Monday, December 07, 2009

Question on Trenchcoats

Reader's Question - Michael, NYC:

"I recently came across your blog (awesome) when searching for pictures of the Theory Herringbone Trench Coat you featured on August 17th. I picked it up yesterday as a secondary winter coat (my primary winter coat is a navy Burberry cashmere overcoat - it gets COLD in NY!).

How do you suggest I wear the belt? I tied the belt, but the fabric is quite stiff and the belt wouldn't hold. I am also concerned that the belt will look worn out after tying it so much. Do you suggest that I belt it instead (quite formal) or tie it in the back? The jury seems to be out on this one..."

Thanks for the thoughtful question, Michael. You should be commended on your taste in overcoats. I always feel that every man should own at least a Navy overcoat and the secondary overcoat should be Gray or Camel colored. Those colors will go with most every suit in the closet and will look sharp for any occasion. The herringbone adds visual interest to the gray overcoat, helping to stand out in the dreary weather.  Cashmere and Camelhair are the best fabrics for overcoats; warm durable and fashionable.

Personally, I would opt for the belt to be tied, as shown in the picture.  The belt with time will become less stiff and will hold to the knot better.  Damaging the belt should not be a concern, the high quality of the fabric and manufacturing will help hold it together. For more formal events you can use it as a belt, but I would still opt for tying it in every occasion as it is more sprezzatura and care free (a state that should be constantly strived for by every well dressed man).  Please, Michael, do not tie the belt behind you. No trench coat or overcoat should ever have the belt tied in the back. This removes the sartorial benefit that a secured belt adds to the overall look.

One additional note in wearing this and most all other overcoats. Please, for the love of all that is stylish, turn up the collar. Overcoats, trenchcoats and peacoats should have popped collars. In every case, wear it with the collar up, but please always wear your polos with the collars down. 

With those rules followed, you should be able to enjoy the New York weather in warmth and style.

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