THREE-STEP WINTER COATING
The winter coat is the single most essential garment to understand and invest in this winter season.
So we are smack-bang in the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite our relatively moderate winter temperatures here in South Africa, the need still exists for the discerning gentleman to have at his fashion disposal, a winter coat.
As a staple part of your wardrobe, the practicality of a coat should not deter you from selecting one that compliments your fashion-forward sense of style. The key is finding the balance between practicality and style.
Let’s see how.
Step 1 – Start by understanding the basics
A coat and a jacket are two different pieces. A jacket rests at your hips and offers limited warmth retaining qualities, also it can’t be worn over a thick sweater or blazer. A coat, on the other hand, is made of a thicker, natural fabric and is a must to keep you warm.
Step 2 – Now ponder the fabric
The best fabrics to keep you warm are wool and cashmere. Cashmere is far warmer, but the high cost and short durability of the fabric (its delicacy in heavy weather makes cashmere inferior to wool) often makes wool the more favoured choice.
Step 3 – Lastly consider the fit
Winter is a time for layering and texture. I personally love playing with various elements from my wardrobe and creating interesting new looks during the winter season. When selecting a winter coat, the fit is often forgotten, based on the general tendency guys have of wearing coats that are too long on the sleeves and that droop on the shoulders.
To find the right fit, simply go up one size over your typical suit jacket size; this allows you to move easily without the layers restricting you at your shoulders and neck. The shoulder seams themselves should fall just over the edge of your natural shoulder. This will give you a better profile line while wearing a blazer or suit.
Once you have found a coat you are interested in don’t just slip it on; find a chair and sit down while wearing it; raise your arms; bend down and tie your shoe laces. You will be wearing this new coat in a variety of situations, so give it a proper test drive before you commit to the purchase.
Caring for your investment
At the end of the winter season, remember to care for your coat by having it dry-cleaned and wrap it in a suit hanger until next year. By doing this you will not only preserve your investment, but you’ll also have a garment that is ready to wear on that first chilly day when everyone else is scratching around in their wardrobes to find something warm.
How to wear your winter coat
I fully support variety being the spice of life. This extends into my fashion expressions and I enjoy having the ability to use a fashion item, such as my winter coat, in various situations. In the forest exploits above, I have used this amazing Ministry 4 Style coat (see my previous post here on this great local menswear label based in Cape Town) for a versatile, “winters day out exploring” option. Because it has been correctly sized it allows me the freedom of movement to attend to that which has caught my attention on this day.
Due to the classic cut and style of this coat it can also be dressed up and used as your mainstay piece at a rather dressy function. Watch the blog later in the week for a post showing how I have dressed this coat up.
Ministry 4 Style are selling the last remaining pieces in their current collections, such as this coat. In some lines you will be able to get a once off piece to perfectly match your bespoke style. Check them out on line or if you are in Cape Town, check out the store for fashion inspiration. Who doesn’t want a once off piece in their wardrobe?
What I’m wearing
In addition to my Ministry 4 Style coat, I am wearing a light grey polo neck knit from Markham, a pair of dove grey cropped chinos by Imperial available at Premium V.N.T.G. in Melrose Arch and a pair of black wellingtons from my collection. I am also wearing a black leather necklace with silver anchor by Koton and Co, available at Premium V.N.T.G.
Premium V.N.T.G opened earlier in July 2015 at The High Street, Melrose Arch. The inspiration of Shawn Janet, the shop is a veritable treasure trove of bespoke decor and unique fashion pieces that Shawn sources from Italian labels such as Imperial and Happiness. Premium V.N.T.G. also stock local labels, all of which I will be featuring in future blog posts.
For more on Premium V.N.T.G. check them out on Instagram or contact Shawn at the shop on 076 216 3645.