Outerwear can be a tricky area for a capsule wardrobe. Enter: the classic overcoat. An easy way to elevate a casual outfit, or to tie together a smart or smart-casual outfit, an overcoat is (for me) a highly recommended investment. Let’s take a look!
The overcoat as a smart / smart-casual jacket
My current overcoat is in a classic Camel colour. This is a colour that lends itself particularly well to being paired with black, navy, and grey. Other classic colours include mixed-coloured fabrics like tweed, black, navy, charcoal and grey. In my mind you should, probably, stick to an item in one of these colours. It is easy to make a “statement” just by getting the fit and styling perfect. This coat is from Topman, and is a good candidate for the transitional and colder months generally, but also for an evening out. I would not choose this coat if I was going out into a rainstorm, but that is not this coat’s intended function anyway. I have had plenty of wear out of it over the last three years, making it a sound investment indeed.
For me the best fit for an overcoat is to straddle the regular/oversized line. You want the coat to be fairly fitted, so that you do not look like you have borrowed your father’s jacket. However, by having the coat slightly oversized, you will be able to layer underneath it. As such, when I bought this coat, I went up a size from my usual. Note that this varies from brand-to-brand and item-to-item (Topman, for instance, are known for having rather slim clothes).
What I like about this outfit, which I wore to a meeting, is that it is both comfortable and smart. As I have covered earlier, wearing trousers instead of jeans is an area I want to get more and more into. I had these tapered / “carrot” fit trousers in my minimaldrobe from last year already.
Because I have kept my colour palette almost entirely neutral, I am able to wear brown, camel, black and a vivid blue together, without the outfit looking contrived.
Overcoat as a casual jacket
Along similar lines, in these two casual outfits I have paired the camel overcoat with classic items like a flannel shirt, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, and a choice of black ankle boots or clean leather sneakers. Again, my main colours are neutral and easy to wear. The beauty of a coat like this is that it should slot in with other key items such as denim shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and more.
As I hope you can see, these overcoat outfits show that keeping your capsule wardrobe centred on some key colours really does pay dividends.
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Items in this post (n.b.: no affiliate links)
Overcoat by Topman
Scarf by A.P.C.
Merino long-sleeve polo shirt by Reiss
T-shirt by American Apparel (Amazon.co.uk)
Jeans by Nudie
Baseball cap and Smart Trousers by Zara
Derbies by Loake
Sneakers by Common Projects