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3 ways to wear a parka this season

3 ways to wear a parka this season

The parka has the whole ready-for-Arctic-tundra thing going for it, but we assure you, it can be styled in many ways and across many aesthetics. And that’s partly because of the way it’s swerved  in and out of the men’s style zeitgeist for decades – from being a mainstay for the mods in the ‘60s to defining Oasis’ Liam Gallagher’s look in the ‘90s. Bare with us as we get into it for a minute.

Like most outerwear staples, the parka has its origins in military gear, after being adapted from the indigenous Inuit of Alaska. The oversized nature allowed them to be worn over many base layers in cold-weather climates, while the hoods and large pockets made them a go-to practical jacket for pilots and soldiers – nice history lesson there for ya. 

Then, when this signature ‘fishtail’ style was developed for troops in the ‘50s and became surplus, the mod subculture adopted and customised it with patches and badges. They liked it for the same reason the military did – it’s practicality. Only this time, it was there to protect slick suits while riding on scooters. See, we told you it was versatile. Fast forward to today, and there’s plenty of different ways to wear the toasty parka. We narrowed it down to three, so you could get out there and enjoy yours sooner. 

As a lightweight layer

If you’re after a parka option that can see you through multiple seasons, a lightweight unlined iteration is the way to go. For styling, throw it on over a warm-mid layer to give your outfit some texture and colour contrast – choosing a waterproof option will add in some functionality too. 

Then, when the weather gets a little warmer, you’ll still be able to keep wearing your parka just without the middle layer, giving you a better cost per wear and plenty more versatility. 

As a wool overcoat

If your style leans a little more classic, then you’ll want to reach for a wool iteration.  The heavier wool, longer length, and neutral colour makes this coat a perfect option for throwing over your everyday looks, and your smarter ones too. The former due to its hood and silhouette and the latter as the colour and material allows it to fill the position of a wool overcoat seamlessly. 

As a down filled option

When deep winter arrives, this is your ideal coat. You won’t need to pile the layers on underneath, as the down filling in this jacket will trap heat and keep you insulated on those super cold days. Go ahead and choose a jacket in a bold colour, as the technical fabric makes for a real rich tone all while making it feel a little more casual too. We’d also recommend looking out for side pockets when shopping – not only are they a nice added detail but they’re pretty key when it comes to warmth too. 

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Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Toby Standing