Fall Winter Coats – Parkas

When I first released my Overcoats and Peacoats video and article, all the New Englanders, Canadians and Northern Europeans complained that they couldn’t wear my favorite pieces because they just weren’t warm enough. I admit – being in Southern California definitely skews my perspective in this regard.

So let’s rectify this!

To me, there’s really only one winter jacket that I like and that looks great on everyone and keeps you nice and warm and that’s a Parka. But not all of them are created equally.

First and foremost, I keep getting asked for a “stylish” winter jacket. Honestly, when you get into crazy cold weather, I think utility should supercede style. That’s not to say parkas aren’t stylish, but no one is going to look at you in your parka and think how amazing an outfit looks.

They’re designed to go over an outfit and be taken off the second you go indoors. So if you really want to look stylish in cold weather, either throw on a fall jacket, overcoat, peacoat and layer, like your life depends on it.

 

What To look for in a good parka

Length

Depending on your climate and how cold it gets determines how long your parka should be. The longer it is, the colder your climate.

So you would wear a waist or hip-length parka if you were in an area that gets cold, but not crazy snowy.

Or if you were in the tundra, you’d wear a parka that hits your knees, or even past that.

But if you live in a climate that is somewhere in the middle, then go with a parka that hits mid-thigh.

Just don’t be that guy in San Diego wearing a knee length parka – it’s too much and looks weird.

Colors

I love Navy, Black or Olive. Do make sure the material isn’t shiny.

If I had to chose a color, I prefer Navy because it’s a very dark color, like Black, but is easily wearable. Olive is also a great color. Black can sometimes look a bit jarring in such a big jacket. But you can’t really go wrong with any of those colors.

Fit

Make sure your parka fits relatively well. That means the shoulders should fit snugly and the body should lightly hug your torso. When trying on parkas, make sure you’re wearing at least a sweater and shirt underneath so you can ensure it won’t be too tight when actually wearing it. Also make sure to zip up that bad boy in case it feels too tight in the body!

Lining

I prefer a down lining, but synthetic is also acceptable. I always find down to be a little warmer, but as always, your mileage may vary.

Detachable Fur Collar

It’s a convenience thing. So I wouldn’t disqualify a jacket for this reason, but it’s a nice thing to have because it creates a slightly different look, so I like the option whenever possible.

How To Style Your Parka

Even though they’re mostly a utility item and style takes a backseat, I couldn’t help styling a parka outfit for you. One of my favorite parkas is by Parajumpers. They do such a great job with the fit of their jackets. Anyways, I styled it over a grey crewneck sweater, wool trousers, and wingtips. And of course, I threw on a scarf and some gloves.

mens-fall-winter-essentials-parkas-ashley-weston mens-fall-winter-essentials-parkas-ashley-weston2

Parajumpers Navy Harraseeket
Topman Premium Dark Grey Ribbed Slim Fit Sweater
Brooks Brothers Leather Gloves with Black Watch Cuffs
H&M Wool Pants
Brooks Brothers Cashmere Scarf
Allen Edmonds Strand Dress Shoes
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses

The Best Parkas For Men

Parajumpers Harraseeket

$1,125 –Parajumpers Navy Harraseeket

A quick note about the parkas below – You really get what you pay for. Even though there’s some budget-friendly options, I wouldn’t consider them even close to the same quality as the other parkas near the middle and top of the list. These really should be investment pieces and the overall cost of ownership will go significantly down per year if you get a high-quality jacket since it’ll last many, many years.

$2,195 – Moncler Rethel Parka (2 colors)
$1,295 – Nobis ‘The Maverick’ (2 colors)
$1,150 – Mackage Edward Hip Length Down Winter Parka with Fur (2 colors)
$1,125 – Parajumpers Harraseeket (Black or Olive)
$1,100 – Canada Goose Balmoral Parka Black Label
$1,095 – Andrew Marc Everest Fur-Trim Hooded Parka, Jet Black
$900 – Canada Goose Chateau Parka w/ Fur Trimmed Hood, Navy
$900 – Theory Jayse Padded Coal Parka
$700 – Arc’teryz Therme Parka (2 colors)
$300 – The North Face Thermoball Triclimate Black Parka
$100 – TopMan Black Short Parka 
$100 – TopMan Premium Forest Green Parka
$60 – H&M Padded Parka

Wool Pants And Trousers

Wool pants and trousers are an essential item because they’re the middle ground between jeans/chinos and a full suit. In situations when jeans or chinos might be a bit too informal and a suit is overkill, the wool pant/trouser fits this spot perfectly. They’re also amazing because they look damn good on every body type.

I want to clear the air about something first, because it’s important for you to know this:

The category of wool trousers is quite broad and basically includes any pants that are made of wool. This means trousers made of a more lightweight fabric, like suit pants, and the traditional, heavier-weight wool trouser are all considered “wool trousers.” If you want to get technical, I’m specifically meaning a wool fabric weight of anywhere from about 10-12oz and up.

