From military-inspired details to performance-minded materials, the best coats are the timeless designs that are adaptable, functional and warm.
The Pea Coat
We've said it before, we'll say it again: Whether it's the clean lines, the simple military styling or the rugged undertones, no man looks bad in a pea coat. It can be worn with pretty much everything in your closet—from shirts and ties to jeans to sweatpants. Traditionally made from thick melton wool, it's always double-breasted (with either six or eight buttons) and cut to mid-thigh, which keeps it from feeling too formal. New York-based Schott, which has been making tough-as-nails outerwear since 1913, began producing pea coats for the US Navy just before World War II and continued on as the official outfitter until the late 1990s. Today, they offer a slimmed down version with metal buttons and a more modern silhouette that comes in five colors. And while we wouldn't recommend it for all outerwear, feel free to pop the collar on your pea coat.
A black coat can sometimes feel a bit formal, so we suggest trying navy, gray or even olive green for more versatility.