Fall is here, and the warm weather from the Summer is starting to fade away. While it’s still warm in the day time, the evenings are ready for that extra layer of style. Depending on event/outfit/budget, there are quite a few options for the fall months, especially since we haven’t experienced the peak of cold. Today, we will focus on the classic Pea Coat.
The Pea coat is normally a cotton/wool blend coat known for its lapel and shape. It has been one of the only double-breasted jackets to stay in style even when double-breasted suits were out of style. The classic colors are Navy, Black and Charcoal, and most designers carry at least one pea coat in their collection. Pay attention to the buttons of the double-breasted coat, and you will notice that most designs have anchors stamped on the buttons.
Here are my rules to picking (and wearing) a Pea Coat:
1. Fit! No surprise here – The pea coat does fit true to your size, but if you want a more modern look, go one size down. Be advised that since you will most likely wear the pea coat through the winter months, you don’t want to go too small on the coat since you will be layering it more and more once the weather gets colder. As always, take it to a tailor to have the right fit in the sleeves, and to taper the waist if needed.
2. The length of the pea coat can range depending on the actual design, but I recommend any length between the back of your thigh and knee. The shorter styles go well with denim, but the slightly longer is the most universal and goes with any outfit. The pea coat should never go past your knees.
3. Make sure your pea coat has a center vent, to give it a modern/classic feel. Having no vent doesn’t allow the coat to flow around your body shape. And the no vent makes it look like you are 30 years behind the style curve.
4. Economic times are hard, but consider spending a little more on buying a quality coast because they will never go out of style and the cheaper you go, the more likely your jacket will bead up like a cheap sweater. When doing anything in a wool or wool blend, stay away from extra cheap because you won’t have longevity with the piece.
5. Pop the collar! What? Did I just say that? Yes! Pea coats are one of the few items that I allow the collars to be popped. Its a certain way to do this however; pop only the back of the collar and leave the front down to keep the classic look of the lapel.
6. If its single-breasted, then it is a Car Coat, not a Pea Coat.. Car coats are cool too, but we will discuss them at another time…
Here are a couple pea coats that I like (both available at SAKS):
Here is a pea coat made by Diesel. I like the extra pockets and detailing on this coat. This is ideal for matching it up with denim.. go figure.. its made by Diesel!
This pea coat is designed by Versace, and I love the lapel on this particular design. The model is also giving you a good example on wear the sleeve should end on your coat. Much better than the Diesel model above.
To spend $300 or less on this classic coat, visit the following stores (in order of my preference):
1. Banana Republic
2. Jos. A Bank (They may initially be over $300, but they always have a sale)
3. United Colors of Benetton
4. Any of your department stores (Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom) – They carry a large array of designers, and expect an outerwear sale to come up really soon.