Coats & Jackets
Coats and jackets are often considered a wardrobe staple. They are necessary for both men and women and are available in many styles, sizes, cuts, lengths, and colors. They come in wool coat to keep you warm on cold days or stylish raincoats to keep you dry on rainy days. They can be tailored or oversized, short or long. Perhaps a favorite among us all is the camel coat.
A man’s jacket is cut straight with no waist or shaping at the hips. It should always have two or more buttons and a unisex look that will work as well with skirts as with trousers. Jacket hems can be worn traditionally just below the hips (giving an elegant elongated line) or riding up towards the natural waist (giving a very modern look).
There are two basic ways to wear a coat, depending on your mood and the occasion. One is to button it high and belt it if you want an elegant touch. Another way is to push the sleeves up in order to show off a turtleneck or top. The latter option can be done with either long or short sleeves, while few men wear their coats completely unbuttoned except perhaps at home.
A woman’s jacket has shaping built into it for the hips and chest so that it appears flattering on many body types. It is normally longer than a man’s jacket (at least mid to upper thigh length) and will have varying amounts of detailing around the lapels, pockets, and hems. Depending on the size of the lapels, a woman’s jacket can be one or two buttoned. The most elegant option is to wear a single-breasted jacket without a belt, while double-breasted jackets are generally worn belted (or closed).
Jacket length for women is less flexible than that of men; instead of riding up above the hips like men’s jackets do, they should stop at about mid hip when standing straight up with your arms by your sides. A man’s suit jacket may ride up over his hips if it is short enough; however this look is not considered as flattering for women. Instead it makes you appear wider in the hips and bottom area because there is so little material covering and concealing your torso.
The most common types of jackets are the sport jacket, blazer jacket, mackintosh (also known as a raincoat), overcoat, trench coat, and bolero jacket. The blazer style is often used in business attire but can also be found being worn casually with jeans or leggings by women who like the more masculine lines of this style. It can be one buttoned or two buttoned depending on how it is designed. There isn’t a rule about whether to wear a belt with this style since so many different versions exist. You aren’t likely to see a double breasted blazer unless you belong in an upscale country club setting or if you want to look extremely sharp at a fine dining restaurant.
A raincoat is usually made with waterproof fabric and often has an interior lining that helps to keep you warm even if the rain comes down in buckets. It isn’t considered formal attire for either men or women, but it can be worn on any occasion that calls for keeping dry from precipitation whether it’s drizzling or pouring heavy rain outside. You may need an umbrella as well but this works better than a coat when you have to walk anywhere because some moisture will inevitably get through anyway.
An overcoat is similar to both a blazer and raincoat, except that it is designed for warmth rather than protection from precipitation. This means that they are sized larger so as to fit over heavier clothes such as sweaters, cardigans, and even a heavy winter coat. They are normally single-breasted with closures of either buttons or zippers so as to make it easier to get on and off.
A trench coat is also made for warmth but in an elegant way that will still make you look professional in business settings. This style was popularized by the British during World War I because they needed coats that would keep them dry while they fought in their trenches. The classic design had a belt around the waist which helped soldiers keep the material from blowing up into their faces while also preventing water from seeping through at the cuffs (where water would eventually freeze after being exposed to cold weather). Because this style has been worn for generations now, it is accepted as business attire and can be worn to work rather than in casual settings.
The bolero jacket, sometimes called a shrug, is a sleeveless garment that offers almost as much warmth as an overcoat but less coverage around the shoulders (since it doesn’t close all the way at the front like a regular coat). It isn’t used for very formal occasions, but it’s considered business attire and is often seen on women who are wearing dresses with thin straps because it helps to keep them from falling off your shoulders.
The final type of jacket that I will talk about here is the sport coat. This style usually has patch pockets on its lower half so as to add some flare while also keeping from being too formal. It is cut slightly shorter than a blazer jacket and can be worn with either pants or a skirt depending on what you are wearing it for. If you have something formal to wear such as more elegant jewelry, then this will show off your outfit without making the jacket stand out by being too flashy. Sport coats are also perfect for casual settings when you want to go with khakis rather than jeans or in situations where both men and women wear dress slacks instead of jeans or shorts; the sport coat will help to differentiate between men’s and women’s clothing while also being acceptable attire for both genders.
A sport vest is a layer that goes over your shirt and under your outer garment (the one which covers most of your body). This can be a blazer, overcoat, or even another layer that goes under your sport coat. A vest usually has several pockets to hold things such as pens and cell phones so they aren’t interfering with the lines of your business outfit. There is also an interior pocket where you can keep valuables safe while walking around in public places.
And lastly, here are some other types of outerwear which either don’t fit into any particular category or are very unique. They may not be appropriate for all situations but once in awhile they can make you look like a million bucks when you wear them on special occasions:
A cape is the same length as a jacket (or longer) but it isn’t necessarily designed to close in the front. They are most commonly found in superhero movies but they have also been worn by famous people as a way to make their outfits look more interesting while still being within some type of dress code. Think of capes as a layer that hangs over your outfit instead of hiding underneath it like a blanket or a jacket does.
A blouson is similar to an overcoat except that it has slits on each side so that you can leave one arm out without letting cold air through to your skin. This style can be worn with both casual and formal outfits because it looks great while offering simple protection from moisture and cold temperatures. It isn’t considered professional attire, though, so you probably won’t see anyone wearing this unless they are in a creative field such as music or fashion.
And last but not least for this section, I will talk about vests which are the name given to any piece of clothing that fits underneath your shirt (and can either be worn by itself to keep warm or be removed and placed inside your coat) and helps to hold up your pants. There is also a type of vest that goes over your shirt, usually made out of leather or fur so that it provides extra warmth around the neck region while you are outside in winter weather, but those aren’t seen very often today unless they are being worn by someone who is trying to dress like an old renaissance man from centuries ago. Many people will wear these whenever they go hiking during the summertime to help prevent them from getting heat stroke and to keep bugs off their arms while they are walking along in the woods.
The other types of vests provide more warmth as well as some extra pockets for things like cell phones, keys, or pens so you can fill your pockets without dropping anything on the ground or having it being a distraction by moving around under your clothes. There is also a small interior pocket where you can store valuables such as wallets or credit cards so that if someone breaks into your car or runs up behind you, they won’t be able to grab these items out of your vest easily. These are cheap yet practical additions to any type of outfit (even those worn at home) because they make dressing easier and help you to remain more organized.
To finish this clothing article off, I will give an example of what someone would look like if they wore every single type of outerwear mentioned in this guide on top of a white dress shirt and black dress pants.
The man pictured below is wearing work boots with jeans, a leather jacket, a blouson style raincoat that comes down to his knee caps, a long wool scarf (which goes over his shoulders), a sport vest made out of red leather which holds up his blue pinstriped shirt underneath, and he even has on gloves:
As you can see from this photo alone, there are many layers involved in properly dressing yourself for any occasion these days so it isn’t as easy as it used to be.