This Mackintosh® coat from J. Crew is 30% off through 12/8/10.
It’s piss-poor weather in the capitol city today, and once again the AG is stuck in his office with a unopened fifth of Bulleit and Tom Petty on the stereo. Luckily, Austin is outside the reach of the really wicked weather stretching across Texas. Those conditions, though—unseasonably low temperatures, gusting winds, heavy rain—are a fact of life, and every now and then, you’ll have to bear them.
If a gentleman must take on the inclement weather, he’s going to need a garment he can trust. So what’s the solution? Simple. Get yourself a coat. Not a jacket, not a parka, not a slicker—a coat. Savvy?
The AG doesn’t know your particular style, so there’s no one coat to suit you all. (Suit… get it?) The AG does know, however, what makes up a good, all-purpose coat.
Fit, Fashion, Fabric, Function and Family History.
Fit—Baggy was cool in the 90s, slim-fit was cool last year, ripped and dirty is still cool on Drag Rats, blah blah blah. Here’s an idea: Stop paying attention to what’s “cool” and wear what fits. Not too loose and [please] not too tight. In coats, always buy your suit coat/blazer size and NOT bigger. If you’re a 42’reg like the AG, any decent clothier will have taken this into account and make the coat just big enough to fit over a sweater, blazer, etc. As for length, the answer is and forever will be 3/4, ie: slightly above the knee.
Fashion—It doesn’t take much sartorial acumen to look back on all the styles that have come and gone. It’s all about knowing what styles will look just as good tomorrow as they will in 20 years.
Fabric—The AG would love to profess endless knowledge on fabrics, materials and the like, but it’s just not there. Your best plan is to always inspect that oft overlooked tag showing what the garment is made of. Do a little Googling and make sure you’re buying a coat you’ll want to pass on to your son, not a panhandler on 7th St.
Function—Remember to avoid buying anything too heavy. This is Texas, and that coat needs to work for more than just our 6.27 days of winter each year. The AG thinks you’re better off focusing on how well the coat protects you from the whipping wind and pouring rain (again, a fabric issue).
Family History—Maybe the AG is old fashioned, but there’s something to be said about buying a product straight from the maker—or at least damn close to the maker. Seek out smaller, family-run clothiers (or at the very least, a clothier who has held onto their roots) and you’ll almost always be in good shape.
The coat that suits the AG best is the Mackintosh classic, as pictured above. Still handmade in Scotland (and now sold via J. Crew), the glen plaid* edition of this coat is quiet, elegant and classic. It is, simply, a gentleman’s coat. So head on out there and find the right coat for you, and remember to get one that jives with the Five F’s. Damn, the AG should probably get a patent on that phrase, yeah?
Time to keep that good lookin’ suit dry and start living life better.
*If you’re concerned you can’t pull off glen plaid, note that this pattern is a rather subtle one. Oh, and that the late, great Ronald Reagan used to wear glen plaid. The. End.