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To Overcoat or Not to Overcoat …

overcoatAn overcoat is basically a heavier coat that is worn over a suit or jacket. Length of overcoats can vary, some reaching slightly above the knee and others reaching all the way down to the ankle. The history of overcoat doesn’t date back too far. That means overcoat is still a younger addition to men’s fashion. The first overcoat was probably the infamous Chesterfield which was introduced in the mid nineteenth century. Overcoats actually replaced body coats but that’s another story and you’ll have to wait another day to read about body coats.

topcoatOn the other hand, topcoats are essentially an overcoat with a slightly lighter fabric. Traditionally a topcoat should weigh 18 ounce or less per yard. That translates into 500 grams per meter. Most topcoats are worn about knee height and unlike overcoats, you won’t wear them any further down. While the idea of topcoat was to create light-weight overcoat, with technological advancement and modern fabric being lighter, most overcoats these days are light and can be classified as topcoats.
Now that we know both overcoats and topcoats, we can interchangeably use the term outer coat to address both. Outer coat is arguably the most important layer for a fashionable gentleman who truly cares about dressing. As a rule of thumb, always try to compliment your outer coat with a nice pant and your shoes. Since most outer wear would be a little loose fitted, you can never go wrong with a well-fitted pant.

With fitted pants, our best bet is to wear boots. And while choosing your boots, be mindful about the color combination. If your outer coat is grey, black or similar dark shades, go with a nice looking black boot. The nice thing about black boots is, they won’t take much of the focus off of your coat. However, if you choose to wear tan, brown or burgundy outer coat – brown boots are the way to go. Both the coat and boots will complement each other and you will definitely standout from the crowd.