Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by housemaidsknee, Sep 16, 2004.
something like this is it too formal for businesswear in winter because it is black?
You should let us know where you are.
In other words, no, it's not too formal for Manhattan. And given that it's Polo, you probably live in the U.S.
In my opinion, it's not too formal anywhere if it's a second or third coat. As you know, black is always appropriate at night.
If it's to be your principal dress coat, you'd be a little more flexible if you could locate an equally well priced coat in gray. But I wouldn't let that stop me from buying it if I lived in a dressier urban area like Chicago.
I don't think so... what part of the country are you in? It would be perfect for the east coast... perhaps in SF it would be pushing it, but even then, I would still wear it. In LA (not that you would need such a heavy coat) it might get a second glance.
It's not too dressy if you pair it with a dressy dark suit, pinstripe or solid. It doesn't have texture, so I'd hesitate to wear it with, say, a less formal suit (gray flannel) or a sport jacket with flannels or twill. I personally don't like a single breasted dress button-through topcoat (prefer double-breasted or fly front). My main concern is durability of fabric (I had a bad experience some years ago with a Zegna cashmere and wool topcoat that pilled up quickly).
A nice looking coat. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
I have a black Armani Classico coat in a similar style - probably a bit slimmer cut - that I almost never wear, except with a black suit, because a grey, more traditional topcoat seems to look better with just about everything.
On the East Coast at least, a black topcoat is extremely common. There are more black ones worn on a typical January day here in DC than navy or dark gray ones (or camel ones, for that matter). I've got a blue one and a black one, and frankly I don't think of one as more formal than the other, at least for day-to-day wear.
It's funny this post cropped up today.
I've been considering buying a new topcoat since last winter, when I inadvertently left one I had from Banana Republic - black, single breasted button through - somewhere (I suppose it could have been snatched)... You know how it is with coat checks and formal events and Bombay Sapphire.
Anyway, I wore that one all the time. BR doesn't have genuine sizing, but their M fit very well, and I wore it often, with suits or with jeans and black boots or shoes. I dug it; the urban "I wear a suit on weekdays" look, even though I didn't, really. I'm guessing some folks would disapprove of this as contrived or inappropriate, but hey, I thought it was sophistamicated. It also earned some compliments from the ladies.
Yesterday I was at a Nordstrom Rack, and they had a John W. Nordstrom brand wool/cashmere topcoat in black, in a 42r, for $129. I would've bought in on the spot, but it was a more traditional (bigger) fit; big shoulders, long cut. It would fit well over a suit/tux, but I worry it would be much more difficult to pull off as a weekend look.
I thought the BR coat, which was black, knee length, a wool/nylon(?) blend, with higher lapels - not too different than the Sierra Trading Post item, looked great over any suit I had with which I would wear black shoes, though not so much with sportcoats and pants. It also looked good casually. I dunno about the Nordstrom one though...
I think a coat like this one Edward Norton wears in The 25th Hour is perfect for this kind of coat. I've seen similar from D&G and Armani.
My favorite topcoat is black wool by Dolce and Gabbana. The lining is purple silk. Wear it all the time in fall, winter.
Not too formal, as stated above. Not as versatile for weekend/casual wear as a grey or navy, I don't think, but perfectly fine.
Black is fine for the office (esp as others said, if you are on the east coast), but I think something in charcoal would be more appropriate. Black is a bit of a strong color, and in my opinion, looks more appropriate for an evening out.
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