Men's Fashion - How to Choose the Perfect Peacoat Style
Every man needs a peacoat. It's that wardrobe garment that is a must have because it can be worn to any event from formal to casual. It can worn to an opening night at the theatre or to help out your best friend move house.
In my blog on the history of the peacoat I explored the 8 historic features of the peacoat that make stand out from all other outwear garments. Here are 8 tips that will help you get the perfect peacoat style.
1- The Cut
The traditional design is based on the slim fitted double-breasted jacket. Being a double-breasted outerwear piece, the peacoat can add extra bulk to your midsection. So if want to avoid looking like a box, find the appropriate fit that suits you well.
Tip: The shoulder seams should hit the middle of the bend of your shoulder.
The Colour (Navy-Blue is the new Black)
There was confusion between "Pea Coat Black" and "Navy-Blue Pea Coat" which stemmed from the history of the British Navy. Navy-blue was the only acceptable colour, however the British navy-blue was so dark that is was 'black’!
Tip: If you're in doubt about which colour to choose, stick to the classic "black" as it is the most versatile for mixing-and-matching.
Traditionally the material was 100% wool. The fabric was Melton carded wool, which is strong, coarse fibred wool. Midshipmen favoured the robust wool blend coat for its versatility and practical features. I
Tip: You are unlikely to find 100% wool coats today. Contemporary fabrics for the peacoat tend to blend a percentage of wool, nylon and cotton.
A functional feature of the peacoat is the oversized collar which was ideal for sailors exposed to the open windy weather of the high seas. It could be worn up without impairing the peripheral vision of the seamen.
Tip: This functionality also gives your coat a modern dressy style allowing to be worn up for a casual winters night at the pub or worn down when attending a formal theatrical performance on Broadway.
The classic style for the peacoat was a wide and generous "notched" lapel. Contemporary peacoats have adaptations of the three basic types of lapels. Peaked, Notched and Shawl.
Three basic types of lapels
source: tbc (backlink dandyfashioner.blogspot.com.au )
Variations of width, length, size of the notch or height of the peak allow wearers to establish their own style and look.
Tip: The notched lapel will give you the most versatility. It allows you to have the collar up to protect your neck from the cold and on cool Autumn days leave the lapel open, to show-off your inner clothing layers, or closed when to keep out the deep chill of Winter.
The pragmatic length of the peacoat allowed sailors to stay warm while having the full range of movement to perform their tough ship duties.
Tip: The length of your peacoat should drop just below your waist. This classic look will never go out of style.
Since the peacoat is outerwear the length of your sleeves needs to be right. There’s a little trick I found that can help you. Have your arms naturally hang down your sides. Bend your wrists so the back of your hand comes up. If the end of the cuff creeps no more than half-way along the back of your hand, then you have the correct sleeve length for your coat.
Tip: The sleeves should be just above your wrist. Be sure it drops no further than your wrist.
The number of buttons have changed throughout history. Most common were the six buttons in 3x2 arrangement.
The placement of the buttons was pragmatic and designed so that the peacoat could be worn completely closed.
Tip: Peacoats were traditionally worn buttoned up, when selecting your size ensure you can wrap yourself up snuggly.
So having read this far, the question you no doubt have in your mind now is "how do I wear the peacoat?" No doubt you know what the answer is going to be. With fashion it depends on the look you are going for.
Neutral colours are well suited
Chinos from Goggi, Jolli & Milki
Add a splash of vibrant layered colour
Casual Sweatshirt from Goggi, Jolli & Milki
Add some rawness to your look
Stressed denim jeans from Goggi, Jolli & Milki
Add an extra layer of warmth
Long sleeve Henley from Goggi, Jolli & Milki
So what do you think? Does understanding the heritage of the peacoat give you a deeper appreciation of its style? SHARE and let me know in the comments how you dress up or down your peacoat?
T.S. Hie, founder and owner
- Tui Siong Hie