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The Minimal Closet: How to Pick a Swiss Army Overcoat

Published on

March 10, 2020


Alice Choi

Swiss Army Overcoat: How many cold-weather coats does the average guy need?

For the sartorially favored, having a closet full of coats may be alluring. But for those who prefer having a simple, minimal wardrobe, I have good advice. It’s likely to get by with just two winter jackets — a technical casual one and a classic overcoat.

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The overcoat — a dense, ankle-to-thigh-length piece of outerwear with a collar and notches — is one of the most well-known and flattering staples of menswear. It propels confidence and authority and enhances a man’s shape — widening the shoulders, stretching the body, and draping over any problem areas. Its functionality can’t be baffled either; made of thick fabric, it’ll protect you from the parts and keep you warm all winter long. Best of all, it works when wrapped over both casual and formalwear. Good-looking, practical, and highly versatile, the overcoat can indeed be the only other jacket you own. Besides a specialized one — as long as you choose the most versatile style.

How to pick such a Swiss Army overcoat is what we’ll lay out today.

What to Watch for in a “Swiss Army” Overcoat

Single-breasted. The double-breasted coat goes in and out of fashion. It is an excellent choice for wearing to a conventional workplace or more formal events. But a single-breasted swiss army overcoat is more timeless and versatile, and pairs as well with a suit as a sweater and denim. While a double-breasted coat should be worn buttoned and closed, a single-breasted can be dressed open for a casual look. The single-breasted, as it involves less material around your midsection, is also more flattering and slimming. Single-breasted coats are especially recommended for short men; the double-breasted variety tends to consume the petite man up.

3-buttons. A 3-button coat is the most traditional way to go. 4-button coats tend to be more social.

Notched lapels. Notched lapels are standard of single-breasted overcoats and are more easygoing. Peak lapels are commo found on double-breasted coats and are more ceremonious. Go with notched.

Unbelted. The extra material of a belt hinders a smoother silhouette. It can make your jacket look overly twee or like something of a kimono. And remember, we want the choice of wearing the coat open for a more relaxed look. But dressing a belted coat open leaves your belt flapping in the wind, and a man doesn’t want dangling pieces about him.

Navy or gray color. Instead of black, navy blue is your most dependable and most versatile shade choice. It’s serious without being solemn and looks evenly good with both day and evening dress. Dark gray shade comes in as the second runner up in the shade category.

100% wool stuff. For substance and durability, 100% wool is the way to go; it’s warm and durable and will last forever. Cashmere swiss army overcoats have a subtle, rich-looking polish, and are lighter, smoother, and warmer. But cashmere comes with a huge price tag, doesn’t hold up to the elements as well, and fades out and pills easier. And since this is outerwear we’re saying about, extra smoother doesn’t matter much.

Three-quarter range. In times past, overcoats came all the way down to a guy’s calves. Men were hoofing it more outdoor and needed a coat that kept their whole body covered up and warm. But with the arrival of the automobile, all that fabric became a barrier in driving. Men were spending less time walking in winter so that the extra warmness from added length wasn’t as needed. As a result, the length of overcoats transferred upwards during the 20th century. Today, a long swiss army overcoat generally looks old and costume — enchanting up hints of Old West dusters and Columbine trench coats.

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