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Long or short overcoat?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about an overcoat for next winter. I'll be in a suit every day. It's a conservative atmosphere. Though I'm still relatively young (30ish), I lean toward modern traditional.

Given the limited info above, what overcoat would you go for and why? I have my eye on the two Oxxfords below. Thoughts? Feel free to provide other recommendations!


Length - 48"
24g1xs5.jpg


Length - 38"
bi04m9.jpg
Edited by mech IFR - 3/29/12 at 8:35pm
post #2 of 22
I personally wear one that is a little shorter than mid thigh that I wear with a suit and looks great so I would lean towards the shorter one for sure
post #3 of 22
Every awesome coat I have seen has split the knee.

507

I'm looking at a camel single breasted in the thrift right now that fits me almost this well (the sleeves, always the sleeves), supressed waist and all. The only reason I can't pull the trigger, it's Maui, coming on to spring.
post #4 of 22
You mention the coat measurements but what matters is how it fits you. Depending on height and proportions those measurements will sit differently on you.

If you're short you likely want to avoid full length (mid shin). If you're worried about a stuffy work place you likely want to avoid the really short ones out there today that barely cover your butt.

The usual answer put the thing on with what you'll be wearing underneath it and look in the mirror.
post #5 of 22
If you're short don't get the long one. Actually, just don't get the long one unless you're over 6'2".
post #6 of 22
Short. I'd say it should come to just above your knee.
post #7 of 22
Depends on what you want the coat for. Do you want it primarily to keep all of you warm and make you look tall and elegant while walking around the city? Then get an overcoat (e.g., a Chesterfield, polo coat, or a British warm): i.e, one that hits visibly below the knee. Do you want it primarily to keep your upper body warm while doing a lot of getting in and out of cars? Then get a car coat: one that hits above the knee. Do you want it for keeping warm while taking walks in the country? Then get a covert coat: one that hits at the knee.

Search the clothing fora for details on all three types of outercoats.

Cons of an overcoat: Not the most comfortable for riding in cars. The traditional ones (mid-calf or below) hit stair risers: not great for subways.
Cons of a car coat: Makes you look short, can make you look boxy.
Cons of a covert coat: Unless you're walking in the country, it's a compromise.

If I could only get one coat for cold weather, it would probably be a covert coat with 17 oz fabric.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by porcelain monkey View Post

Short. I'd say it should come to just above your knee.


This one.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

excellent advice

This is a great post, thank you.

I'm 6'2", 190lbs. The coat would be used primarily for walking to/from work during NYC winters. Will likely get some subway use. It will almost always be worn over a suit.

Should frequent subway and occasional taxi use prevent the purchase of a longer coat?
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mech IFR View Post

This is a great post, thank you.
I'm 6'2", 190lbs. The coat would be used primarily for walking to/from work during NYC winters. Will likely get some subway use. It will almost always be worn over a suit.
Should frequent subway and occasional taxi use prevent the purchase of a longer coat?

I'd say no, it shouldn't, so long as the coat hits above mid-calf. Three inches below the bottom of the knee is a good length for an elegant city walking coat.

If you were going bespoke, a dark brown herringbone tweed fabric would make it very wearable for the suburbs, the country, or casual wear, in addition to city walking:
http://thelondonlounge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=8406&hilit=useful+DB&sid=0b5a17bbd646becc05658a7e6b7d72d8#p38081

That one looks like it hits about an inch or two below the knee. I wish I had one like that (mine is a navy Chesterfield in melton, two inches below the knee).
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

If you were going bespoke, a dark brown herringbone tweed fabric would make it very wearable for the suburbs, the country, or casual wear, in addition to city walking.

Any issue with going dark navy? It's not a fashion faux pas to mix/match coat and suit colors? What about a dark charcoal?
post #12 of 22

I personally find a really noticeable difference in warmth between two coats of approximately the same weight but differing length. If warmth matters to you, get one that hits at just above mid-calf and no shorter.

 

Also, and this may again just be me, but I really dislike double-breasted overcoats that are short. SB ones can still look good if shorter; DB ones tend to look overly truncated when they're short. The one Poindexter posted upthread just about manages to remain proportionate-looking only because it buttons so high up the throat; many DB overcoats do not do this, so short lengths don't work as well on them. Unless you're talking car coat degree of short, which is a whole other ball game.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

I personally find a really noticeable difference in warmth between two coats of approximately the same weight but differing length. If warmth matters to you, get one that hits at just above mid-calf and no shorter.
I strongly agree here - in really cold or wet weather, the outer coat should cover the knees.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast 
...car coat degree of short...is a whole other ball game.
Indeed!
post #14 of 22
This whole thread is a head scratcher because it's mostly a collection of personal preferences. In my office we all wear suits. The 60ysomethings wear those massive Lauren Ralph Lauren robe-looking overcoats that nearly touch their ankles and were purchased at Macy's in 1998. The 20somethings laugh at them. The 20 somethings all wear peacoats. The 60somethings laugh at them. I wear a a model similar the short version above that hits right at the top of my knees (I have long legs). Neither 20s nor 60s really know what to think of it.

OP, you need to try both and go with what you like. Read more into the comments about warmth and functionality and less into the "everyone should wear XYZ coat because I said so." A shorter coat will expose your legs and if you're wearing a 4season suit you may be cold depending on how long you're outside. A longer coat can swamp you if you choose too big of a size.
post #15 of 22
I'm young - 20s, and I prefer a longer coat. I hate the cold, and the longer ones keep you warmer. Go a couple inches below the knee - no below mid-calf for sure.
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