As Fall arrives it’s time to reach for warmer layers and dig out your coat. But if your old raincoat is looking a bit worse for wear, this is the perfect time to invest in a new one. Here are some top tips to help you choose a warm, stylish and comfortable coat to sail through the months of Fall.
What’s the best fabric for a Fall coat?
The weather in Fall changes frequently and can be difficult to predict. From relatively mild, sunny days to those that are cold and wet, you’ll need a light fabric that protects you from wind and rain without making you too hot.
The best fabrics for this time of year are tweed (which breathes beautifully), cotton, and water-resistant synthetics. Make sure you choose a coat with the right level of waterproofing for the weather in your home town.
What’s the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
Waterproof and water resistant are not the same thing. Water resistant coats are designed to be shower proof – enough to keep you dry while you run for cover but not intended to cope with a sustained downpour. Coated with a durable water repellent, these jackets protect you from light rain without causing you to overheat if the sun does come out.
Fully waterproofed coats feature a completely waterproof membrane and sealed seams. Designed to offer prolonged protection while taking part in outdoor sports like hiking, climbing or skiing, it can be difficult to find a waterproof coat that’s smart enough to wear with business attire or a suit.
Your best bet is to choose a longer style showerproof coat made from a tightly woven fabric like cotton twill – think trench coats and covert coats. And if the rain is persistent, get yourself a proper gentleman’s umbrella.
Choose the right size coat for Fall
The best way to dress for the Fall is with layers, so it’s important to choose a new jacket that comfortably allows for a chunky sweater underneath. If you think you’ll need it, add two inches to your regular chest measurement. That way you’ll be able to add a quilted vest, knitted vest or sweater underneath your coat without looking too bulky.
Different styles of Fall coats
If you’re looking for a coat to wear to work this Fall, a trench coat is a smart, shower proof choice that’s long enough to cover your suit jacket. Another great option, especially for smart casual offices, is the tweed long coat. Tweed is perfect for the shoulder seasons – it’s warm enough to take the chill out of cold days while its natural breathability ensures that you won’t overheat.
If you want something more casual, there are plenty of styles to choose from. Harrington jackets are short, lightweight coats made of cotton or wool. Originally called the G9 Blouson by manufacturers, these jackets quickly became known as ‘Harringtons’ after actor Ryan O’Neal (playing the character Rodney Harrington) brought them to fame in the ABC television soap ‘Peyton Place’. With a stand-up collar, raglan sleeves and slanted flap pockets, the Harrington is a stylish option to wear with jeans, moleskins or cord pants.
For a mid-length jacket that does smart-casual and casual with equal confidence, a car coat is the updated version of an old-time favorite. Originally designed to protect vintage car motorists from wind and rain, the modern incarnation has a flattering straight cut, rear storm flap, and roomy sleeves for ease of movement.
Bridge the gap between Fall and winter
As Fall turns to winter, it’s time to plan how to make your lightweight coat go a little further before you swap in your thick winter overcoat. If you need an extra layer, a slim quilted vest adds less bulk than a heavy sweater.
Alternatively, if you’re a fan of crisp mornings but need to keep the biting wind and rain out, opt for a warm but lightweight wax jacket.
And remember that it’s your head that bears the brunt of the weather as the mercury falls. A decent hat keeps you warm, protects you from the rain and raises you to a whole new level of style kudos. A classic trilby goes beautifully with your suit and trench coat, while a tweed or waxed flat cap works well for weekends.
What’s your favorite autumn jacket? We’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line below or via our Facebook page