Coats and jackets aren’t just a way to stay warm over the winter months — they’re also an indispensable wardrobe staple that can perfectly complement your sense of style.
The first step in choosing the best coat for your wardrobe is familiarizing yourself with the wide variety of coats for men available today.
In this article, we’re covering everything… from blazers and sport coats, to bomber jackets and formalwear. Afterwards, you’ll have a complete perspective on all the coats that could make it into your closet.
Which ones do you currently have in your wardrobe? And which do you need to add sooner or later?
Named for its place in a man’s outfit, the overcoat is meant to be worn over every other article of clothing. They’re a wintertime staple thanks to their heavy construction and below-the-knee cut.
"Made from a luxurious wool-cashmere blend, our single-breasted topcoat is a classic for any gentleman. Style features include a 3-roll-2 button closure, notch lapels, and hand-warmer pockets for practicality." –S&M
The traditional overcoat has spawned loads of variations over the years, with single- and double-breasted variations combining with varying degrees of waist suppression.
Spier & Mackay’s Camel Wool and Cashmere overcoat is a favorite here at Effortless Gent, and a fantastic example of classic overcoat style.
2. Traditional Coat
Shorter and lighter than an overcoat, the standard or traditional coat is the basis from which all other coats were developed. Worn today, they can be dressed up or dressed down to fit your occasion; some come with zip-out liners that make them suitable for all-season wear.
Uniqlo’s minimalist style is on full display in their Balmacaan Coat, a lightweight cotton option that falls above the knee.
3. Duffle Coat
Duffle coats are named after the material they are made of — a plush, thick, and warm woolen cloth — as well as a military commander who especially enjoyed the style. They’re instantly recognizable by their wooden toggles and rope fastenings as well as their hoods.
Gloverall’s Original Monty Duffle Coat is an absolute gem in this style, and is made with high-quality Italian wool, polished wooden toggles, and jute rope fastenings.
4. Trench Coat
Originally developed for Army officers during World War I, the trench coat gets its name from its use in trench warfare. They’re characterized by heavy-duty waterproof construction, wide lapels, double breasted fastening with up to 10 buttons, and a waist belt.
If you’ve been looking for a rainproof jacket that doesn’t sacrifice style, the trench coat is the way to go. Lacoste’s cotton trench coat carries that classic style with a more modern cut.
Originally worn by European and American navy crewmen, the peacoat is a dedicated outer layer that’s made of warm and heavy wool. They’re shorter than many other outercoats, with double-breasted design, broad lapels, and large buttons.
J. Crew’s Dock Peacoat sticks to the traditional purpose of the garment by incorporating a heavy-gauge wool and flap pockets that will keep out winter’s chill.
Long and loose-fitting, the duster has its origins in horseback riding. Made of much lighter materials than other topcoats, their canvas or linen construction is meant more to keep dust, dirt, and rain off of you than to keep you warm.
Outback Trading Company’s Low Rider Duster displays exactly the sort of cowboy chic that dusters have become known for. Its waxed cotton construction makes it a fully functional rain jacket, too.
7. Puffer Jacket
Developed for the cold and windy environments of mountaineering, puffer jackets have become a popular streetwear garment for wintertime in the city.
While the original puffer jackets were filled with goose down, most of today’s puffers use synthetic loft materials. G-Star’s Utility Pocket Puffer Jacket is a perfect example of the style.
We have the Caribou Inuit to thank for the invention of the parka — a waterproof jacket who’s hood is lined with fur for extra warmth.
You’ll find them in sizes from hip to knee length, and made from either natural or synthetic fibers. If you live in a particularly cold climate, adding a parka to your wardrobe is a real game-changer.
We love this option from Triple F.A.T. Goose!
9. Chore Coat
The modern chore coat developed out of the necessity of physical laborers for a lightweight but durable outer layer. Loose fitting and always outfitted with plenty of pockets, this workday standby can easily become a signature piece for your casual outfits.
Carhartt’s street cred runs deep, and their Chore Coat makes it easy to see why. We love the rugged construction that is complemented by a modern fit that can easily be dressed up.
