Here at MFM, we already brought you the Ten Wardrobe Essentials in our first digital issue, as well as delving a little deeper with Six Footwear Essentials here on our website. So, in our next Wardrobe Essentials piece, we give you a breakdown of what we feel are the essential pieces of outerwear that every gent should aim to have in their wardrobe. So without further ado here is our top ten essential pieces of outerwear.
WAX COTTON JACKET
The wax cotton jacket, has its origins in maritime history with sailors applying fish oils and grease to sails, then keeping the offcuts and wearing them as clothing. Fast forward a fair few years and brands like Barbour and Belstaff have become institutions in producing waxed cotton garments. Worn by everyone from Steve McQueen to David Beckham, Paul Newman to Prince Charles, the waxed cotton jacket will serve you from the city to the country. An all year round jacket that will look great whether you’re sitting atop a Triumph Bonneville or not.
The almighty Mac, a menswear classic worn by the best of the best over the last half century. Alain Delon never looked better than in Le Samourai, with his double breasted Mac and fedora. A timeless classic that’s worth investing in. We’d recommend going with something neutral so either a khaki or tan coloured mac will serve you no end. Works perfectly over a suit or something more casual. Timeless, elegant and stylish, a must have for your wardrobe.
Forever associated with Mod culture, the parka jacket is great weekend wear. It was revived in the 80’s thanks to The Jam and again during the 90’s when Liam Gallagher was the chief purveyor which included the stunning white Parka he wore at Glastonbury. The original M65 parka is regarded as the penultimate parka jacket, however many brands are reimagining the design in a modern way and will give you a look that says Mohair “suited, scooter riding, Brighton-beach-rocker-fighting, rather than Mr army surplus.”
Obviously has its roots in aviation, but like many menswear classics including the chino, was brought back from the war by vets and ended up permeating popular culture. The shearling jacket had a rough stint during the 70’s thanks to countless football managers but has seen a resurgence recently with David Gandy flying the flag for the modern Shearling wearer. This is one for the cold winter evenings and to put over the shoulders of someone special in the early hours, post night out.
We could write a whole dissertation on the leather jacket. Instead we’ll keep it simple. You need one. Marlon Brando, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Carl Baratt, do we need to say anymore? Find one that fits you perfectly and wear it to death. Nothing looks worse than a brand new leather jacket, so either wear it as much as you can before you make a grand appearance or buy one that looks readily broken in. With so much choice, there’s no excuse to get this one wrong.
This is another item that’s seen a massive resurgence in recent seasons. We’ve seen tradition embraced and boundaries pushed when it comes to bomber jackets. It works fantastically as a throw-on-and-forget-about piece, but can equally be something that stands out and becomes the focal point for an outfit.
Another jacket that went through a bad patch thanks to the rise of bleached ill-fitting denim in the 80’s and 90’s. Having said that, it’s a classic that just won’t fade away. A jacket that’s great for throwing on at the weekend or evening but can also look pretty cool styled up with a shirt and tie if done correctly. Stay current and go for something a bit different like this Indigo slub denim jacket below.
The Harrington Jacket is forever associated with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, although he wasn’t actually wearing a Harrington in the movie, even though it sure looked like it. A versatile piece that will look equally at home paired with formal grey trousers as it will a great pair of Jeans ala James Dean himself. As a fitting tribute to Jimmy, we’ve picked a wine red Harrington, which, of course has to be by Baracuta, and have created a ‘Rebel…’ inspired outfit.
Another maritime classic and a sailors best friend. This menswear stalwart will keep you dry and warm in the most Deadliest Catch of weather that nature can throw at you. Avoid anything too long in length, again because they tend to look less surplus store. Go with a deep navy to give yourself more options for pairing it up.
A well-fitting overcoat can take any formal look into the stratosphere, nothing looks more elegant over the top of a suit than a velvet collared overcoat. When buying, make sure you wear what you are planning to wear underneath it, as you don’t want to get home and find it pulls at the seams when you wear it over your suit.
BEFORE YOU RUSH OUT AND BUY…
By no stretch of the imagination is this the be all and end all of jackets you should own. We do however, wish to give you some ideas of how you can incorporate all of these classics into your pre-existing wardrobe. Look for quality when purchasing any of these as these will never go out of style, so you may even want to spend a little more to get something that is really going to last you.