A winter jacket is certainly one of the most important garments within a male ensemble. Not only are such jackets able to keep the cold of winter at bay, but they also provide a sense of bespoke style and sophistication that speaks volumes in regards to the wearer. However, there are times when such a jacket will need to be replaced for a newer model.
This concept can actually be a bit tricky, for not many men are not completely certain if their jacket needs replacing. In fact, some will continue to use this outerwear even if the buttons are missing, the zippers fail to function and if the fabric is a shadow of its former self. Let’s look at some of the signs that a jacket needs to be replaced, some common options and a handful of the benefits of tailored outerwear.
Signs That a Jacket Has Seen Better Days
There are two main areas to look at when determining whether or not the jacket should be replaced. The first category naturally revolves around its physical appearance. Take a look at the areas which receive the most abuse. These will include the elbows, the cuffs, the collar and around the buttons. Does the fabric appear to be worn or thin? It is excessively dirty? While standard wear and tear are bound to occur, excess damage to these locations is a sure sign that a new jacket should be purchased.
Functionality is the second primary concern. Over time, even the most rugged of jackets tend to break down. This will most often occur around the portions of the garment that are manipulated the most. Some common instances include (but may not be limited to):
- Holes or frayed stitching within in the pockets.
- Loose or missing buttons.
- Zippers that fail to move properly or frequently come off of their track.
These are some sure-fire signals that it is time to move on and purchase a newer jacket. In fact, such functional problems will frequently occur alongside the visual signals that we had illustrated earlier.
The Type of Jacket
Another factor to take into account is the purpose of the garment itself. Is the jacket intended to be used for work (such as on a construction site), for business (such as a formal suede model or a pea coat) or for casual use around the home?
It should be obvious that items which are intended for physically demanding circumstances need to be changed on a somewhat regular basis; many claim every year. However, more formal or semi-formal attire can be replaced on a two- to three-year basis to keep up with men’s fashion and the current style trends.
Choosing the Right Type of Jacket
Once you have determined that the jacket needs to be replaced, how are you to know which type is the best choice? Of course, this will partially depend upon your individual tastes as well as what the garment is needed for. Let us go ahead and take a look at some of the most common choices so that selecting the most appropriate type is quick and simple.
First, we should note the difference between a coat and a jacket. A jacket is normally less concerned in regards to warmth and more appropriate for those seeking a bit of style. To put it simply, even the most stylish jacket will not keep you warm in sub-zero temperatures during a skiing holiday in the Alps. Now, let us take a look at some of the main types of jackets available.
1. Fleece jacket
A fleece jacket is great to be worn around the home or office on cooler days. It can also be used in conjunction with a jumper to provide a sense of layered warmth. However, keep in mind that most fleece jackets are not able to block out extremely cold temperatures. They are often worn underneath a larger overcoat.
2. Waxed cotton jacket
A waxed cotton jacket is another option. This boasts a greater sense of warmth and as the name hints, it offers additional waterproof qualities. This is important during inclement weather. Waxed cotton jackets can be quite stylish and they come in a variety of colours.
3. Pea coat
We mentioned the pea coat earlier, and for good reason. Pea coats are some of the most popular options due to their appearance alongside a sense of standalone functionality. Large pockets can store valuable items, the lower hem keeps your upper legs warm and the collar can be turned up to stave off a cold wind.
A topcoat is another variant worth briefly discussing. Unlike a pea coat, the overall length is a bit longer; the bottom generally descending to just above the knee. This jacket is decidedly more formal; ideal for work-related functions and any scenario when the male may need to punctuate his presence.
5. Duffel jacket
Another common variant is known as a duffel jacket. One of the most striking features of this variety is the presence of buttons that connect with loops on the opposite side. As opposed to pea coats or top coats, duffel jackets employ a type of fabric known as Melton cloth. This is a tougher material that is able to stand up to a greater degree of wear and tear. Other features include a button-up neck strap and (typically) two large front pockets.
It should come as no surprise that there are a number of different fabrics to choose from. These will primarily depend upon the type of jacket. For instance, cotton and wool are both common with pea coats while topcoats often use a type of material known as gabardine. Suede may also be used in some designs to achieve a decidedly more formal appearance.
The Benefits of a Tailored Winter Jacket
Tailored jackets are perhaps some of the most stunning and eye-catching designs available. As they are fitted to the exact specifications of the wearer, men can be confident that they are always putting their best foot forward. Another interesting observation is that by their very nature, no two designs are ever alike. Thus, there is no such concept as “one size fits all” in reference to tailored outerwear.
However, another advantage that can be overlooked is the fact that tailored jackets tend to last longer. Why is this the case? One primary cause of the premature ageing of a jacket has to do with its fit. Areas which are known to be too loose (such as the elbows, the waistline and the collar) can become worn as a result of excess and unnatural movements. This possibility is all but eliminated with the use of a tailored jacket.
Putting it All Together
So we have covered some of the main points in terms of when to choose a new winter jacket as well as selecting the correct design. For the sake of brevity, let us highlight these ideas once again. A jacket should be replaced if:
- Noticeable wear and tear has occurred around portions such as the elbows, the collar and the waistline.
- It appears dirty or faded even after a cleaning.
- The pockets no longer function.
- Fasteners such as buttons and zippers are either missing or no longer work as they should.
In truth, there is no standard time frame in terms of such replacements. Some garments can last for years at a time while others may become worn or outdated within a year or two. It is therefore apparent that the ultimate decision has just as much to do with the discretion of the man as it does with the physical characteristics of the jacket.
Finally, it is important to select a trustworthy and reputable tailor should you desire a fitted jacket. This can help to save you money should you require any alterations in the future. Never forget that this type of outerwear can make an excellent fashion statement while simultaneously providing you with superior levels of comfort!