Overcoat / by Didier Young

December is upon us and that marks one thing: winter is here. The frozen season can be a source of many joys including hot chocolates for children of every age, mulled wine for children above the legal drinking age, sleigh rides in the snow and lots of shopping for the ones we love. Winter is also the harbinger of something else. It is the vehicle for snow storms and sub zero temperatures in Canada. While it might be lovely to look outside your window while you’re cozying up next to your fire place, stepping outside is a whole other story. Thankfully, the market abounds of nice coats to keep us warm.

During the milder months, men have the option of wearing varsity jackets that have been flooding the market lately. However when it drops down closer to 0C, it is time to take out the wool coats. Men traditionally have a few options when it comes to warm coats. The pea coat, popularized by the navy, with its double breasted button closure and a wide notched collar and lapel. Wool trench coats, created during World War I by Thomas Burberry, are also double breasted and belted at the waist. Duffle coats have a maritime feel to them with their iconic toggle closures called “walrus teeth” and usually come with a hood. More adequate for the colder environments, the Parka was conceived by the Caribou Inuit and used to be constructed of caribou skin. Nowadays they are often found down filled, with drawstrings to cinch at the waist and fur trimmed hoods. Last but not least, the overcoat is perhaps the most stylish one of them all, simple and reminiscent of a longer version of a suit jacket. In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about the latter.

The overcoat in question comes from Christophe Lemaire’s eponymous clothing line, launched after the designer decided to leave Hermès in 2014. Later on, Lemaire also added the role of Artistic Director of UNIQLO to his growing resumé. Obviously, I am a huge fan of the man’s works: his beautiful minimalistic pieces never fail to move gracefully and Lemaire has the gift of taking staple items in a man’s and woman’s closet and elevating it to the ranks of high fashion. The shawl collar on this overcoat gives it an additional dimension and is a nice change from the classic lapels that could usually be found on such a garment. On top of my usual turtleneck and chino combo, the length and proportions of the coat truly help create a look that is simultaneous safe and daring for me.

 

Long coats have an undeniable practicality to them: they keep you warm and they do cover a bigger percentage of your body than most coats. Above all, long coats have an air of mystery and elegance to them which always make me feel like a movie star. Or perhaps like Queen Elizabeth strolling through the gardens of Buckingham palace with her pet corgis. One kind of royalty or the other.

-Didier

 

Coat: Lemaire/ Turtleneck: UNIQLO/ Pants and scarf: COS/ Clutch: Givenchy/ Boots: Dr. Martens/ Gloves: Quill & Tine