It is that time of year again. Whether you are braving the knife sharp winds of the Great Lakes, digging your way out of the eight feet of snow in the Midwest, or trying not to drown in the off season rains in the Pacific Northwest, jackets and coats are a part of your everyday life. Keep in mind, if you are living in San Diego or Miami, we all share in a collective sticking out of our tongues.

Just like every category of menswear, there are many different types, styles, and functions of men’s outerwear. For some guys, just getting dressed is a confusing enough proposition, much less adding another layer on the outside that finishes off the look.  Having said that, nothing ruins a suit, or a carefully planned outfit, like a Northface Puffer Jacket.

Each style of jacket has a specific use, and if I can use some industry jargon, “design intent.” Here are the basics, and the best colors and times to use them. You can have one, or all, just remember, unless you are climbing a mountain or shoveling off your driveway, the puffer jacket can cramp your style worse than anything else.


The Chesterfield

There are, once again, a long list of coats that can be worn with a suit, or more professional dress scenario. Top coats, overcoats, car coats, pea coats, whatever route you intend to go, the purpose is to keep the look elevated while covering up your dressed up image. The Chesterfield is the most basic, the most traditional, and the most versatile.

Make sure it is of a heavy wool, not just for warmth, although that certainly is the point, but also because heavier fabrics last longer and you don’t want to have to continue buying these. The color of this coat should be in the greys. Either the darker charcoal as pictured, or the lighter hues, all of them will go with any color you wear underneath from black to brown.

Flash it up- It may seem hard to make a coat look trendy, but it is one of the areas where the point is accessories. Wear a scarf that brings some color, or a matching hat and gloves made of a genuine leather for a sophisticated look.