The definitive guide to the best men’s top coats in Australia.
It rarely ever gets cold enough in Sydney to rock a coat. But f*ck me if it isn’t balls to the wall freezing this year. Like damn.
On the bright side, winter gives me an excuse to layer up. And though Australians are used to dressing down that’s not going to stop me from rocking a coat. (Hell, if it was warmer I might even consider a military-inspired jacket or field jacket).
So here’s the first in our guide to the best men’s coats in Australia and where to find them.
The Top Coat | The All-Rounder
The differences between topcoats and overcoats aren’t as clear as they used to be.
Before the rise of electrical heating, overcoats were larger and extended below the knee to accomodate fuller suits and to protect against the elements.
Over time, however, overcoats became increasingly form fitting. Eventually designers combined topcoats (light wool coats cut above the knee) with overcoats, producing more modern hybrids.
Today most topcoats in Australia are single breasted, notch lapelled, and are cut above the knee. This inoffensive design makes them most versatile coats available – equally at home with a pair of corduroy trousers or jeans – and stocked basically everywhere. The coat is similar to the classic Crombie coat except that the lapel gorge is typically lower and the fabric less heavy. Double breasted coats have also made a resurgence, I suspect, due to the influence of the Pitti peacock.
Where to Buy
You can basically find top coats everywhere so it’s important to be especially discerning.
In terms of luxury topcoats, Masons currently have a selection by Brunello Cucinelli and Isaia which is unmatched in Australia. My favourite from this season’s buy is the Isaia Marshall Coat [above], made from a blend of wool and llama hair.
The appeal of Isaia lies in how it extends the Neapolitan sartorial tradition in a contemporary way. Unconventional details and quirky fabrics are a hallmark of the Italian powerhouse. Isaia President, Gianluca Isaia, describes the garments as being designed for:
“a man that has no problem showing his feelings, that is not afraid to stand out, to express himself with a personal style…The New Gentleman”
This philosophy is expressed in the coat’s relaxed Neapolitan lines which juxtapose its commanding double breasted front and broad lapels. Notice the round shape of the Ulster style collar as well as the gentle slope of the hip pockets. These curves are also echoed in the natural shape of the shoulders and roll of the lapels – the result of extensive handwork. (see the photo of Nami Nguyen below)
The choice of fabric further extends Gianluca’s vision of the “New Gentleman”. The coat is made from a luxurious blend of wool and brushed baby llama fleece. Like its cousin, alpaca, baby llama fleece is a warm, soft fibre with a lustrous sheen, sourced from the gentle underbelly and necks of llamas found in the Andes mountains. The fabric is a more theatrical alternative to cashmere (which looks staid by comparison) and in charcoal especially, embodies Isaia’s ethos of respectable iconoclasm.