What is a down jacket?
The explorer's favourite looks just as good off mountains, too
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There aren’t many things that scream ‘winter’ quite so much as a down coat. Think of it as your padded armour against the chills of January and February to come. Best of all? You don’t have to be Daniel Craig to pull it off. In fact, there is a multitude of ways you can wear this most insulating of layers and still look stylish.
“Every guy can wear a down coat,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “There are tons of styles which make it accessible to any guy. For me, it’s the casual equivalent of an overcoat. If you’re going to get a smart coat and a casual one, then go for a wool overcoat and a down coat.”
Which type of down coat you go for is, of course, up to you. But to help you with the decision-making process, we’ve broken down three different styles you could choose and how to wear them.
“The colour palette here is very earthy,” explains Freddie. It’s an outdoorsy effect which is enhanced by the choice of brands such as Patagonia and the practicality of these clothes.
Typically thinner than puffer jackets, the outdoorsy down coat is lightweight and windproof. It’s also really easy to pack into a bag should you find yourself sweating it out on the train. As Freddie adds: “You take off the jacket and it’s still a really nice outfit, mainly due to that colour combination. Plus, cords are quite heavy-duty, thick and insulating.”
For a more traditional, puffer jacket-style down coat, this hooded version ticks all the right boxes. It’s a neutral enough colour that it can be worn with practically anything and still feel contemporary.
“It shows that a down coat can be worn with a classic smart-casual look,” says Freddie. “It feels appropriate to the style, and doesn’t feel like you’re dressing your outfit down. You’ve also got the combination of three different collars, which makes it visually interesting.”
In short, if you’re looking for a jacket to throw on with most of your casual or smart-casual looks, this is the one.
When you think of down coats, this is probably the style that you’re thinking of. “You think of those classic brands who specialise in this more ‘arctic explorer’ style,” says Freddie.
That doesn’t mean you need to be trekking through snow to make the most of this coat. But, as Freddie points out, it’s never going to be a coat that you put on over a suit.
“A lot of guys will make the mistake of not worrying about what they’ve got on underneath the coat because it covers so much. But this outfit shows that it’s still important to keep the clothes underneath stylish. Inevitably, you’ll take it off when you go inside. And regardless of the cold, it’s still nice to have a bit of colour.”
Words: Theresa Harold
Photography: Jon Cardwell
Styling: Freddie Kemp
A great overcoat isn’t just for work. Pick the perfect style and you can wear it every day of the week, all winter