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Essential outerwear for a capsule wardrobe

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Hello everyone, new member here and first post! I'm looking for some advice on outerwear to see me through the UK winter. I'm 36, mostly wear jeans and sweatshirts etc, so fairly casual but nice stuff. I have a Belstaff Pea Coat, which I love, but think I need something for when the weather is grim/wet/windy. I'll be wearing it for trips to the pub, walking into town and also short country walks (not hiking etc).

I do have a big puffy synthetic Finisterre jacket, but it's not the most fashionable and I'd like to get away from wearing techy/synthetic materials and go for more of a classic look. So... I'm thinking either some kind of wax jacket (Filson or maybe Barbour with layers underneath, although unsure of the image associated with Barbour) or go all out and get a Woolrich Arctic Parka (but can't help thinking that's overkill for UK winter and also maybe a bit bulky).

Just for reference, here are links to the kind of thing I'm looking at.

1. Filson Mile Marker - https://www.filson.com/uk/gift-guides/cover-cloth-mile-marker-coat-1.html
2. Barbour Bedale - https://www.oipolloi.com/collections/barbour/products/barbour-bedale-wax-jacket-olive#product
3. Woolrich Parka - https://www.woolrich.com/gb/en/city-parka-in-high-performance-wool-effect-fabric-CFWOOU0432MRUT2688_3989.html

Wax jackets I think will be good for the wet and grim days, but not so much when the temp really drops. As for the Woolrich parka, I wonder if it's overkill for the UK winter and might see limited use, plus it's also bulky. I suppose the other option is to get a general parka from an outdoors brand but I'd rather wear something stylish.

I'm basically going around in circles. Aside from the pea coat, I'm not sure what else should I have in my wardrobe. What does everyone else consider the "essentials" for men's winter outerwear? It would be really helpful if you could share the jackets you wear throughout winter and what you use them for.

Thanks in advance!
 

Phileas Fogg

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Well, “essential” is going to be relative to where one lives. I’m in Chicago, essential is a parka. And I mean a warm parka!

I don’t think the Bedale is going to give you much in the winter time though I’ll admit I know nothing of UK winters. It’s still an essential piece, in my opinion, but not for the winter.

I think the Woolrich option makes the most sense. But I say that vis a vie the other two options not really being ideal.
 
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Yes, I visited Chicago several years ago and remember it being chilly (and that wasn't even proper winter). Thanks for your advice. I think you're right about the parka being the sensible option. The city parka seems like a better weight for the UK because their Arctic parka is rated -10 to -20 C, so probably better for somewhere like Chicago.

You mentioned the Bedale being essential but not for winter. When/what context would you wear a wax style jacket?
 

johng70

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There's a Barbour thread on the site - you might want to check there to see if there's an option appropriate for winter in UK.
 

Phileas Fogg

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Yes, I visited Chicago several years ago and remember it being chilly (and that wasn't even proper winter). Thanks for your advice. I think you're right about the parka being the sensible option. The city parka seems like a better weight for the UK because their Arctic parka is rated -10 to -20 C, so probably better for somewhere like Chicago.

You mentioned the Bedale being essential but not for winter. When/what context would you wear a wax style jacket?
i typically wear the bedale during the spring and fall months. I have a liner so I can actually tolerate it in to high 30’s to mid 40’s.
 

dieworkwear

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Not a big believer in essentials, but I think long, raglan sleeved overcoats are useful because they allow you to play with different aesthetics, along with keeping you warm.
 

TheIronDandy

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If you want something more classic (but not overdressed), I think DWW is on spot with the long raglan. They can get fairly warm depending on how heavy the fabric is, and because of the loose fit of a proper raglan coat, you can layer something underneath if you need extra warmth.

Might not see you through an artic winter, but my knowledge of UK winters is that they get more windy, went and dark rather than freezing.
 
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I hadn’t considered that as an option, but can see how it would be a useful item. I suppose I thought the pea coat covered some of that ground. That said, any recommendations for where to look for a nice overcoat? After a quick Google I found Drake’s stock a few with raglan sleeves.
 

TheIronDandy

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I hadn’t considered that as an option, but can see how it would be a useful item. I suppose I thought the pea coat covered some of that ground. That said, any recommendations for where to look for a nice overcoat? After a quick Google I found Drake’s stock a few with raglan sleeves.
A peacoat is definitely a good piece of outwear, but I find the length limits the use in windy or wet weather. A raglan can be worn long (I think it looks best when it ends below the knee), which means it covers most of your legs from cold winds.

It helps to have a budget if you're asking for recommendations. If you're looking at Drake's prices, though, you might also want to check out the new raglan being launched at permanent style this week. The rake also stock a few models, where you can go a little crazy (perhaps a handmade raglan from Edward Sexton?) I'm afraid I'm not that familiar with the local UK market, but I'm sure some other helpful souls will provide more suggestions.
 
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Excellent thanks for the great advice. I don’t have a budget in mind but I guess under £1000 or thereabouts for an overcoat. I’ll keep an eye out for the permanent style coat becoming available as that looks like a nice one. I’m still thinking a parka would be more practical for wet/windy weather but perhaps I could add both over the next year or two. Thanks again everyone for the advice.

By the way, if anyone is interested, Simon at Permanent Style just published an article about his outerwear options: https://www.permanentstyle.com/2021/10/the-jackets-i-picked-for-winter.html
 

johng70

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I have a couple overcoats made by Bookster. What's great is you can customize - huge selection of fabrics including an impressive selection of tweeds.
 

yorkshire pud

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I think a quality Mac works best for British weather. You can dress it up or down and layer an insulated vest under it, and it will keep you dry unlike a wool overcoat.

APC/Mackintosh/Burberry/Aquascutum might be worth a look if you want to splurge

Barbour Wax Cotton jackets are pretty much the norm up here in Yorkshire and they work well with the typical wind/rain/sun/snow all in one day type weather we get outside summer months
 

Casaubon

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If you think a wax jacket might not be able to keep you warm enough, try an insulated version like Barbour's Hereford. It works for me on cold days, even when the temperature drops slightly below the freezing point.
 

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