Winter coats


I have a confession to make. As I was sitting at my laptop, thinking about how much pesky Christmas shopping I had to cram in this week, I entertained the idea of some serious self-plagiarism. Now as plagiarism goes, copying yourself is not the worst. So I checked back to see when I last wrote about winter coats. It was more than two years ago. I could hardly remember it. Would anyone else? I don’t think my words tend to have a lasting impact on people. Consequently I came very close indeed to doing a wholesale facsimile of that article. But I stopped myself. Why? Because I have too much respect for you.

So this is a brand-new column about coats. Promise. Now, it is clearly cold out. On average, five people a day tell me how cold it is (“Sooo cold”). Maybe I look like someone who doesn’t notice the cold, or has such high-functioning homeostatic systems that I literally don’t feel it. That is not the case. Therefore I have been looking at my coat options very carefully. As I referenced two years ago (guys?), I have far too many. And I’m looking to streamline. I’m finally starting to realise that a few well-chosen items are better than a plethora of middling ones. Conclusion: I need just three warm coats.

1) The Outside-All-Bloody-Day Coat

This needs to be like a great big body oven. In fact I find it weird that no outerwear labels are using that as a tagline. I draw the line at a knee-length puffa jacket, but the down-filled parka gets the job done while looking quite respectable. Although, given its bulk, if you have skinny pins and/or are wearing narrow jeans or trousers, you will look like an egg on legs. That’s fair warning.

2) The Off-To-A-Smart-Do Coat

In all likelihood I’m going to be wearing this one over a suit. A trench coat will not be providing the requisite warmth – even if you keep that detachable lining in. A woollen overcoat (clue’s in the name) is the answer. You can’t go wrong with a charcoal-grey one. That will look good over any colour. Add a faux-fur collar if you like and it will give you the air of a man who would poison someone in a hotel bar. That’s not for everyone, but I like it.

3) The Casual-On-Off-On Coat

This is your everyday coat. My old staple has always been a Barbour. You know where you are in a Barbour. I realise that wearing one in a city is slightly akin to driving your snotty kids around Mayfair in a Land Rover, but I don’t care. They’re great coats. Recently I’ve also acquired a brilliant bomber jacket – only problem is, my rear gets a bit cold (I should stop wearing it with bottomless chaps, I know).