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Second overcoat: navy or camel?

sadkfjaskfaj

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Thinking about getting my second bespoke overcoat made and I'm not sure if it should be navy or camel.

I've already decided on the style: single-breasted, mid-thigh, wool, soft shoulder (maybe with a bit of roping), diagonal jetted pocket, peak lapel with belly.

I currently have a charcoal single-breasted notch lapel overcoat and I basically live in that thing from October to February. Insane value in terms of cost per wear.

I work in a pretty conservative environment (finance/law). Every day it's the same outfit - navy or charcoal suit, black oxfords, white shirt, no tie.

I like the flair of camel but I don't know if I'd get bored of it after a while. Navy would go with everything but it's also kind of boring because it's similar in "vibe" to my charcoal overcoat and so it seems superfluous.

Camel might be a tiny bit flashy for work, I think, and I'm not sure it goes well with my skin tone (Chinese, with a red-ish undertone). But I know that my skin tone definitely doesn't go with navy/blues/cooler colors. My skin looks great with charcoal and dark browns, but I'm don't think dark brown is that versatile of a colour for a dressed-up overcoat (...or is it?).

Appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.
 
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comrade

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Peak lapel, roping, belly? If camel might be too flashy for work, adding a peak lapel, etc,
would only add to the flashiness, IMHO. Why don't take a look at this sober, camels hair
classic as a start:

 

FlyingHorker

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+1 Camel.

It has flair to it. If you want something conservative, the charcoal option is there.
 

comrade

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If you are willing to do double breasted I love British Warms. I wore one
for years when I lived in Chicago and wore a suit every day:



More conservative version:

 
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Joffrey

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Camel. You already have a "conservative" color so I'd say have fun with the 2nd one. Also, camel is pretty classic so I would not all it flashy - you will stand out but camel is not flashy.
 

dieworkwear

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Depending on the cut and styling of the coat, as well as the rest of your wardrobe, sometimes a navy overcoat is easy to wear with suits but less easy to wear with casualwear.

There's a lot of flexibility in this, as some fashion brands make navy topcoats that are designed to be only worn with casualwear. But if you're talking about a conservative business styled wardrobe, something like a navy Guards coat will look wonderful with a dark suit. At the same time, it's less easy to wear with a sweater and jeans than, say, a tan polo coat.

If versatility is a concern, I would go for a dark brown or a tan overcoat. But pay attention to the color of the tan. There are some very light, desaturated tans that I think are harder to wear. A slightly darker shade is easier.

If you mostly wear suits and sport coats, and don't pay too much attention to casualwear, I would go with a navy coat for a conservative office.

Lastly, I would let the choice of the color go hand-in-hand with the rest of the coat's styling. I think camel coats look best as polo coats. Navy is great as a Guard's coat. Think about how the rest of the coat's design goes with the color, as well as the overall look you're trying to create

Personally don't believe in skin tone theories. I also think navy works well on everyone because it's a very traditional color in men's clothing.
 
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shoewarma

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Go for a navy overcoat. It's much more conservative, professional, and versatile. Camel overcoats look like they belong on Topman models.
 

shoewarma

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It's just banter, pal. I like camel coats as well, but I just prefer navy on me. It's just easier to match with most clothes and I'd get so much more use out of it. It is good to have options in one's wardrobe though.
 

dieworkwear

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For the OP, some coats to consider:

A navy Guard's coat. Traditionally done as a double-breasted with peak lapels, flapped pockets, inverted pleated back, and turnback cuffs. It's technically a military style, but today is used as dress wear. I think it goes best with the sort of clothes you're describing: dark suit, white shirt, black oxfords.

tumblr_inline_oh0s7tHIOY1qfex1b_540.jpg



Here we see the style in two different colors. I think the navy one is still best with the sort of clothes you're describing, but the camel color is more versatile. I have a navy Guard's coat, but find it's difficult to wear with casual clothing. The tan one is more versatile, but doesn't look as sharp or smart to me as navy.


tumblr_inline_oh0s81evbX1qfex1b_500.jpg



If you do a tan coat, I think a polo looks terrific. It can be worn with suits or casualwear, but I imagine a navy coat will look more at home in a conservative business environment.


tumblr_inline_oh0s6sFT471qfex1b_500.jpg

tumblr_inline_oh0s9wRZG71qfex1b_500.jpg


If you do a polo coat, however, I think you'd have to reconfigure your styling a bit:

The obvious bits: double-breasted, envelope pockets, Martingale back, and turnback cuffs.

The less obvious bits: I think a polo coat looks better when the buttoning point is dropped a little. You can see this on Ralph Lauren's coat above. I also prefer them with peak lapels, although some guys do an Ulster collar. The width of the turnback cuffs should match the width of the half-belt at the back. And lastly, you can consider asking your tailor to cut the sleeve with a lapped seam.

