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A topcoat is an incredibly classic and versatile menswear staple. For men who wear suits regularly, a topcoat is a must-have item for the fall and winter months. This is because the topcoat is the only outerwear garment specifically designed to be worn over a suit. Even if you don’t wear suits that often, you can still rock a topcoat over jeans and chinos. So here is a guide on how a topcoat should fit.
Just like with your suit jacket, blazer or casual jackets, the most important fit aspect to get right is the shoulder fit. Unlike when you are trying on a suit jacket or blazer where you typically just have a dress shirt underneath, you need to be wearing a suit jacket or blazer when trying on a topcoat. The main reason for this is that a topcoat is meant to be worn on top of a suit jacket so you need to make sure you have enough room in the shoulders to accommodate a suit jacket or blazer underneath.
Once you put on the topcoat over a suit jacket, make sure the shoulder lies flat and straight and you have enough room to move your arms. If the topcoat is too tight in the shoulders, the shoulder seam will lie before your shoulder drops to your arm and it will feel uncomfortable. If the topcoat is too big, the shoulder seam will lie past the point where your shoulder drops to your arm and this will look unprofessional.
The topcoat should lie flat around your neck with no excess fabric. When wearing the topcoat, you don’t want any visible gaps between the back of your dress shirt, suit jacket and topcoat. The topcoat should lie flush against your neck with a clean silhouette.
Chest and Body
The topcoat should have a slim/straight fit through the chest and body. Since you will be wearing a suit jacket underneath your topcoat, the best way to check how it fits in the chest area is to button all the buttons (typically 3). You should have no tightness either in the chest or the body area.
A slight pull in through the body around the middle button is fine since that will give you a more modern fitted look. Overall, the topcoat should fit comfortable overtop your suit with clean lines and no pulling.
Since this is an outerwear garment, you want the sleeves of the topcoat to cover everything you are wearing underneath. For example, if you are wearing a suit with a dress shirt, the topcoat sleeves should cover both the sleeves of the suit and also the dress shirt. Just make sure that the sleeves are not too long.
They should end right where your wrist ends and your palm begins. The sleeves should also be roomy enough to accommodate whatever you are wearing underneath such as a suit, sweater and/or dress shirt.
The armholes of the topcoat should not be too low since that will ruin the streamlined silhouette of the coat and make it look boxy. However, they should also not be too high or small because you need enough room to accommodate a suit jacket underneath.
Ideally, you should have a decent amount of arm movement when wearing the topcoat over a suit and you should not have any tightness or discomfort under your armpit.
The ideal length of a topcoat depends on your height.
For most men (5’8 and above), the ideal length of a topcoat is at or just above the knees (1 to 2 inches). This length will both be modern and timeless and will make dressing up and dressing down the topcoat much easier.
If you are below 5’8 then get a topcoat that ends 2-3 inches above your knees.
Avoid topcoats with a shorter length that ends around the mid-thigh because they come across as too trendy and casual. Also, a topcoat that goes past your knees looks dated.
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I hope you enjoyed and most importantly found helpful this guide on how a topcoat should fit.