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Top 5 Outerwear Styles for Men and Women AW18

Judging by the morning thermostat and the view out of our window here at Coggles, the time has come once more to upgrade your outerwear for the autumn/winter season. Alongside your sturdy winter boots and heavyweight denim, your winter coat demands and merits the investment; considering it will be keeping you looking cool and feeling dry potentially every day for the next five months. When it comes to outerwear, we are fortunate to be able to call upon several core styles, all of which have been staples for many years, and have returned once again to expend their glory for AW18.

From the parka and plaid to the leather and shearling, the timelessness of these silhouettes and their rich heritage makes it virtually impossible to go wrong. Instead, what differentiates a truly great coat from a mediocre one is the fabrication and quality of construction. A well-designed coat made with high-quality fabrics will not only keep you dry and warm throughout the autumn/winter season, but will also ensure you have invested in outerwear that will pass the test of time. Look out for details such as taped seams, quilted linings, robust buttons, waterproofed fabrics or lining stitching which are all indicators of a high-quality, durable construction that will last you, most likely, a few decades.

To offer a guiding hand on selecting your winter coat this season, we caught up with the expert menswear and womenswear buying team here at Coggles. Making note of the runway and traditional winter pieces, we have listed the best styles among our autumn/winter 2018 collections.


1. Smart

Overcoats are a staple piece for every man’s wardrobe and are not to be confused with a topcoat. Usually made from a heavier material such as wool blends or cashmere, they can be single or double breasted, tailored and are typically knee length. As a key part of men’s dress since the 18th century, they were adopted during the 20th century as a uniform piece, intended to show formality and class. Today we consider the smart jacket as classic; a stylish alternative and wardrobe staple.

2. Quilted

Quilting is the technical term for any run of stitching, whether straight for for decorative purposes, that combines at least two layers of material. For puffer quilting, there is often an interlining that creates a 3D look. Becoming popular in England in the 17th century, the quilted coat is still a popular pick for men each winter. Technically made to to trap air that then acts as an insulator, quilted coats also stop the movement of interlining such as down feathers; often used to pad out the two fabrics. Now a classic winter go-to for their warm feel and insulating properties, brands have gotten creative with both colour and textures...

3. Parka

Tracing its origins back to Northern Canada where Caribou Inuits used parkas made from caribou or seal skin for hunting, the parka coat is today a British outerwear icon. The style was borrowed by the military during the Second World War to keep soldiers warm in colder climates and by the 1950s the parka had been reinvented in poplin (rather than the original nylon) as a style piece worn on the streets of the UK. The parka jacket came to the forefront of British fashion in the 1960s when the mods adopted the fishtail parka as their choice piece of outerwear. Warm, robust and with a longer cut that protected their clothes from dirtying while riding their scooters, the mods immortalised the parka as an integral part of British culture where it remains until this day.

4. Plaid

As a derivative of tartan, plaid is easily confused with the many variations that follow the honor of tartan; used originally by different Scottish clans. Traditionally plaids were made from heavier materials, acting as traveling cloaks to battle the cold Scottish winters. Gaining popularity in the US and Britain with textile manufacturers and designers, the pattern took to modern tastes and shapes; adapting to trench and bomber styles. Although, due to its history, the pattern suggests a step towards colder climates, it has become a popular transitional piece - a worthwhile investment.

5. Technical Outerwear

For thousands of years, mankind have designed many ways to keep rain off the body, originally using oiled cloths and animal skins.  For outdoor work, waterproof clothing has always been needed, and over the years has developed from heavy layerings of fabric and rubber to synthetic advancements in the 60s and 70s. Progressions such as the Pakamac saw greater water protection but also greater insulations for sweat and heat; a problem which would become unbearable with long periods of wear. Today, we have breathable materials that repel water droplets but, as a vapour, allow it to pass through; creating breathability and comfort. The technical outerwear therefore hold airing and insulating properties; perfect for long wear and lightweight carrying for the unpredictable weather. In the modern day, there is a rise of technical outerwear being worn casually, and no longer for outdoor work or walking.


1. Wool Blend

Classic, timeless and always in style. Made many years ago, the wool blend coat has stood the test of time, and evolved ever since. Bringing a classic cut into the modern day, the wool blend coat has many variations. From classic tailoring to slouchy, oversized alternatives, the classic smart coat demonstrates traditional formality, with a stylish edge. For years women have had a wool blend coat as their wardrobe staple, but the catwalk proves a growing popularity for the style in AW18…

2. Leather

First noted to have originated from World War 1, the leather jacket has taken on many styles, shapes and colours since its first appearance. Thanks to the Harley Davidson, another form of women’s leather jacket evolved, suiting the needs of daily riders and passengers. When women took to the wheel, they took over the fashion of a leather jacket too; a symbol of misbehaviour and unconventional dressing at the time. Mod fashion took it further in the 60’s, whilst the  rock ‘n’ roll era of the 70s made the jacket “sexy”, and a symbol of danger. This season the leather trend boomed with leather outwear gracing runways and street style. Make the investment now, SS19 saw the trend going nowhere.

3. Faux Fur

Realistic faux furs created in the 1950s were composed from silk scraps and synthetic piles of plush, velvet and dynel. Due to growing popularity for faux fur and the development and manufacturing abilities, it has become a favoured material for both practical and stylish reasons; dressed both casually and formally. With an uprise on the catwalk, faux fur outerwear is set to be a trend to follow this AW18…

4. Capes

Since the early Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Greek civilisations, women draped themselves in cloth as a form of outerwear, mainly due to the ease and practicality of them for their temperatures . But as fashion changed in the 19th century, capes and shawls became stylish outerwear pieces to shield from the cold. With the cape becoming more accommodating than jackets or coats to wear over dresses, popularity grew, along with development. As time has gone on, they have become increasingly accessorised and trimmed, leading them to the fashionable outerwear pieces we see today. For formal events to wear over a dress or for more casual fixtures and paired with jeans, the cape is a timeless addition to your wardrobe…

5. Shearling

From  Victorian outerwear to lined pilot bombers, shearling coats have become increasingly favoured. Since their initial use for survival in the Stone Age, shearling jackets are now a fashionable outerwear piece designed in a range of shapes and styles. Shearling is also a  prominent texture for lapels, collars and cuffs as indicated by the catwalk. From the runway, full shearling coats and jackets were worn, in both short and long lengths…. Their warmth, dimension and overall look is not one to miss out on this autumn/winter.

Shop the full range of men's and women's winter coats online at Coggles >>

Clare Potts
Clare Potts Writer and expert

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