Coats are the undisputed champion of winter fashion. At a time of year when you need to wrap up, your coat is the piece that you can use to show off your style credentials. Every year we see different types of coats having their moment on the sun (well, perhaps not the sun), and this year is no different.
My favorite coat style is definitely a long wool one. I love how they go with pretty much everything and are a great way to make a statement while staying warm. Occasionally, wearing one can feel a bit much though, so I have a trusty puffer coat that I pull out when I need it.
This year I’m keen on adding a parka to my collection as I think it sits in a nice position between the casual puffer and the more formal wool coat. Of course, I’ll be going baggy and long if I do. I also love peacoats, but their similarity to my wool coat means I might have to save that for another year.
12 Types of Coats for Men
A wool coat is a winter classic. Pushing the smarter of the spectrum these coats keep you warm and smart. This coat style looks equally as good over a suit and dress shoes as they do when paired with jeans and boots. Get an on-trend style by looking for oversized versions that fit big and long. Checks and patterns will help you stand out even more. Or, buy a standard fitting wool coat in a classic color like navy, camel, grey, or black for a piece that will always be in style.
Wear it with: Wool coats tend to be on the smarter end of the spectrum. Wear it with anything from smart jeans and a sweater to a full suit. I personally don’t like wearing mine with sneakers, as I think they look too casual.
Puffer coats have two things going for them. On one hand, they are super practical—they’re thick, warm, and wide enough to go over multiple layers on those days when it’s extra cold. On the other hand, they’re having a style renaissance which means it’s easy to create a stylish look while wearing one.
What to wear it with: Puffer coats are pretty casual so go best with items like jeans, chinos, and sneakers. Having said that, these are the warmest coats you’ll get so if it’s cold no one will bat an eyelid if you wear it with something smarter. For more on how to wear your puffer jacket, check out this article.
A trench coat is a classic type of coat with plenty of modern versions. The classic trench coat is a double-breasted coat in beige. It will also have details such as belts, wrist straps, epaulets, and pockets. Nowadays there are a milion different versions you could choose from. The material of a trench coat isn’t the warmest of all the types of coat on this list, so if things get really chilly where you live you may want to either go for another option or buy two coats.
What to wear it with: Trench coats look great with more formal outfits, but they also do business with casual weekend outfits. This article has more ideas for styling trench coats.
Down coats are essential wear if you live in places where the winter gets really cold. That doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish while wearing one, though, and this type of coat has been hugely popular over the past couple of years. A basic version in colors like green, navy, or grey is a muted ways to stay warm. It’s not hard to find far more out-there versions of the style, though. A major consideration with these jackets is length, and you can buy ones that finish everywhere form your waist to your ankles.
What to wear it with: Down coats tend to be quite casual so wear it appropriately. Some styles, like the one in the picture, go well with smarter fits.
The 90s resurgence means parkas are once again having a moment in the spotlight. And it’s no surprise: these are warm coats that look great. Popular parkas this year are minimalist and slightly longer than waist length.
What to wear them with: Parkas also super versatile. They look great with jeans and casual fits. But you can even wear one over a suit—this is how the mods wore them when they adopted the style in the 50s.
A peacoat is a type of double-breasted waist-length wool coat. Like other wool coats, they are also warm. Plus they have the added advantage of big collars that you can pull up to cover your neck and keep the precious heat in. Pea coats are a timeless style when bought in classic colors. Choose one with a bit of room so you can layer it with jumpers, shirts, and scarves.
What to wear them with: Pea coats are super-versatile and you can easily dress them up or down. Jeans, chinos, slacks, sweaters, and shirts are all fair game.
Made famous by Paddington bear, a duffle coat is a type of coat made from… well, duffle—a type of heavy wool that originated in Belgium. The classic variation is recognizable due to the unique toggle system used for fastening. These coats are more casual than other wool coats but are a great way to get across a laid back, student vibe.
What to wear them with: I think duffle coats look especially good with a pair of casual boots, dark jeans, and a thick wool scarf.
Macintosh (Rain Coat)
A Macintosh (not the computer) is a type of lightweight overcoat. They are perfect for wearing in fall and spring when you need something to keep out the cold but can’t justify a thicker style. Macs are more formal than many types of jackets worn at this time of year. A classic mac finishes somewhere between the waist and the knee and comes in camel, navy, or grey. Like most items at the moment, modern versions are oversized and finish at the knee (or lower). Perhaps the best thing about macs is that they are waterproof. Although, you’ll probably want to keep an umbrella handy if you think it’s going to rain as they don’t typically have hoods.
What to wear them with: When you think of macs, you probably think of people wearing them over suits. But they also go with smart casual items—pretty similar to a trench coat, really. Here are some more ideas for wearing macs.
Shearling coats are those made from lambskin. They are typically beige or brown and have a super thick wool interior. This often becomes a design feature around the collar too. These coats are thick and the wool embellishments mean you’ll definitely stand out when you wear one, making them a real fashion power move. Of course, they’re also super warm making them a practical as well as stylish choice.
What to wear them with: Jeans and a thick sweater is the probably the classic shearling coat look. Go for neutral, earthy tones to compliment the color of the jacket.
Leather jackets are a menswear staple, but you have to be brave to dare to wear a leather coat. Get it wrong and you’ll risk looking like an extra out of the matrix. If you can pull the style off you’ll have a look that you know not many others out there will be wearing. The classic leather coat style is a trench coat and it’s an item that is getting more exposure in f/w collections over the last year or so. The biggest downside is probably the price—all that leather doesn’t come cheap.
What to wear them with: We’ve got plenty of tips for wearing a leather jacket. But a coat is a different story. One option is to go intentionally gothic with black pants, a sweater, and boots. This outfit from Dolce and Gabanna is probably the best attempt at a regular fit in a leather coat I’ve seen.
An overcoat is a type of long coat designed to be worn over your other clothes. Ok, that describes pretty much any type of coat. An overcoat specifically usually falls at least below the waist and often around or below your knees. It will often have some kind of collar and be made from natural materials like wool or tweed as opposed to synthetic materials.
What to wear it with: An overcoat was traditionally worn over a suit but nowadays it can be worn over almost anything. The image above shows a great casual example.
Technical coats are the longer cousin of technical jackets. These items come with all the technology you need to stay dry and warm in winter, without the bulk of a puffer, wool, or shearling coat. The practicality doesn’t mean they aren’t stylish, though. Look for one in block patterns and bright colors if you want a super up-to-date version of the style.
What to wear them with: These are pretty casual and practical. Depending on the jacket you buy, you could wear anything from baggy jeans and a hoody to a smart casual office outfit.
This article was originally published in October 2020 but has been updated with new coats and more in-depth styling advice.