10. Chesterfield Coat
The more formal cousin to the overcoat, Chesterfield coats were developed in 1800s England.
They’re characterized by heavy waist suppression with an aggressive waist seam, and can be found in single-breasted or double-breasted varieties. Uniqlo’s Wool Cashmere Chesterfield Coat is emblematic of the style.
11. Windproof Coat
Windproof coats were developed as a slimmer and more easily packable alternative to the puffer jacket. These coats are a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts and performance-minded commuters.
There are as many varieties of windproof coats as there are manufacturers of them, with the common feature being synthetic fibers developed specifically for wind blocking.
Kuhl’s Jetstream Jacket does an admirable job of blending high-tech performance with casual wearability that wouldn’t look out of place on a city street.
12. Rain Coat
Made with the purpose of keeping you dry no matter how heavy the rain might be, rain coats were originally crafted from waxed cotton canvas.
They’ll always feature large hoods and flaps over their zippers, effectively preventing any rain from reaching your base layers.
Though better known for their tiny backpacks, Fjallraven’s rain coats are pretty awesome. Their Greenland Winter Jacket is especially nice, and made from recycled polyester and organic cotton.
13. Car Coat
From the early era of automobile adoption comes the car coat. This coat is made for maximum warmth and cut to a length that’s perfect for sitting in your car.
Land’s End’s Wool Car Coat is an especially well-made example of the style, thanks to its final application of waterproofing and classic single-breasted style. If you’re in your vehicle a lot over the winter, a car coat should definitely become a staple in your wardrobe.
14. Sport Coat
The more casual relative of the blazer and formal coat. Sport coats come in a wide variety of materials, patterns, and colors and are meant to be worn without matching pants.
Dressed up or dressed down, sport coats are a versatile garment that’s become a favorite of professionals and artists alike.
Spier and Mackay’s collection of sport coats shows the range of styles that you’re likely to find in this wardrobe essential.
Similar to a suit jacket but cut more casually, the name “blazer” comes from the bright red cloth worn by members of the rowing club at St. John’s College in Cambridge.
As opposed to sport coats, true blazers are made only from solid-colored fabrics… although brands like Rowing Blazers have taken the traditional blazer into a more fashion-forward realm.
Blazers are perfect for outfits that fall between casual and dressy. They also are excellent for layering in the spring and fall, or when worn with an overcoat in the winter.
Perhaps no other men’s coat has become as ubiquitous in today’s world than the hoodie. A casualwear standby, you’ll find hoodies in every color and pattern imaginable. Choose from zip-up or pullover!
Plus, you’ll also be able to find a density of material to match any season outside of summer.
17. Bomber Jacket
Also known as a flight jacket, the bomber jacket was designed for Air Force pilots before being taken up by pop culture icons. Lightweight but warming, they’ll sometimes feature fur collars and are available in a wide range of cuts and fits.
Alpha Industries’ MA-1 Slim Fit Bomber Jacket is our preferred style for this coat, with a nylon outer and polyester inner that complement the drawn-in fit quite well.
18. Loden Coat
Halfway between a cloak and an overcoat, the Loden coat is named after the type of fabric used in its construction. Made of thick and rough wool, it’s a rugged and extra-warm coat that’s become especially popular in Northern Europe.
Robert W. Stolz is one of the oldest manufacturers of Loden coats. Their Tirol Traditional Overcoat is an absolute exemplar of the style.
19. Shearling Coat
Made from processed lambskin, shearling coats are naturally heavy and warm, sometimes with a soft fleece outer.
Full sheepskin coats can be harder to find today, but we think that leather jackets with sheepskin collars work just as well — like this Rancher Jacket from Schott NYC. Alternatively, look for sheepskin jackets in other styles, like this Bomber Jacket from Overland.
Parting Thoughts: Jackets For Every Style
After taking a look through all of those types of coats, which ones caught your eye the most?
We were amazed by the variety of the origins for each of these types of coats, and impressed by how many have been turned into stylish but functional pieces for everyday wear.