromTexas

      As much as I love Texas, I do miss having seasons. I remember moving to NYC (right before finding TSB) and one of the first things I did was buy a topcoat from Herald Square Macy’s. In my less than blissful ignorance, I was still of the mind that black went with everything (and if Macy’s was the fashion pinnacle, then Herald Square Macy’s must be Mecca). Though I did get compliments in the black overcoat on dressy (evening) occasions, it was hard to wear otherwise. That navy one is killer, since it can pull double duty draped over formal and casual wear alike. Fortunately I lost enough weight for the black coat to be silly big on me and sold it on Ebay for what I paid for it – and by then I had learned my lesson.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Consider that a free lesson! Although it did cost you some valuable time… ;)

    • tommyjohn_45

      3 gorgeous topcoats, seriously. Would love to get my hands on that camel hair, but not sure it plays well with my complexion, unfortunately. Just picked up a very similar navy topcoat the other day and must say, it’s been a game changer from my usual go-to parka.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Change the game!!

    • David Williams

      Any idea how long the wait list is now? I’ve been anxiously awaiting my invite!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Good timing David. You’re coming right up. Looking forward to your first fitting :)