One subject we’ve yet to cover on Guy Style Guide is an old autumnal favourite, the duffle coat. Originating from France, this elegant piece of outerwear is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxed, informal look. But how do you avoid the trap of looking like an overgrown five year old on a trip out to the park, and how can you pull off the look without appearing to be a counter-culture hipster? Read on to find the secrets behind pulling off this coat…
Firstly, don’t oversize. Although you should always be going for a snug fit that skims your silhouette anyway, take extra special care to avoid any unnecessary puffiness, especially around the hood; you don’t want the coat to dwarf you, so spend some time ensuring you don’t fall into that classic trap of ‘bulky fabric’ zones.
In a similar vein, make sure it’s not too long – if there’s one thing guaranteed to make you look engulfed it’s a duffle that extends down past the knees; keep it in the golden zone around the thighs (between hip and knee).
Secondly, find modern, masculine cuts – don’t go for the traditional coat style as you’re more likely to find this garment on the back of school child than a “happening man-about-town”. Err on the side of caution if the label states it’s a ‘classic’ fit or finish.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to go lighter! Nothing feels more comforting than a big, chunky overcoat during the winter months; but those heavy weaves are going to suffocate you if you aren’t careful. Consider a blend, ‘tech’ wools and innovative knits to keep you feeling fresh, but warm.
Top Tip: Don’t forget, cashmere is lighter and more effective than wool at keeping you toasty.
A Few Suggestions
If you’re still having a few problems visualising your new duffle coat, take a look at the following examples to give you a better idea of what’s out there: