How to Find the Perfect Fall Coat

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Tue, Sep 16 - 9:00 am EDT | 4 years ago by
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Style Undressed - How to Find the Perfect Fall Coat

Fall is nearly here, and last year’s weathered winter coat may not cut it. If you are looking for a new coat to usher in the season as the climate chills, arm yourself with these tips.

Keep the trends in mind
Fall color palettes this year will see various shades of gray in stripes, checks and other patterns. Darker blue coats are also on-trend once again. Traditional winter fabrics will make a comeback this fall in the form of tweed and wool. Blazers with elbow patches are very popular, too.

If you are looking to break away from the traditional look, winter topcoats and overcoats in bolder colors and interesting patterns are the current trend. “Contrasting collars and lapels on the topcoat are coming back,” says Sanjay Daswani, owner of The Tailored Man, a custom tailor with locations in Washington D.C. and Toronto.

When it comes to fall fashion, classic peacoats and long topcoats aren’t your only style options. Duffle coats in eye-popping colors and funky plaids are hot right now. The military coat trend will be big again this winter, so you can ease into it this fall with a midweight military jacket with pewter or brass buttons and other hardware. Wideneck anoraks, long bomber jackets and unique hoodies will also be popular this season. When it comes to hoodies, it’s not just the color that makes a difference – it’s the fabric. We have seen high-end hoodies that combine knit and leather to really make a statement.

The softshell jacket continues to be a core item. “Although this jacket feels light, it will keep you warm just like the bulky puffer jacket most customers have in their closet from a decade ago,” says Twilla Brooks, Walmart senior category director. The softshell jacket is a great layering piece when it gets really cold. Just add a fleece hoodie underneath and stay extra warm.

Fit is essential
Many men buy clothing too large. “You want to make sure that the shoulder seams of your coat line up with your shoulders and don’t droop over onto your upper arm,” advises Marian Rothschild, AICI FLC, certified personal image consultant and author of Look Good Now and Always.

The most important part about a jacket or coat is the fit, says Daswani. When trying the coat on, ask yourself how the jacket feels and fits at your shoulders and chest, and make sure that the length is appropriate for the weather as well as fashionable. You shouldn’t look like you are drowning in your coat, but it shouldn’t be so tight that you can’t move your arms either. Take your body type into consideration, too. For example, a puffy coat or a slim-cut jacket might not be the best bet if you are carrying a little extra weight. And speaking of body type…

Height is an illusion
If you would like your fall coat to help you look taller, choose one with pockets sewn into a vertical seam, or sewn on a diagonal. Square pockets sewn on the outside of a coat with horizontal lines will make you appear shorter. Also, a coat that is longer than hip length will add to the appearance of a tall, lean column, says Rothschild.

Remember: There’s a rainbow
Pick a color other than black. Everybody buys black (or charcoal or gray). “If you want to stand out in a good way, think about navy, burgundy, forest green, or brown,” says Rothschild. You can also add color to your fall wardrobe with accessories. If you have blue or green eyes, purchase a subtly patterned wool scarf that features the color of your eyes. If you’re a beanie guy, then your hat is an easy way to add some color to your look as well.

When shopping a new coat (or any new garment), the latest trends and styles aren’t the most important things to consider. The biggest question to ask yourself is: “Will I actually wear it?” There’s no use spending cash on something that is going to just hang in your closet all season long while your pull on your favorite tattered coat every day.

Check out last week’s column: Man-friendly Spa and Wellness Getaways.

Aly Walansky is a New York City-based lifestyle and travel writer. Tweet her at @AlyWalansky or visit her blog at

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  • Marian Rothschild

    One additional recommendation I left out: when trying on coats and jackets, be sure to move around, pretend you are driving, hailing a cab, reaching for your phone, whatever. Be sure that it’s comfortable in the back and shoulder area. Easy link to book:

  • darkcirclequeen

    helpful article thanks!

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