Just as in yesterday’s New Year’s Eve Style Suggestion, we turn (seemingly as always) to everyone’s favorite secret agent for some great style inspiration — this time, centered around the essential peacoat. Now, the seasonal change this time of year has left lots of traditional winter gear on shelves without much use. But even in the past few days, temperatures have dropped slightly in NYC — not earth-shatteringly cold, but still chillier. Winter weather style calls for taking lots of different items and pairing them together in one stylish ensemble – and that definitely starts with great outerwear. We’re looking for something thicker and less casual than a fall and winter jacket, cut slightly longer and yet not as formal as the topcoat. In this case, we’re looking for that classic, military-inspired style staple – the peacoat. Traditional peacoats were worn on the decks of naval ships to combat the rough seas, but today’s versions see action in a different set of circumstances (particularly if you’re Mr. Bond). Some are too short to wear over a blazer, but they do just fine over an array of crewneck and V-neck sweaters, henleys and other layers, and they look great with some dark denim or chinos. So with those checkpoints in mind, I set out to find some great peacoat options – so you don’t have to, my fellow busy menswear fan. Read on, and stay stylish.
#1. JackThreads The Peacoat — $159.50
JackThreads, as with most of the offerings in its menswear line launched this past fall, rightly focuses on doing a basic style in an essential way with its simply named peacoat. It’s cut slimmer and features those handy chest pockets in addition to the flap hip pockets, so it should work pretty easily to slip your hands into those chest pockets. It’s a wool-polyester blend, but even items from JackThreads that do feature polyester (such as the Navy Geo Sweater) don’t feel cheap or move poorly — so consider this peacoat a definite step up in quality from cheaper options, at a greatly reduced price compared to what 007 wears. Charcoal or navy color options in addition to the crisp Heather Grey make this one a keeper.
#2. Frank & Oak Double-Breasted Plaid Peacoat — $78
At first glance, the price on this Double-Breasted Plaid Peacoat is an eye-popper, considering it’s marked down from $225 as part of the brand’s End-of-Year Sale. That might be because of the slightly loud plaid pattern, but the navy-and-grey combo still grounds this jacket pretty nicely. It’s double-breasted and, like the JackThreads option above, features both chest pockets and hip flap pockets for warmth. This number is all-wool with a light padding, and it looks to be cut just a bit more like a blazer, so perhaps it could work atop a more casual jacket. Frank & Oak definitely delivers on quality for the price, so you can feel more confident about this $78 coat than even a more expensive H&M peacoat.
#3. J. Crew Factory Classic Peacoat in Charcoal — $135.50
While J. Crew is currently offering its Dock Coat on sale, J. Crew Factory again steps up with a reliable and classic budget option. The Classic Peacoat really is about as classic as it gets, with a true 10-button front and flannel-lined flap pockets. It looks downright sturdy and retails for a great price, and that charcoal color, while not nearly as versatile as navy, should still prove more wearable than a solid black peacoat. The fit should lean on the trim side, so that’s good news even if you do like to layer over multiple pieces.
#4. Bonobos The Bristol Peacoat — $398
Another maritime-inspired classic, the Bristol Peacoat features higher chest pockets (placed too high?) and customary hip pockets, with a few design extras (like a belted back) thrown in for good measure. It’s flannel-lined and also features lightweight quilting, so you’re looking at one jacket that’s extra warm and cut trim and modern, to boot. As with a lot of what Bonobos sells these days, it’s priced a bit above what most of us would be comfortable paying, but the versatile grey color and Italian wool construction should make it worth the asking price.
#5. Billy Reid Bond Peacoat — $795
The Billy Reid Bond Peacoat is on here, admittedly, for posterity – just as with the enviable but expensive Shinola leather weekender that found its way onto my list of best weekender bags. Unfortunately however, the option pictured at the very top of this post is on backorder in all but Medium and Large. Billy Reid is famous for its quality and refinement, so it’s a logical choice that this same cut of coat saw heavy play in Skyfall (and as part of the real-life wardrobe of Daniel Craig). This coat in particular is warm, slim-cut and sharp-looking with a shirt and tie or a henley and denim. Plus, the brown color (which leans more toward olive), is just different enough, but still wearable with everything from navy to heather grey and shades of tan.
While only the very lucky few can hope to emulate 007 this winter, the above options should help keep you stylish and warm in chilly weather. Check back here next week for the best winter boots to pair with your peacoat, and look after that for features on stylish winter accessories and online shopping picks for the most formal coat you can rock this winter, the topcoat. Stay warm!