When I say wool trousers from this point forward, I only mean the thick/heavier-weight wool trousers because the lightweight fabrics, like suit pants, look flimsy and unpolished when worn with items outside of a suit jacket. The thicker weight of the wool trousers I recommend below will not wrinkle as easily, lay cleaner on the legs and look great with everything from a sweater or overcoat/peacoat and semi-spread collared shirt (oxford button down dress shirt, too) to a leather jacket and t-shirt. Basically anything in your essential wardrobe will look great with the recommended wool trousers.

Some of my older readers often ask about “slacks” or “suit trousers” and my answer is always the same: don’t bother. You should never be wearing slacks or suit pants or similar without a full suit. Its flimsy looking, tacky and the mark of a guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

To Pleat or Not To Pleat

I don’t care how old or young you are or what your body type is – whether you’re thin or a larger guy, you should NEVER, EVER have pleated wool pants. Honestly, I f*#@%ing hate them because they’re so unnecessary and are unflattering on every guy. I’ll be the first to dance on their grave if they ever completely go away. I’ve never seen a guy look good while wearing them – ever.

What Colors Should You Get?

I’d recommend having at least two pairs of wool pants in your wardrobe. My first choice would be gray, then dark blue, and then brown, if blue or gray wasn’t available. Black is OK, but I’d consider that my last option, if I were you. It’s just too heavy of a fabric to wear black in, as it’ll look more imposing.

How Should Men’s Wool Trousers Fit?

See my How Should Dress Pants and Wool Trousers fit article.

The Best Wool Pants And Trousers For Men

Designer Options

Brooks Brothers Regent Fit Stretch Wool Trousers

Burberry Slim Fit Travel Tailoring Wool Trousers 

Ermenegildo Zegna Flat-Front Black Wool Trousers 

Budget-Friendly Options

Topman Navy Skinny Fit Wool Suit Pants

H&M Wool Suit Pants Skinny Fit

Uniqlo Men Stretch Wool Slim Fit Flat Front Pants 

2 Ways To Wear Wool Pants And Trousers

Wool-Trousers-Pants-Outfit-2-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Topman Premium Dark Grey Ribbed Slim Fit Sweater 

Brooks Brothers Red Fleece White Solid Oxford Sport Shirt

Brooks Brothers Regent Fit Stretch Wool Trousers

Allen Edmonds Poplar Belt 

Baume & Mercier CLIFTON – 10112

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain Toe Oxfords

Wool-Trousers-Pants-Outfit-1-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Brooks Brothers Saxxon Wool Herringbone Chesterfield

Brooks Brothers Cashmere Turtleneck 

Brooks Brothers Regent Fit Stretch Wool Trousers

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain Toe Oxfords

B&M – clifton automatic

Wool Pants and Trousers Outfit Inspiration

Credits

Photography: Justiin Charles
Model: Joseph Boyd at Wilhelmina Models
Hair/Makeup: Brendan Robertson for Exclusive Artists Management using Clarins Skincare and Kevin Murphy Hair Care

Best Men's Overcoats & Peacoats Ashley Weston

Overcoats & Peacoats

If you live in a climate where the temperatures drop during the winter, you’re going to need a coat or two. So let’s talk about Overcoats & Peacoats. They’re not to be confused with a jacket or windbreaker or whatever other sorry excuse for a coat I see guys wearing during the winter months. You need a proper coat that’ll look sharp and timeless and last many, many seasons. Your coat is the first thing anyone is going to see (aside from your shoes and a scarf) during the winter months, so let’s make sure you look amazing.

Common Overcoat & Peacoat Mistakes

In my travels, I see a lot of Overcoat blunders, so let me go over the common mistakes I see guys making with their coats before we dig in.

  • Too Boxy
    This makes stocky men look really wide and/or short and thin guys look even thinner.
  • Too Long
    This would technically fall under fit, but it’s such a big problem that it deserves it’s own section. Your overcoat is designed to go over your clothing, not be a blanket you threw over yourself! The worst is when I see guy’s sleeves going past the beginnings of their palms or their coats hitting mid-shin. If a coat goes past your knees, it’s going to collect dirt, mud and salt stains on the bottom – gross!
  • Too Complicated
    Some of my male friends suffer from this: They just have too much stuff going on with their coats. As I mentioned in my first #AskAW episode, you don’t need epaulettes/shoulder straps, sewn in sweaters or hoodies or a bunch of pockets or zippers or… things hanging off your coat. It looks cheap and tacky.
  • Too Trendy
    Even though I work in the fashion industry and attend the various Fashion Weeks around the world, good lord, there’s some jackets I see guys wearing on the street and I just wonder what happens once it goes out of style in a few weeks. I would never recommend something trendy as a Men’s Wardrobe Essential because you’ll probably only get one winter’s worth of wear out of it.
  • Not Appropriate For the Climate
    If you live in a warmer climate and are wearing a long overcoat without a suit, you look silly. There’s a time and a place for everything and it’s important to understand this in all things, but definitely in regards to coats. See below for details on when it is or isn’t appropriate to wear your coat.
  • For more style mistakes, check out my free “10 Most Overlooked Men’s Style Mistakes” and how to fix them ebook.

