After a while, it’s easy for one’s closet to start to look a little, well, uninspired. No matter what you do, it’s hard to get excited to put together an outfit when everything feels a little blah. It happens to the best of us – and for me, more than I care to admit.
The key to reenergizing your wardrobe isn’t to overhaul it, but to add one key piece that will add some depth to your existing clothes and make you excited to find new ways to pair the old with the new. In fact, this layering of styles can sometimes be all you need to look at your wardrobe a little differently and jump-start a million new ways to wear some of your old favorites.
This happened to me recently. After watching Tár and the latest season of Succession back-to-back, I knew that the emptiness I was feeling when I looked in my closet could only be filled with one item. It didn’t have to be expensive. Hell, it didn’t even have to fit me perfectly. But I knew that it would be the answer to adding some much-needed dimension to my wardrobe.
I needed an overcoat.
Adding Depth Without Breaking the Bank
An overcoat has a way of playing with formality with just about anything you throw on. Historically speaking, overcoats were designed to keep one’s suit from getting dirty. It has since continued to be enveloped into the general marquee of “formalwear.” I’m here to tell you that this, my friends, is total B.S. In fact, I implore you to wear your next overcoat with a pair of sweats and a baseball cap to show how adaptable an overcoat is, and how style rules are meant to be broken.
With its long lines and thick (usually wool) construction, an overcoat gives some extra dimension to the wearer’s body, making one’s silhouette feel substantial without looking bulky. There’s something about throwing on an overcoat that ties together an outfit without putting much thought into it. You’re just as good wearing it over your work clothes as you are on your way to the gym. As with most items of clothing, you just have to wear it with the right attitude–you can’t let the clothing wear you.
The Best Affordable Over Coats
Overcoats (and, by extension peacoats and topcoats) can be found in a variety of price points and, because of that, they also vary in quality. While you don’t have to invest in a Burberry coat to jazz up your wardrobe, I would recommend trying on a few styles and seeing which ones fit your lifestyle and budget.
Mango Recycled Woolen Coat
Spanish brand Mango’s Recycled Woolen Coat offers three classic colors (tobacco brown, black, and dark gray), making it easy to match any wardrobe. This coat has a slimmer fit to it and cuts at mid-thigh, giving you a more updated feel to the traditional overcoat while still adding a bit of grown-up cool to your closet.
Percival Olive Melton Trench Coat
Don’t let the name fool you. Percival’s trench coat is much more in the overcoat family than, say, a Burberry trench. Finding a green overcoat is rare, but finding one that keeps a timeless design for the modern wearer makes this find a unicorn. With Percival’s updated vision of traditional English menswear, this coat will surely stay in style for years to come.
Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Blend Mac Coat
A&F isn’t the mall brand from your teenage years. It’s a full-fledged menswear brand in its own right these days, and the Wool Blend Mac Coat proves it’s diverging from the muscle-tee heritage of yore into something more grown-up. This coat is as classic as it gets, with a generous fit to drape on and go. And, as a bonus, it’s available in six colors, making it easy to grab a couple for both your winter and spring moods.
COS Relaxed-Fit Doubled-Faced Wool Coat
COS really went out and made one of the best wool coats out there. Taking the traditional design and updating it to be at once tailored and relaxed, it has the best of both worlds when it comes to that nonchalant menswear style that is, as they say, sprezzatura. The gray option is a little lighter than comparative wool blends, making it a great choice for those who want a neutral color but nothing too dark.
London Fog Wool Blend Top Coat
London Fog is about as classic as it gets, and it’s hard to beat the price for the heritage quality you get from the brand. The Wool Blend Top Coat has the feel of a tailored coat without breaking the bank to achieve a sophisticated look. Because the garment is a little more structured, I’d opt for going a size or two bigger if you really want to be able to throw it on and go.