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Luxury Winter Wear: A Good Coat Can Be a Great Investment

November 13, 2015
Luxury winter coat with high style

Ready for winter? For this year’s outlook in luxury winter outerwear, slim, subdued looks are making way for looser silhouettes, fur, suede, and pattern (yes, pattern). Paying up for a well-made, luxury-look winter coat can be an investment in your career—and it raises the comfort quotient, too.

Grant Harris, owner and chief style consultant for menswear consultancy Image Granted, said that suede, shearling, fur, and other skins are all popular this season. In men’s outwear, suede and fur is making an appearance, with shearling particularly popular, he said. Shearling has a less heavy look than when it was popular in the past, he added. Ralph Lauren is one designer carrying the style.

“Suede is the new leather,” agrees Paula Slof, founder of ecommerce website Paula&Chlo. “Fur and snakeskin, whether real or fake, will be seen a lot.”

Trader Transformation

One new men’s outerwear line had its commercial debut this year. Norwegian Wool was founded by Michael Berkowitz, a former commodities and hedge fund trader. He founded the company after he was unable to find a coat that looked dressy enough for meetings but didn’t sacrifice warmth.

His line of coats, starting at $845, combines the warmth of a down puffer-style coat with a wool (or cashmere, in higher-end coats) exterior. And it’s waterproof.

“I wanted the fashion design from Italy, but for the warmth, I went to people who understood cold weather,” Berkowitz says about a partnership with the Norwegian Fashion Institute.

One feature is a “stand” collar rather than the traditional V-neck. When doing his design research, Berkowitz said he discovered that a V-neck in outerwear was a big complaint.

“Even with a scarf they are not warm, so we have a stand collar to keep the neck warm. [It] can also be opened when it’s not needed. It also has lots of pockets to hold gadgets, which isn’t found in many dress coats,” he says.

Right now the line has three men’s coats, but Berkowitz has plans to start a line for women, he said.

Pattern Is Big

In men’s suiting, Harris said plaids and checks will be prominent as designs move away from the muted fabrics of the past few years.

“You’ll see plaids, shadow plaids, over checks, under checks. Menswear is very cyclical; our trends move like glaciers. But there are designers who are innovating. Berluti is a big designer who is innovating with patination, which is the application of color to fabric. For instance, patination can make a fabric look like leather,” he said.

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