What Coat(s) Should Men Own?

A man should own at least one of these two coats, maybe both. See below to determine whether you need one or both coats in your closet.

Overcoat

There’s two factors to determine whether you should own an overcoat:

  1. Does it snow where you live?
    An overcoat is an essential if it snows where you live because it’ll cover more of your body and be a great coat to layer clothing under to keep warm on the colder days.
  2. Do you wear suits often?
    If you wear suits (like a gray suit), regardless of your climate, you need an overcoat because this is the only coat that compliments a suit. A Peacoat won’t work with a suit because (if it fits properly) it’s too short to cover a blazer or suit jacket as well as too casual for this type of outfit.

Peacoat

Every guy, regardless of his climate or whether he wears suits regularly or not, should own a Peacoat because it’s great for casual outfits in your Essential Wardrobe. If you live in a colder climate, it’s also great for warmer winter days and through the early parts of Spring. Notice I’m leaving out Fall. This is because that’s when a Blazer, Leather Jacket and Harrington Jacket really shine. For moderate/warmer climates, like Southern California, a Peacoat will be your “winter” coat.

Double-Breasted or Single-Breasted Coats?

A proper Peacoat is always double-breasted, so that’s not an issue.

As for Overcoats, stick to a single breasted coat because a double breasted Overcoat would require you to wear it buttoned 24/7 since it looks really big and floppy when it’s left unbuttoned. Single breasted gives you the option to wear it buttoned or unbuttoned while still looking sharp and form-fitting.

The Best Overcoat & Peacoat Colors For Men

For Peacoats, you want to go with the classic Navy color. For Overcoats, you can go with Navy, Camel (tan), Black or Dark Gray. If this is your first Overcoat, go with Dark Gray or Black. If it’s your second, get a Camel Overcoat to inject some color into your wardrobe, as it’s still a neutral color that will go with the rest of the Men’s Wardrobe Essentials.

How Should An Overcoat or Peacoat fit?

Check out my Overcoat & Peacoat fit guide for how a man’s coats should fit.

The Best Men’s Overcoats & Peacoats

Designer Options

I chose these coats because they all have a great tailored fit and the material, coat length, lapel width, buttons and the overall construction of them is impeccable. I love the Brooks Brothers charcoal Overcoat, which I actually used on a recent shoot with Harrison Ford, and I was amazed at how well-designed this coat was. The Burberry and Billy Reid Peacoats are my favorite Peacoats of all time! The details are incredible and they’re flattering on every man. An interesting fact: The Billy Reid coat is named the “Bond” coat because it’s the exact one Daniel Craig wore in “Skyfall.” The Burberry runs on the slimmer and slightly longer side, so if you have a shorter and wider build, then this may not work for you, although my model (below) was wearing it and he was quite “built”, so YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Brooks Brothers Charcoal Saxxon Overcoat

Acne Studios Charcoal Coat

Theory Delancey Double-Faced Cashmere Overcoat

Saint Laurent Camel Coat

Burberry Navy Peacoat

Billy Reid Navy “Bond” Peacoat

Budget-Friendly Options

Each of these coats has a simple and clean design with no unnecessary flourishes, which you’ll usually find with cheaper alternatives. The price point is great for these considering they’re wool and wool-blended coats and will keep you warm and looking sharp. I love the Topman Camel Overcoat a lot, which is why I used it on my model below!

Topman Camel Overcoat

J.Crew Charcoal Ludlow Topcoat

Zara Navy Coat

Topman Navy Wool Blend Peacoat Jacket

3 Ways to Wear Overcoats & Peacoats

Best Men's Overcoats & Peacoats Ashley Weston

Topman Camel Overcoat

Topman Navy Skinny Three Piece Suit

Brooks Brothers – Non-Iron Milano Fit Bengal Stripe Dress Shirt

The Tie Bar Deep Burgandy Silk Knit Tie

The Tie Bar Colored Tie Bar

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-toe Oxfords

Best Men's Overcoats & Peacoats Ashley Weston

Brooks Brothers Charcoal Saxxon Overcoat

Z Zegna Navy Drop 8 Two-Button Blazer

Tommy Hilfiger – Men’s Slim-Fit Poplin Shirt

Topman – Selected Homme Grey Pants

The Tie Bar Grenafaux Midnight Navy tie

The Tie Bar Silver Shot Tie Bar

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain Toe Oxfords

Overcoats & Peacoats Ashley Weston

 

