Winter Essentials: The Peacoat

Generally speaking, the shape of our body dictates what we can wear, or at least the boundaries we are willing to push. The slimmer man – those lucky gents – they can pretty much get away with everything, but for guys who may be broader of shoulder or are more barrel-than-sixpack around the stomach area, the clothes you wear are often more through comfort than genuine choice. However, there are certain items in the gent’s personal wardrobe that look good no matter your build, one of which happens to be a piece perfect for the onset of winter: the peacoat.

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The peacoat, with a history entrenched in the military, has become a byword for classic cool; this is a coat that, with its elegant design, classic cut and stylish look, is not likely to go out of fashion any time soon.  It matters not if you are aboard a naval ship or walking to do the weekly shop, the peacoat is made for all men.

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It’s exact origins and the reason for it’s somewhat obscure name cannot be exactly pinpointed but the fact it first appeared in the English Oxford dictionary around the early part of the 1700’s give us some indication of just how long this beautifully crafted jacket has been adorned by the shoulders of men the world over. As for its name, well there are various reasons given but the most plausible derives from Holland where the Dutch referred to a thick, coarse wool jacket as a Pijjaker, yet wherever the name stems from, we should just be thankful it exists in the first place.

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The peacoat, with its famous characteristics of large lapels and collar, short body and double breasted appearance all combine to make for a coat that come the winter months is both functional and fashionable. It’s dual functionality lies not only in its design aesthetic but also the fact this is a coat made for various styles; be it a suit and shoes or jeans and rugged boots, the peacoat is able to fit comfortably in to these differing styles making it an essential item this winter. Here are just three ways of incorporating this classic coat into the rest of your wardrobe this year…

The Way To Work

There are very few coats that work just as well with formal attire as they do your casual wears but the peacoat is certainly one of them. The fact the ‘V’ of the collar drops quite low means you can show off your shirt and tie while still having that rakish air of cool about your persona. One tip we would suggest is loose the suit jacket; although in some office environs this will not be seen as the ‘done’ thing, this is the 21st century so shouldn’t really be a major issue.

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The Weekend Wander

There is nothing quite like a walk in the countryside with the family, the dog and the thought of knowing there is a warm pub at the end of your countryside adventure. Add a buttoned-up peacoat into the equation and you’ve got an even better excuse for that winter weekend wander. The workman look is still very much de-rigueur for men of all ages at present so a good pair of sturdy boots, selvedge jeans, check shirt and beanie all help to complete that rugged outdoor appearance.

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The Trip Up-Town

Be it denim or bomber jackets, trench coats or rain macs, the majority of coats on the market fall into the smart of casual divide but the peacoat happily eschews this divide, fitting stylishly in to both camps. Be it a weekend away with the lady or a trip Up-Town with the lads you’ll not look out of place with a peacoat. Keep that smart casual look going with a good pair of trousers, fine knit roll-neck sweater and a good pair of brogue boots.

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One Final Note

As winter creeps closer the need for a good coat grows ever more increasing and you could do a lot worse than purchase a good quality peacoat. This is a coat that has not only stood the historical test of the military but has become a classic piece of menswear. From Steve McQueen to Serge Gainsbourg the peacoat has gained a reputation as one of the coolest coats around so it doesn’t matter if you are one of the skinny rock’n’rollers or a broad shoulder lumberjack, the peacoat really does work for all of us gents.