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Cold Weather Jacket/Coat with semi-formal attire?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi all.
What do you'll wear or recommend as appropriate cold weather protection over semi-formal attire (chinos and a jacket/trousers and a jacket, not necessarily a suit, but with that too..)?

For seriously cold weather (read : Duluth), I only have a vintage A2 Leather bomber that seems inappropriate at the best of times and is begging to be retired!
Was looking at something like the Barbour Bedley..or similar.

Any and all advice will be much appreciated.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap10046 View Post

Hi all.
What do you'll wear or recommend as appropriate cold weather protection over semi-formal attire (chinos and a jacket/trousers and a jacket, not necessarily a suit, but with that too..)?

For seriously cold weather (read : Duluth), I only have a vintage A2 Leather bomber that seems inappropriate at the best of times and is begging to be retired!
Was looking at something like the Barbour Bedley..or similar.

Any and all advice will be much appreciated.

Get a good overcoat, a real one. Knee- or calf-length is best, you'll want your legs covered in the tundra by Lake Superior.

 

You can get overcoats with removable down linings, but I've made it through plenty of subzero weeks without a down lining just by layering well.

 

Heavy wool sweater over dress shirt, tweed jacket over sweater, wool overcoat over tweed jacket, scarf, and lined leather gloves is a combination that has served me well in the frigid north. Layering like this also comes in handy when you get indoors and have to face 85-degree central heating, since you can easily shed layers. 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.
I am trying to avoid anything past thigh length.
I believe I have a rather short lower body and an overcoat/topcoat makes me look like a Dalek!
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap10046 View Post

Thanks for the reply.
I am trying to avoid anything past thigh length.
I believe I have a rather short lower body and an overcoat/topcoat makes me look like a Dalek!

A thigh-length overcoat will work OK, too. There's really no other good option of appropriate formality, although any shits that were given about this at "normal" winter temperatures-- and in Minnesota that's not many-- pretty much go out the window around 7F.

 

Also, I know it wasn't really your question, but I'd strongly recommend a tweed sportcoat if you don't already have one. It works well for the transitional seasons (not just fall, but also those wonderful 4-6 weeks starting in late October where it's just east coast winter weather), can be dressed down, and layers very well. Tweed wears very, very warm.

post #5 of 12
You could get a peacoat. It's like the most appropriate item in the world for nearly everything.

For a suit though, I'd personally wear an overcoat.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a Corneliani tweed jacket already.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap10046 View Post

What do you'll wear or recommend as appropriate cold weather protection over semi-formal attire (chinos and a jacket/trousers and a jacket, not necessarily a suit, but with that too..)?
Not directly addressing the question, but if it's truly cold I don't think chinos are the best choice. (Never mind that it's a bit of a stretch to call chinos semi-formal attire.) Particularly given your reluctance to wear a coat which will protect your legs.

Yeah, I know that there are lined chinos. And no, I'm not one of those people who maintains that chinos are strictly for warm weather. But even so...
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
LOL. I agree with the chino bit...though I have fairly decent base layers-top and bottom
post #9 of 12

I might consider a good merino wool base layer or even silk. Both add a degree of warm beyond their thickness making it easier to maintain fit of shirts and suits. Likewise, cashmere sweaters provide great insulation without the bulkiness of other sweaters. The silk or merino base layer will help regulate your temperature once inside as well. You can wear either on consecutive days with no fear of oder vs poly base layers which develop an oder after 1-2 wears. SmartWool  and Ice Breaker for merino (among many others with house brands these days), Land's End for silk, less expensive cashmere can be thrifted fairly easily and bought at discount from various markdown retailers. 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Good to know.
post #11 of 12
It's all about the layering live previously mentioned. Are you out walking or pretty much car to office? In NYC where you're outside most of the time, good coats are key. My late fall/winter rotation includes a peacoat, 3/4, knee, and full length wool coats. I also have one of those thin Barbour insulated vest (I think I got it at J. Crew many years ago) that I can fit under my suit jacket. I also tweed 3 piece suits during bad days.

Although my legs don't typically get cold (I wear shorts while running unless is <40) heavier pants should be considered if you spend time outside.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuitedDx View Post

Although my legs don't typically get cold (I wear shorts while running unless is <40) heavier pants should be considered if you spend time outside.
I wear shorts when running in chilly weather, too. But the very act of running tends to keep me warm. If I were... I don't know, maybe standing at a bus stop in Duluth, MN, on a cold winter day... I probably wouldn't be comfortable in shorts. More likely, I'd want to be wearing full-length pants. And something closer to corduroy than to linen, at that.

And as for layering, it tends to lend itself more to the upper body, than to the legs. (Yeah, there's long underwear and full-length coats, but I still maintain that layering is generally a more practical upper-body solution, than it is a lower-body one.)

In practice, I could often get by with much the same weight clothing in the depths of winter, as in the dog days of summer. Since it's pretty uncommon that I have to spend a lot of time outdoors on a workday, my car has a good heater, and most places seem to be heated such that they're even a couple of degrees warmer in January, than they are in July. Still, these practical matters aside, you won't find me wearing seersucker in winter, or winter-weight flannel in summer. Because that's simply not how things are done. (Many norms of behavior, dress, speech, etc., after all, have little to do with modern day practicality.)
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