Nothing feels more like winter than outfits dressed up with topcoats and sweaters to stay warm. Maybe it's a holiday service or a work party or a fancy date (lucky dog).
But topcoats and sweaters cost too much money to be relegated to the handful of times a season that those occasions come up. And that's a real shame, because these items, generally made of some of the nicer materials you'll find in your closet, are also super comfy. Perfect not just for when you need to look dressed up, but when you want to look well-dressed casually too.
The secret to getting more use out of them is to dress them down. First, imagine this same camel topcoat and charcoal shawl collar sweater with a gingham dress shirt, gray tie, and slim dress pants. It's a decidedly more dressed up business casual look.
With this outfit, we accomplish that by pairing them with a very casual base: A gray heathered curved hem t-shirt and faded lightwash denim. The curved hem adds a bit of fashion-forwardness to the whole thing but it's not required. This t-shirt is one of my favorite “covet” brands based here in Los Angeles, Buck Mason. They're kind of like J.Crew minus the prep, but with a handful of items like denim made in the USA.
If you can't squeeze $32 for a t-shirt, there are plenty of good options for less. Look for one that is “tri-blend” “50-50.” This indicates it's composed of a mix of polyester, cotton, and rayon, and offers a thinner, softer, more-vintage-like look than your regular Beefy tee.
Lightwash denim is almost always casual and it amplifies the weekend-casual style we're going for here. Imagine, instead, a pair of dark selvedge denim and the outfit would definitely be dressier smart casual.
Other Ways We've Worn These Pieces
Topcoat Dressed Up
You can see how we styled this exact same camel topcoat in a more dressed up / business attire look previously:
If you're looking for more options for topcoats, you'll want to check out These Are The 23 Best Men's Pea Coats, Car Coats, Walker Coats, and Overcoats.
Shawl Collar Cardigan Dressed Up
In fact, the base of today's Getup – the heathered t-shirt, light denim, and gray boots – was used in our best solid flannel shirts guide. Just goes to show how easy it is to get very different looks out of practically identical outfits.
Get More Use Out of Your Sportcoats Too
Get Today's Getup
Camel topcoat: Peter Manning, $345 / Budget: Amazon, $121
Shawl collar cardigan: J.Crew Factory, $68
Slim taper jeans: Levi's 512, $60
Curved hem tri-blend t-shirt: Buck Mason, $32 / Alt: Alternative, $11
Gray boots (shown): Amazon, $120 / Alt: Wolverine, $327