The Chesterfield Coat (Topcoat)

Indochino

Fall is here as we all know and you may be in the market to purchase a new coat. A good friend of mine recently started an entry-level position at a law firm, and was interested in a top coat. Also known as the Chesterfield Coat, he was concerned about to how to wear it, the fit and what color should the coat be. You may be in the same boat as my good friend, so here are a few tips when choosing a topcoat.

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1. Fit is KING. Take into consideration how you would normally wear your topcoat. Most men may ONLY wear their coat over a suit. And, if you aren’t a slim like a model in the magazines, you may have a to size up. That is okay, your suit underneath will take up some of the excess room in the coat. Plus, it will fit better around the shoulders. If you decided you aren’t the type to always wear this coat over your suit, make sure your coat is slim and trim like the jacket to your suit and falls above your knees.

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Uniqlo

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Target

2. Picking a Color. Black, Charcoal or Tan, the color option is pretty much up to you. The classic colors of the Chesterfield coat are black and charcoal,  but I’ve started seeing the tan counterpart  everywhere. Many people associate the tan color with camel hair, but that isn’t always the case. Camel hair top coats are actually made from camel hair, whereas other tan colored coats may be a blend of cashmere and wool fabrics. Being a intern means you may be tight on cash, Uniqlo ($99) and Target ($79) have a few affordable options, but If you can spend a little more Banana Republic ($250), Indochino ($349) and John Varvatos ($595) offer their own tan version of the classic coat.

3. How to Wear. I own a charcoal herringbone topcoat and I love it’s versatility. Look at the gentleman below, he is wearing the same coat three different ways. You can do it the same. Dress it up with a suit and tie or simply be a bit more casual with some cords and a shawl neck sweater.

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Banana Republic

*George Stanhope, 6th Earl of Chesterfield, was rumored to be the one who invented this coat in the mid 19th century.