That’s when a topcoat will be your best bet. They can lean extremely refined — as in, able to be worn over a suit or a blazer and chinos — or they can be styled much more casually (a la Mr. David Beckham) when cut trimmer and in a neutral color. But the key point is, they’re cut longer and provide more coverage and warmth. The trick also comes in looking for one that fits nearly as well as your favorite blazer — with enough room to move around in and layer up, of course. (Just look at how well 007’s topcoat fits him for reference). Although double-breasted variations exist on the style, the picks here cover single-breasted options at a range of prices — note that many retailers, from J. Crew to Uniqlo, seem to have put their topcoat stock on sale early, so the picks have been a little scattered! Fear not, though — The Style Guide has sorted things out for you. Happy shopping!
#1. Bonobos Mainline Topcoat — $498Ahh, yes — good ole, reliable Bonobos. The brand’s Bristol Peacoat made this site’s roundup of the best men’s peacoats for winter, and the outerwear game is certainly one area in which Bonobos seems to deliver. The quality and fit of the Mainline Topcoat looks to be on-point, as well. It should fit decently trim in a size Slim, and offer just enough room in the Standard fit. A solid range of sizes is available in that versatile Navy color, so scoop it up while you can.
#2. JackThreads The Topcoat — $229Like its Bonobos brethren above, a JackThreads option also made last week’s peacoats shopping list. And in a similar vein, it’s not hard to see why The Topcoat (they love their simple names, yeah?) makes this list as well. It’s priced quite reasonably compared to other options on this list (and topcoats in general), and it combines some pretty key #menswear checkpoints — a slim, modern fit, versatile styling potential and a terrific camel color. This is the type of coat that’s going to look especially good with slim dark denim and a navy crewneck sweater, and it’ll also sharpen up suiting from light grey to navy.
#3. Banana Republic Plaid Topcoat — $219It doesn’t seem like it’s very often that outerwear — especially a pretty straightforward item like this plaid topcoat — goes on sale at Banana Republic. And this piece, while slightly more unique-looking, could be every bit as reliable as the above two options when styled correctly. The covered placket and flap chest pocket are two different design features that stick out, but not in a bad way thanks to the toned-down grey-and-black plaid pattern. It’s fully lined, so it should be extra warm. To boot, it’ll look downright lethal with a navy or charcoal suit.
#4. Shades of Grey Overcoat — $189.99 (On-Sale)As JackThreads is to the mainstream, on-trend overcoat option, this Shades of Grey Overcoat is to the minimal, more unique side of the equation. Shades of Grey By Micah Cohen certainly leans more toned-down and minimalistic as a brand, so it makes sense that this coat is pretty straightforward. The covered placket and slanted hip pockets change things up visually, but this overcoat looks to have a tailored fit and pretty solid styling potential (it is a variation on heathered charcoal, after all).
#5. Steven Alan Scuba Topcoat — $507Steven Alan’s offerings tend to skew a little pricier and sometimes lean a bit more high-fashion (just look at the price of this topcoat), but they seem to have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into this topcoat. That is to say, this jacket is wind and waterproof and crafted from Italian melton wool. On top of that, it features hygroscopic fabric (which is definitely worth a trip to Wikipedia). The point is, this is one heck of an investment, and yet it packs both function and style into one package. Whether it’s worth the sale price is up to you.
It was unexpectedly tricky to put together this list — as noted above, lots of brands seem to have put out sales on their topcoats. Scooping up a great top layer should certainly be top of mind for you as right now and as it gets colder and colder — there’s nothing that beats putting on a well-tailored topcoat. It can feel like a suit of armor, complement your sharpest suit and even dress up a pair of joggers (yes, I went there). Sticking to minimal branding, slim fits and neutral colors can provide excellent versatility in your topcoat, too — and for the money you’ll put up, that’s exactly what you want.
Have you bought a topcoat yet this winter? Which of the above would you pick up, or what do you already have in your closet?