How to rock overcoats this cold season – Business Daily
With the cold season expected to last longer this year, most professionals are having their wardrobes stretched more than ever before, unable to find different options for clothing items that are both elegant and warm enough.
To keep the cold at bay and stand out at the same time during this cold season, stylists recommend the overcoat.
Few clothing items are as versatile as the overcoat. You could wear one over either a suit to a board meeting or with smart-casual attire for a sophisticated look to a formal dinner.
You can also never go wrong with an overcoat over a t-shirt or a knitted sweater paired with jeans for a date night or to the movies on a weekend.
So, what is the best way to wear your overcoat to both formal and social activities? What is the best way to pair it with other clothes?
‘‘When it comes to pairing for women, for instance, the overcoat is very adaptable. You could pair it with either kitten heels or sneakers. With fashion, it is no longer about what piece must go with what item. Rather, it is about bringing out one’s individuality,’’ says Beata Otieno, a corporate stylist and founder of Ojwa PR Company.
In most cases, the overcoat will be one of the priciest items in your wardrobe, she says. As with other expensive clothing pieces, it is reassuring to know that you can pair your overcoat with virtually anything else in the wardrobe for a statement look.
There is more. Unlike your ordinary jacket or shirt, an overcoat allows you to wear it repeatedly throughout the week without appearing to overdo it. This is especially so if it is of classic colours such as navy blue, black, grey or camel.
The beauty of these less ‘‘showy’’ shades, the stylist argues, is their ability to pair well with just about any colour or fabric of the clothes worn under.
Sven Schneider, the editor of Gentleman’s Gazette, a fashion publication, though argues that to stand out, style-conscious professionals should avoid a black overcoat, arguing that the colour is too commonplace.
Ms Otieno agrees, saying that colour blocking, where people wear bright-coloured garments, mostly reds and pinks, over dull ones, is common with overcoats.
‘‘People are switching from the monotony of classic colours for overcoats to dopamine dressing, which entails bolder, brighter colours such as berry red, citrus green and sunshine yellow.’’
Length is also an important factor to consider when selecting an overcoat as Mr Schneider advises, saying that the proper length should be proportional to your height for a flattering look.
‘‘If you are a shorter man, go with something that is knee-length or slightly shorter. If you are taller go with something knee length or slightly longer for a classic look. This length won’t go out of style anytime soon. It also makes you [warmer],’’ he says.
Depending on the length, an overcoat could be paired with either low-heeled formal shoes or long boots with the same chic effect.
Stylists advise that an overcoat should be the right fit to avoid having it sit awkwardly on top of other clothes. As such, it should neither be too tight nor too loose.
While shopping, stylists emphasise the need to note the difference between the various types of coats. The long business overcoat is the commonest, coming a few inches longer than the ordinary coat.
Then there is the trench coat which is a luxury raincoat designed to keep the wearer dry. On the one hand, the trench coat is waterproof. On the other hand, the overcoat is made of fabrics that keep the wearer warm and is not necessarily waterproof.
Meanwhile, the pea coat is shorter and less formal, making it an ideal wear for the weekend. This one works well with casual attire, namely jeans and khaki pants.
According to Ms Otieno, trends have less and less influence on what people wear these days. ‘‘We are moving to an age where people can wear whatever pieces express their personality better rather than what is in fashion and trendy,’’ she says, noting that 2023 will, however, see an implosion of brown coats paired with garments of neutral colours.
You could either button up your overcoat or let it free without putting a damper on the elegance. If it is too cold, throwing in a scarf keeps you warmer and enhances your look.
Mr Schneider advises wearers to go for more natural fabrics for overcoats as opposed to those made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon.
Whereas garments made of synthetic fibres are more durable, their insulation is not as good as that of cashmere and wool, both natural fibres.
He argues: ‘‘[Synthetic overcoats] do not age as well and so natural materials will always be your best bet,’’ he says.
Overcoats made of pure wool and cashmere, though, are pricier and are sold at select dealers. Most of the overcoats sold in the market today, however, are a blend of both natural and synthetic fibres.