How to dress like a grown-up with Shane Watson: The only piece to grab in the sales? a peacoat
- Shane Watson shares tips for embracing this season’s peacoat trend
- Recommends sticking with navy wool and claims thigh length is best
- UK-based fashion expert takes inspiration from Gigi Hadid in a khaki coat
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the sale, everything looks tempting when it’s 70% off, but if you buy one thing in the January sale, make it a pea coat.
Labels from Lacoste to La Redoute have slashed pea coats as top designers such as Celine, Dior and Valentino introduce new styles to their spring collections, proof, if you needed it, that it’s the rarest fashion items: the one that remains and never dates.
It’s almost as if everyone who made them had to sign a pledge to stay true to the original forever, much like anyone who remakes West Side Story: you can spruce it up a bit, improve the color, sharpen the edges so much though badly. slightly, but you can’t mess with the basic formula.
The peacoat never changes, it always works, and that makes it a cast-iron sell buy. Wear it now over a woolen hoodie with trousers or jeans, later with a striped shirt or Breton tee and skirt and boots.
Dots for parfait: Gigi Hadid
Roll up the collar (the original was designed to fold over your face like a windbreaker) and shove your hands in your vertical pockets (very Jackie Onassis) or let it fly open (like Jane Birkin) on a polo neck and jeans. Either way, he’s a keeper.
Plenty of coats are called peacoats in hopes of borrowing some of their automatic glamour, but don’t let the suitors fool you.
A peacoat should be decidedly unisex (which is why it suits both Robert Redford and Jane Birkin); Ideally, its navy wool, double-breasted with wide notched lapels and large bone buttons (although metal is OK) and it should flare out slightly at the hips and long enough to cover your bottom, or even a few centimeters of thigh.
By the way, this one is slightly longer than the classic maritime pea coat, but it happens to be warmer and more flattering.
If you want a coat that’s almost faithful to those worn by the Navy during the war, your best bet is Montgomery (75 in the dufflecoatsuk.co.uk sale). This one has the classic embossed anchor buttons and a choker to better hold your collar against the wind.
Still, there’s such a thing as a little too utilitarian with a peacoat now that students weren’t. I have a plain one from Gap that I’ve had for over 20 years, but I can see the appeal of slightly more refined styles, like the Lacoste version (190 in the lacoste.com sale) which is lined and slightly more polite.
CABONS: RULES 2022
- Opt for navy blue wool
- Thigh length is best
- Wear the collar up
- Wrap a scarf around
Someone else who played his part in making the peacoat an iconic cornerstone of preppy cool wardrobe was Ali MacGraw in the 70s, specifically in the movie Love Story. Although she played a poor Harvard student, she was also bright and extremely well-dressed. Utility yet glamorous. Preppy luxury.
And Other Stories has a good quality pea coat (in sale 107, stories.com) although you need to swap out the buttons, its brown leather buttons do it a disservice and the buttons are all important. In fact, I’d be tempted by the shiny metal this time around.
Jane Birkin had two pea coats (at least): one with navy blue bone buttons; one with gold all the more to wear at night with little black shorts. The buttons make it look more like a smart blazer if you need to look dressy.
La Redoute has a wool-blend peacoat with gold buttons (69.30 in the sale, laredoute.co.uk) and Sandro does a shiny buttoned style (299, in the sale farfetch.com), although this one has front patch pockets (a proper pea coat has side welt pockets) which kills it for me. I want to put my hands in those welt pockets, that’s part of the problem.
If a little more bling appeals to you, Jigsaw has a navy grosgrain-trimmed coat for spring (260, jigsaw-online.com). These are not for sale because . . . the cabanas are back.
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