CULT ITEM: OVERCOAT
By Will Morley, 24 November 2016
From OG dandy Lord Byron's Chesterfield, to the covert coat traditionally worn by horse riders (and later, Jason Statham in Snatch),the contemporary wool overcoat has been influenced by earlier cuts to become a true cult classic. Here are our current favourite styles.
Kanye West has been papped in an array of drool-inducing overcoats over the past few years but none have bettered this denim-complementing, camel-coloured number. It takes its influence from a polo coat (used to keep polo players warm between periods of play) with a longer, wider cut that makes it easier to shrug on and off. Which is handy, because as soon as the ladies see you in one, it’s getting torn off pretty sharpish.
Perhaps the most infamous wool coat in all pop culture comes courtesy of Richard E Grant as riotous drunk Withnail in Withnail & I. Its obvious influence is the Ulster coat (originally an informal coat of the Victorian era, worn by outdoor workers) with its generous cut, tweed material and ankle length. Withnail’s may be a bit too outrageous for flouncing into Wetherspoons, but clock the subtle plaid pattern and how it adds a little visual depth. Don’t be afraid to move away from navy and black when deciding on your own version.
When we think of a wool overcoat, it’s the shape of the Chesterfield that immediately springs to mind. The great-granddaddy of them all, the cut and detailing has remained constant for hundreds of years – generally single-breasted with a notch lapel. But as we can see from David Beckham’s Chesterfield steez, a touch of modernity never hurts: throwing one over a T-shirt rather than a button-down brings the relaxed vibes, while battered Chelsea boots add a rock'n'roll edge.
While Bradley Cooper’s coat has the contrast collar usually associated with the covert coat, it’s the double-breasted front taken from the French military jacket – or paletot – that really stands out. The snug shoulders and fitted arms add a touch of class, while the knee length provides the perfect amount of coverage against the winter chill.