DRESS WELL VOL. I: The topcoat

Hello everybody, and welcome to our weekly personal style editorial, Dress Well. In this segment, the editors and contributors of LVD will be featuring looks, trends, and pieces of clothing we think are important, and styling outfits to give examples of how we each wear them. Be on the lookout for new articles every Monday! This week we highlight a winter essential, the topcoat.

Welcome to winter in the Great Lake State: whipping winds, inches of snow, ice and sludge everywhere, and below freezing temperatures. Thankfully, there are many ways to beat the cold in style, and there is no better place to start than with the wool topcoat. While it is a classic piece of tailoring, it is neither stuffy nor out of touch; they work on everyone from the dandies to the street style rebels. Anyway you decide to go, you can ensure you will be the most stylish (and warmest) guy on the block. We here at LVD decided to have a go at showing off how each of us style the topcoat, as this is a piece we each rock almost everyday.

Avery: I break out the wool overcoat at least 3-4 days a week. My absolute favorite, and the one I reach for most often is this beautiful herringbone number by Zara. Not only is it warm as hell, but the black and white herringbone pattern give the coat a certain depth and unique texture that you don’t see everyday. This coat matches with literally everything in my closet, as the rest of my clothes are relatively minimal, and devoid of crazy colors or patterns. The striking pattern and construction of the jacket means that throwing this on top of any outfit lifts it to new heights thanks to the marled grey effect the coat’s fabric has. I get compliments everytime I step out in this thing, and it’s easy to see why. In look one, I’m wearing a navy turtleneck, olive cargo pants and desert boots with the coat on top to finish it off. This look is a great example of how to mix tailoring with military-inspired styles. In look two, I’m combining rugged style with classic tailoring by rocking the coat with some burgundy chinos, classic lace-up boots and a denim shirt with western detailing. Look three is for the coldest of days, the nippiest of winds. I layer the coat over some navy wool trousers, slick chelsea boots, a knit sweater, a denim jacket, and a cashmere scarf for extra warmth. This fit shows off how cool layering looks with this coat, and again mixes rugged and classy elements. Finally, in look four I style the coat very simply again with an olive military sweater, navy wool trousers, and chelsea boots. This fit shows off how the overcoat revs up even the simplest combinations underneath. My topcoat is a statement piece for sure, but is one that will make you look great and stay cozy. Win-win.

Mason: In my opinion, the colder months are the best time for fashion. They really allow you to show off your style as you layer your pieces. A good overcoat is a winter staple. Not only should it be warm enough to protect you from the biting frost, but also stylish enough so you don’t get bored having to wear it every day. I am lucky enough to possess two overcoats that I love to pull out of my closet and confront the cold. The first topcoat I have is a gray herringbone piece that’s a somewhat oversized fit. The coat can be styled with essentially every outfit  Admittedly it isn’t the warmest coat I own, but this adds flexibility to the coat, making it possible to wear inside as well as in the fall and spring months. As I said it looks great with pretty much anything I wear underneath; from heavy layering to even just a t-shirt. My other coat is a newer piece that I have pursued for a while. Since purchasing it, I have dubbed it the “Walter Hobbs from Elf” coat. I needed a little color in my winter wardrobe and I have always loved the look of a quality camel top coat. So I picked up this baby about a month ago and I have no regrets (the fact that it was on clearance is an added bonus). I get many compliments every day I bring it out. On top of that, due to the heat retaining quality of wool and the thickness of the weave on this coat, it is extremely warm. It is perhaps the warmest winter coat I’ve ever owned. A nice overcoat is always a very stylish piece that can enhance and add both authority as well as refinement to every look. I’ve put together my four favorite looks that extensively employ the wool topcoat. For look 1, I love the contrast of tucking in a light t-shirt and throwing this chunky coat over it. This look is perfect for a chill day out, where you need that extra layer of warmth. In look 2 I employ my new camel coat in a contemporary way with a floral printed hoodie and some gold chains. The sweatshirt is youthful and trendy, while the coat adds a classic element to it. Look 3 is an outfit that blends streetwear grit with plush menswear. My olive Fear of God-esque zipper pants and vertically striped tee go nicely with the herringbone coat and classic wingtip boots. Look 4 is a no brainer that looks modern and sharp. I elevate a black hoodie and black fringed bottom jeans by finishing it off with my camel coat. This look is simple, contemporary, and sleek.  

Shawn: As I, Shawn Kaura, turtleneck connoisseur, mentioned in my “About Me” tab, I am all about reflecting on the outside what’s going on inside. Therefore, as I embark on the feverish treks that are daily morning laps throughout Wayne State’s cold campus, no one topic is present in my mind more than staying warm. Listen, I know staying warm is relatively simple. Anyone can throw on their North Face 800 style coat, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look south to the outside eye. Haha. Bad joke. Anyways, I thrive in my Ralph Lauren gray wool number featuring a padded inner lining, as well as a cool, hidden tartan plaid pattern under the collar. Its brim collar does not flood my neck and leaves ample eye room for my powerful, staple induced layers. I also have a second topcoat i reach for just as often: a tan Zara piece capable of creating an outfit that features my specific taste while not placing all of the emphasis on the coat. In the grand scheme of things, I have enough outfits that would indeed look rad with the gray Ralph Lauren and beige Zara pieces but I narrowed it down to my top three fits. Look one: I found a way to tie in a vintage wool sweater that jokingly makes me look like a referee, with my powerful RL coat and staple green corduroys to reflect my flashback style. Look two: My tan Zara piece takes the spotlight when I throw on my charcoal turtleneck, J.Crew blue jeans, and my favorite pair of black chukkas. FIRE~~~Look three: Third look, one of my all time favorites, is the “off-to-work” look. No amount of work can’t be done when sporting this CEO steez. I combine a baby blue Brooks Brothers button down shirt, tree green Zara Mohair sweater, and some full-of-pull Banana Republic brown corduroys. A look I always sport on the day of a big exam or work day.