When it comes to overcoat styles, the English overcoats had their own place both in history and in modern times. The original English coats or the British overcoats as it is commonly known started out like most mens garments having its origin in the military coat. It was about the time of the First World War when the British officers in the army were issued greatcoats to keep themselves warm.
A greatcoat is basically a large coat which is made of heavy materials like wool, fur or tweed and hence has a bulky silhouette. They can be worn over any daily outfits lime the suit or a jacket and nowadays even over winter wears. This outerwear has been a staple winter wear in mens fashion for quite some time.
The English overcoats can be characterized by its heavy taupe Melton cloth. This type of fabric has the wool heavily milled and then tightly woven. They weigh heavily and has a short raised nap. This provides the fabric a fleece like non lustrous texture which is rich to look. At the time of the war one of the major Scottish company called Crombie started producing garments for war and supplied it to the British officers. This was the time that the English overcoats became popular and even today this Melton fabric is referred to as Crombie Fleece.
The first design of the greatcoats were double breasted in style and had six regimental buttons which was worn with hidden buttons closed. As for any typical military garment these greatcoats were waisted and had peak lapels. Some of the other characteristics are the flap pockets, breast pocket, a single back vent and two cuff buttons. They had epaulettes like in the trench coats even though at that time the ranks of the officers were worn on the cuffs and not on the shoulders. They were usually worn with trousers and field boots that reached upto the knee. The English overcoats were designed at a length that reaches a few inches above the knee so that a glimpse of the trousers is seen. Some of the styles even feature a little opening above the left pocket so that it was easy for the officers to carry around a sword. The English overcoats style varied according to the requirements the functionality and comfort being the main purpose. At the start of this style these English overcoats even had belted back which later went out of style. Some people even wore fur collars with these English overcoats but this is especially preferred by the royals. Some of the major history figures like the King George V and even the famous Prince of Wales were seen wearing these English overcoats thus furthering its popularity.
After the war got over the officers and the soldiers still wore their military styles with their casual clothes. This soon infiltrated the civilians fashion when people started wearing these English overcoats replacing the metal buttons with woven leather buttons. Soon the English overcoats changed in style that were feasible for the civilians. The opening for sword disappeared as did the epaulettes. This long style of English overcoats soon became one of the most preferred cashmere coat.
Nowadays the English overcoats are also available in other fabrics like the cashmere, tweed and twill. The original styles also have a extra button provision under the collar which allows you to button up your English overcoat all the way up. This is the best when the weather turns freezing or the cold winds starts blowing. This also comes in handy when you forget to wear your scarves thus letting your neck exposed to the wind.
There are many styles to choose from when it comes to English overcoats. Most come in heavy Melton cloth and are mostly double breasted. One of the major style changes that you can do to this English overcoat is changing the collar. If you are getting an English overcoat with a stand and fall collar and inverted back pleat then it is an elegant choice which you can easily dress up and down. You can wear them with a button down shirt and a tweed jacket but at the same time you can also look good when wearing it over cashmere rollneck and moleskins for a weekend casual look.
The English Polo overcoats are more of a formal wear and is also double breasted. These English overcoats derive its name from its aristocratic bearing when in the mid 18th century people used to throw these English overcoats at the polo players post match as a ceremony. They have a full drape over the chest and usually have six buttons and broad lapels which can be half bent across the back. They also come in other classic styles like the herringbone.
If you love trying on new styles then you can add a little of color and texture to this English overcoats. These are more sophisticated and stylish than the usual classic colors. If you would like the English overcoat to be versatile then you can go with a wool and hugo boss coat blend which you can wear regardless of the seasons. You can also go with multi colored ones like with checks which you can pair well with almost any colors in your wardrobe. These English overcoats cool style makes it possible to be worn over any smart casual and casual outfits. This is the best option for confident dressers and pairing them with unstructured suit or simple flannel shirt and jeans works good.
Now if you like your suits with patterns or checks then it is important that you select the English overcoat style properly so that it would not clash with the suit pattern. If you wear a pinstripe or window pane suit then it is better to stick with large patterns on the English overcoats. It is always best to keep it solid but if you decide to go with patterns then make sure that they pair well with each other. Select one that works well with your taste of clothes thus making it a worthy investment.