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Style Advice

Four coats that will stand the test of time

Four coats that will stand the test of time

This year, more of us are sidelining trend-led purchases in favour of investing in classic pieces that will stand the test of time – and our outerwear is no exception. If you're looking for a new coat this season, you'll want one that won't just look good now, but will also stay stylish and remain durable enough to withstand many winters of wear. 

To break down three of the most timeless coats around, we asked Thread stylist Freddie Kemp to break down the jackets he recently styled at the bucolic Jacobean manor Boys Hall. Consider your commutes, pub breaks, and all activities in between covered.  

The bomber jacket

The beauty of a bomber jacket is that it’s timelessly casual, but if you choose a fabric with a luxury feel like wool, it’s instantly elevated. The bomber is recognisable by its collarless neckline and short, boxy shape that suits most body shapes. If you want a jacket that is interesting as well as versatile, a subtle houndstooth check, like this one from Oliver Spencer, is wearable with almost anything and has proven its longevity as a popular pattern since the 1800s. 

The trick to styling a bomber jacket for smarter occasions is to keep your inner layers shorter, as anything falling longer than your jacket will look out of place and instantly kill the smartness. For an expert take on seasonal dressing, try a coloured knit in a colour that complements the tones of the jacket.

The wax field jacket

The field jacket has its roots in – you guessed it – country fields where it became a popular choice with farmers for its practical length, protective high neckline, functional pockets, and weatherproof wax coating. It’s since become equally popular with urban gents, so you won’t look out of place sporting your field jacket on city streets too. 

The timelessness of a field jacket is exemplified in its ability to be worn well by any guy, regardless of their personal style. What’s more, it gets better with age and can be rewaxed, so it’s sure to last you for years to come. You can find field jackets in a variety of fabrics now, but for a truly timeless take, stick to the original wax version. Style your field jacket with a rugby shirt, hoodie, and trainers for a relaxed, sporty look.

The wool overcoat

The wool overcoat instantly elevates any outfit you pair it with, which is good news for our laid-back wardrobes this winter. Despite its inherently smart feel, you can throw your overcoat on over a hoodie and sweatpants and it looks just as stylish as it does with your tailored suit. 

When thinking about timeless clothing, especially outerwear, we tend to lean to neutral block colours, but a muted pattern can be equally versatile. If you wear a lot of plain pieces, then a patterned wool overcoat can bring even more impact to your winter wardrobe, as you know it will work with everything without pattern clashing. It’s the perfect addition to lift simple outfits – just keep the colours dark or muted so it feels classically wintery. For true timelessness, pick a classic style with a notched lapel and a straight-cut silhouette.

The trench coat

Rooted in military history, the trench coat’s invention is claimed by both Aquascutum and Burberry. It’s a true classic that’s resonated with TV detectives and Hollywood style icons alike, before settling in the wardrobe of the everyman. A trench coat is recognisable by its loose silhouette, belted waist, calf-length hem that protects smart suits against wind and rain, and shoulder lapels for extra coverage. 

Like the overcoat, it’s a classically smart coat that can easily be worn with casual pieces for a more contemporary take – so don’t let it fester in the back of your wardrobe while you’re working from home. Balance with the smart style with staple knit wear in darker shades, and it will fit easily into your laid-back looks.

Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Freddie Kemp