Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher
This winter there are many ways to keep the cold out, but only a classic overcoat will do the job in real style. Of all the items in a man's wardrobe it's the overcoat, in its many forms, that owes the greatest debt to military fashions, and it's this heritage that lends it an unbeatable combination of elegance and function.
Because they're derived from garments designed to keep soldiers dry on the battlefield, or keep sailors warm on the deck of a ship, the right overcoat offers a man the possibility of mining a powerful seam of masculine style. Of course, the closest most of us will get to war is a bit of jostling in the queue while waiting to board an aeroplane, and designers are free to refine and update the form to keep it relevant in the 21st century. This means fabrics are lighter, hems are shorter and cuts are slimmer; the coats are still functional, but the nature of the function has changed now that men are hopping in and out of taxis, rather than tanks.