Coat and Jacket Blazin’

If you’re not in the Southern Hemisphere au moment, please excuse this post. It’s expressly written for the dudes in the cooling climes below the Tropic of Capricorn, but feel free to draw inspiration if you’re a northerner.

As the mercury drops, your fingers will automatically reach for warmer clothes and there’s nothing that can make a man stand out of the pack than a well designed jacket or blazer. Worn casually over jeans on the weekend or over a trouser on weekdays, the blazer, jacket or trench, are classics that every man should have in his wardrobe.

Here’s how to pick the best for you:

1. The Trenchcoat:

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. A trench coat so perfect and flawless you gotta have it…” Yes, the trenchcoat is a classic. Nothing quite flatters the male shape like this staple of men’s wardrobes since it first debuted as officers’ garb prior to World War I. Originally designed by Thomas Burberry, it’s never been ‘out’ of style, but this icon of British look has enjoyed a renaissance in popularity of late, powered by the resurgence of Burberry. Smart and effortlessly stylish, the trench exudes an air of mystery, making it the garb of choice for the edgiest cinematic heroes – from Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca to Harrison Ford in Blade Runner. Timelessly cool with a smart, grown-up feel; choose the right one and it will see you stylishly through winters for years to come.

There’s always the classic long length but MSP favours the more modern cropped versions that accentuate the shoulders, legs and behind (if you’ve got a good one).  Trenches look best completely buttoned with the collar up; add a scarf knotted loosely over the collar for a cosy wrapped up look. Consider the fabric carefully too – look for waterproof cotton drill or poplin for lighter styles or for a heavier winter number, wool gabardine is a classic. More structured fabrics will hang far better, emphasising shoulders and narrow waists.  Cream is the time-honoured choice but dark colours, especially grey or navy, are generally sexiest. If you prefer black, avoid anything leather unless you’re planning to spend the weekend at an ‘Allo ‘Allo convention.

2. The Blazer:

Think casual, relaxed and chilled. Then think ‘blazer’. The second cousin to the suit jacket, the blazer is what you wear when you want to kick back yet still espouse style thus their tradition in polo, golf and yacht clubs.

Don’t confuse the blazer with a suit coat – it’s cut more casually and sometimes with flap-less patch pockets and more ‘glitzy’ metal buttons. The cloth is usually durable because it is essentially an outdoor sports jacket.

Try the blazer with a white button-down oxford shirt and a striped tie, or on the weekend, the same blazer over chinos and a polo shirt, and for a laid-back look in the summer wear it with off-white pants and a bright polo.

Unless you love the attention, contrast collars on a blazer really belong under a suit, however we do dare you to try a few colours beyond just navy blue or black. Grey, tan and even full colour blazers are now making their way into the shops and if you keep it plain underneath or wear a great T-shirt, you’ll look amazing.

While it is perfectly acceptable to wear a navy blue blazer with jeans, and indeed the combination can look very stylish, one must take care that pants and coat are not too close in color. This goes for any jacket and pants combination: if it’s not a suit, it shouldn’t look like one from a distance.

Brown suede dress shoes match the navy blue blazer in versatility, and anything that looks good with the latter will too with the former (although neither are typically worn by the English). Black shoes, other than oxfords and wingtips, are also fine compliments. Anytime you wear a blazer, you will do well to wear some sort of patterned socks, whether checked, striped, or argyle.

Dudes, if picked well, a well designed, fitted coat or blazer adds instant ‘OOMPH’ to your wardrobe. Don’t while this winter away without one to inject a little pizzazz into your look!