Outside the perennials such as Burberry Prorsum, Crombie, Aquascutum, Davies & Son and Belstaff, I've not seen much in the way of compelling outerwear for this frigid season. Of course, cursory scans of this column show that I'm rather fond of ye olde classic inspirations:
This is Edward, Duke of Windsor's greatcoat, decorated with Royal Yacht Squadron buttons, circa 1930. Through my best friend, I recently had the pleasure of reading all three catalogues concerning Sotheby's 1997 auction of the wardrobes, knick knacks, servant's uniforms, furniture and other effects that belonged to him and Wallis Simpson, whose striking, if overly figural, Cartier jewellery and accessories recently set new records at another Sotheby's sale. Despite what the uncharitable might say about the couple, never let it be said that the Windsor collection lacked depth; I know a few women who would kill for a solid gold necessaire de soir. One or two men, also. Purseforum has male members, no?
The greatcoat has a certain potent quality amongst other coats and the fact that they have not seen a resuscitation in their fortunes since John Barrowman first imputed his roguish Captain Jack Harkness character with Quentin Crisp-force camp in Doctor Who and Torchwood makes them a delectable attraction. Of course, this is a military coat I am talking about - it practically imbues the wearer with bearing through its shoulder structure alone. It also has a deft adaptability; deployable as it is with precise, formal ensembles, it also works with less dressy presentations like the slacks with shirts or knitwear that Burberry's stylists are adepts of. Wear it open with the collar turned up and dramatically framing an elegant turtleneck for that casual loucheness. And the drama can only deepen if one is partial to wearing them with stylish millinery like a fedora or a dressy Western hat:
As for other styles of coat, I think that fur will be my next step-up. And this, the Duke's 1934 A Simpson & London Ltd formal overcoat, is strictly for the astrakhan lovers:
Scans from The London Lounge and The Cutter and Tailor