Notice the bumpy seam running on the outer side of the sleeve here:

tumblr_nfcc1pj9yD1rf1jvro1_1280.jpg



Compare that to this cleaner looking sleeve

tumblr_nldxphJm8U1rf1jvro1_1280.jpg



A polo coat with a lapped seam on the sleeve will look a bit more casual. Coupled with the fabric and other styling details, it will also look more casual overall than a navy Guard's coat. Something to consider if you want to wear this with other things.
 

Despos

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What is the purpose/function of a second topcoat? Do you want a companion to the charcoal coat so you can rotate wearing them and want them to have a similar vibe? Do you want something so different in color and style to wear for a casual look? Will it only be worn to the office or work related times? Define the purpose/function and work back to the cloth and details.
Camel IMO isn't practical. The color is good for daytime wear but not evening. It has a nap that doesn't wear well with heavy use. It shows dirt and stains. Can look washed out and lifeless. The darker vicuna color in the second picture above is richer, nicer and more versatile.
If you want a lighter color, taupe or mid shade of wheat are very neutral colors and easy to wear.
Would consider a mid or lighter grey herringbone. Even though your present topcoat is charcoal, the pattern adds another dimension that sets it apart in a different way.
Navy would be just another dark coat.
Dark brown is very versatile. It works with navy and grey suits the same way dark brown shoes work with navy and grey suits. You said you wear black shoes so this may not be your thing.
I wore a black/brown herringbone DB topcoat with a velvet collar for a long time.
Derek is correct about picking the style that works with the cloth and vice versa.
Peak lapels and slash pockets do not work together. Peaks are dressy and slash pockets are not. They don't belong together on the same coat.
Did you notice most peaks lapels are on DB coats? All the tan coats pictured above are DB except the raglan on Henry Fonda. It's hard to make peaks look good on single breasted topcoats. They are too short because of the higher buttoning point on top coats.
Slash pockets with a notch or Ulster style lapels. Ulster is a good choice if you want to cross over the lapel to cover your chest in the wind.
 

sadkfjaskfaj

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What is the purpose/function of a second topcoat? Do you want a companion to the charcoal coat so you can rotate wearing them and want them to have a similar vibe? Do you want something so different in color and style to wear for a casual look? Will it only be worn to the office or work related times? Define the purpose/function and work back to the cloth and details.
Camel IMO isn't practical. The color is good for daytime wear but not evening. It has a nap that doesn't wear well with heavy use. It shows dirt and stains. Can look washed out and lifeless. The darker vicuna color in the second picture above is richer, nicer and more versatile.
If you want a lighter color, taupe or mid shade of wheat are very neutral colors and easy to wear.
Would consider a mid or lighter grey herringbone. Even though your present topcoat is charcoal, the pattern adds another dimension that sets it apart in a different way.
Navy would be just another dark coat.
Dark brown is very versatile. It works with navy and grey suits the same way dark brown shoes work with navy and grey suits. You said you wear black shoes so this may not be your thing.
I wore a black/brown herringbone DB topcoat with a velvet collar for a long time.
Derek is correct about picking the style that works with the cloth and vice versa.
Peak lapels and slash pockets do not work together. Peaks are dressy and slash pockets are not. They don't belong together on the same coat.
Did you notice most peaks lapels are on DB coats? All the tan coats pictured above are DB except the raglan on Henry Fonda. It's hard to make peaks look good on single breasted topcoats. They are too short because of the higher buttoning point on top coats.
Slash pockets with a notch or Ulster style lapels. Ulster is a good choice if you want to cross over the lapel to cover your chest in the wind.
thanks you and Derek for the detailed replies.

point is to rotate it with the charcoal coat so I don’t get bored. Would mostly be worn to office.

i love dark brown as a color, get a lot of wear from my dark brown suede and leather jackets. But not sure if a dark brown overcoat is versatile (barely any results on google images for it) and would a dark brown overcoat be old mannish?
 

dieworkwear

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would a dark brown overcoat be old mannish?
No more so than an overcoat in any other traditional color.



tumblr_inline_oh11u7H1ZT1qfex1b_540.jpg


tumblr_inline_oh1200XMnI1qfex1b_540.jpeg


tumblr_inline_oh0sbssp6Y1qfex1b_540.jpg


tumblr_inline_oh11exkilO1qfex1b_540.jpg


I would start with the kind of coat you want. Think of it like writing a sentence. You have to make sure the sentence makes sense. If you swap out random words at difference places for something else, you will change the meaning. This is the same thing as you changing out the lapel design or coat color.

Not sure a single-breasted, thigh-length dark brown coat with peak lapels and diagonal pockets will look good.
 
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