How to Wear a Mac this Season: Outfits for Men

More versatile than you think?

I love my mac. It’s the perfect item to bring an outfit up a notch without being quite as intense as a trench coat. Macs also look quite different to most other types of coats, meaning you’ll stand out when you wear one pretty much wherever you go.

My current mac is slightly longer than average and in a nice shade of charcoal grey. It’s a jacket that goes with much of my wardrobe, although it does result in a darker overall outfit that if I’d gone for a more versatile shade like beige.

What is a Mac Coat?

When searching online for a mac you’ll likely see lots of similar items called macs and trench coats. Some stores (Zara), even appear to use the “trench coat” for all of these long, water-resistant overcoats. For the sake of this article, a mac is a single-breasted waterproof coat that finishes below the waist with minimal embellishments.

It’s light, waterproof material makes it the perfect style to wear in spring and fall—seasons when you need a little extra warmth without the heat of a coat.

What to Look For in a Mac?

One of the great things about macs is that they are a timeless style. Buy one this season and you know it’s going to last you a long time. Having said that there are a couple of things you can look for to get an up-to-date version. I like the trend for long, oversized versions that finish below the knee. Although, be aware that this look can shorten your profile so a shorter one can be more flattering.

You can also look for a mac with patterns like checks. These are sure to make you stand, although depending on the type of pattern you go for, it may be less versatile. Monochrome patterns is a style feature I love at the moment.

Other nice features you can look out for includes buttons and linings that contrast with the color of the coat, as well as straps on the wrist. Some come with a hood. Personally, that’s not my favorite style but it has obvious practical benefits and if you find one you like by all means go ahead.

The type of material you buy is the final consideration. Macs come in everything from from super-thin styles that you can throw over anything, to ones that are more padded and suited for wear at the business-end of fall and into winter. Your preference will likely depend on the climate where you live as well what’s already in your closet.

Here is a look at some of my favorite ways to wear a mac.

Mac Outfits For Men

Office Casual With Shoes and Pants

Mac coat with shirt and pants

If a full suit is too much, then throwing mac on over a shirt and pants next time you head into the office. Wear it with a tie for a more refined version of the style, or without to add a bit of edge to your outfit. A classic beige trench will go with pretty much any combination of suits and pants, although navy and grey will do just as well in most cases. Consider folding the cuffs of your shirt over the bottom of the mac as an interesting detail.

Over Chinos and an Oxford Shirt

Mac coat with chinos and oxford shirt

Now we’re starting to hit some more casual looks. Wearing a mac with chinos is a look that will easily take you from the office to the bar. Pair with leather boots or shoes for a smart look, or some minimalist sneakers or canvas shoes to keep things casual.

Layered Over a Denim Jacket

Mac coat with Denim Jacket Jeans

Wearing a mac over a denim jacket (or really, any kind of jacket) is a good way to get a unique style. And when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Macs were originally designed to be worn over your outfit to protect it from getting wet. While we think of this as meaning wearing over a suit, there’s no reason why you couldn’t but it over a denim jacket. As for how to do it, I personally like pairing it with darker color jackets, rather than blue or faded ones.

With a Sweater and Chelsea Boots

Mac coat with Chelsea Boots and Sweater

This is a classic look you wear anywhere. Choose a mac in a traditional color like beige, grey, or navy and wear it over a sweater, dark jeans, and boots (I love Chelseas). Look for angular boots for on trend differentiator, or even Cuban style boots with a higher heel. This mac outfit is a sharp look that suits a wide variety of situation; from more casual offices to nights at the bar.

Over a Suit

This is the classic mac outfit for men, and how most people would have worn them when they were first designed. Just choose one in a complementary color to your suit and throw it on when the temperature drops or it starts raining during your commute. Bring an umbrella for that stereotypcial London look.

With Sweatpants (No Seriously)

Mac coat with Sweatpants

I wasn’t too sure about this look either, but then I saw the below image from Zara and realized it had potential. What makes the outfit work is the colors—navy, and grey always looks good, and the quality of the sweatpants and hoody. I wouldn’t recommend wearing the outfit with some old, worn sweatpants that don’t keep their shape. While it’s not an outfit I’m going to wear too often, it’s good to know that if (for example) head to gym after the office I can throw on my mac over my sweatpants rather than changing back into more formal clothes.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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