Burberry Brit Navy Peacoat

Tommy Hilfiger – Men’s Slim-Fit Poplin Shirt

Topman Selected Homme Grey Pants

The Tie Bar Knit Stripe Tie

Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain Toe Oxfords

Men’s Overcoat & Peacoat Outfit Inspiration

Credits

Photographer: Justiin Charles
Model: Joseph Boyd at Wilhelmina Models
Hair/Makeup: Brendan Robertson for Exclusive Artists Management using Clarins Skincare and Kevin Murphy Hair Care

The Oxford Dress Shoe

This article is part of my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials series.
These are the best mens dress shoes, no questions asked. Anything else pales in comparison. Every man should have at least 2 pairs of Oxford dress shoes in his closet. Not only are they one of the most versatile shoes a gentleman can own – which will work for nearly all formal occasions from business casual to formal – but they’re the de-facto standard shoes to wear with a suit. On top of that, they’ll also work very well with 99% of the items in your Essential Wardrobe. They’re that good.

When you imagine a well-dressed man in a suit, I guarantee he’s wearing a pair of these.

Black & Leather ≠ Oxford Dress Shoes

Don’t think that if a shoe is black and leather, it’s an Oxford dress shoe. I shudder at the thought of those square-toed and/or slip-on monstrosities I see men wearing in place of a proper, lace up, round-toed dress shoe.

Also, if you can see your reflection in your black leather shoes, those are not a proper dress shoe. Those are tuxedo shoes. As the name implies, they should only be worn with a tuxedo. I’ve seen quite a few guys wearing these shoes with jeans. It’s not a good look. Your Oxfords shouldn’t look like mirrors, they should be a little more matte finished. Go to a department store and ask to see their tuxedo shoes so you can see the difference in person.

The image below from RealMenRealStyle highlights exactly what I see a lot of men wearing in place of Oxford dress shoes:

Wrong-Square-Toe-Shoes

To Cap-Toe or Not?

My opinion about whether you should have a cap toe Oxford or not changes with the wind, so I’ll leave it up to you. There’s not a single scenario when you’d wear a cap-toe over a non-cap toe, so this is entirely up to your preference. 

My clients are split 50/50 on this, too. You won’t go wrong with either, so choose whichever you think looks great and fits your style best.

allenedmonds_shoes_carlyle_blackallenedmonds_shoes_park-avenue_black

Should I go for Quality or Value?

For foundational pieces such as these, I’d say go for quality. However, there is a caveat:

How Often Will You Be Wearing Your Oxford Dress Shoes?

  • If you’ll be wearing them more than a handful of times a month, definitely grab a nice, high quality pair. They’ll give you many good years of use and look great the whole time.
  • If you’ll be wearing them once a month or less, go for value. They’ll definitely get the job done and look “good enough”. What’s the use of having a high quality pair of dress shoes sitting in your closet most of the time? I’d take that money and spend it on other pieces you might wear more often](link).

Which Shoes Should I Get?

Since you’ve decided whether you like cap-toe or non cap-toe shoes, now it just comes down to color.

Every guy should have these two pairs of Oxfords in their wardrobe to cover every outfit choice:

  1. A solid black pair
  2. A brown/cognac pair

Anything outside of those two colors will have more specific uses and occasions and definitely falls outside the domain of an Essential Wardrobe item.

The Best Mens Dress Shoes

These are my go-to Oxfords for clients:

Designer Options

Giorgio Armani Plain-Toe Patent Leather Bluchers
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxfords
Allen Edmonds Carlyle
Prada Plain Toe Blutchers

Budget-Friendly Options

Aldo Craosa 
Jack Erwin Joe Cap-Toe Oxford
Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park ll Cap-toe

2 Ways to Wear

For other ways to wear your Oxford dress shoes, check out my Gray Notch Lapel Suit article, Dark Wash JeanSemi-Spread Collar Dress Shirt & Leather Jacket articles.

BlackOxfordDressShoeLook1640-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Model: Tommy Mckeown

Fred Perry Reissues Harrington Jacket
Brooks Brothers 3-D Knit Fine-Gauge Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Milano Fit Button-Down Collared Dress Shirt
Burberry Straight Fit Japanese Selvedge Denim Jeans
True Vintage Revival Glasses
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield 36mm
Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords

BlackOxfordDressShoeLook2640-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Topcoat
Brooks Brothers 3-D Knit Fine-Gauge Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Milano Fit Button Down Collar Shirt
Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Fit Wool Dress Trousers 
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt 
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield 36mm
Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-toe Oxfords

Outfit Inspiration