How To Pick The Perfect Coat No Matter What Your Body Shape

When choosing the perfect winter coat it’s important to consider all the variables – what material the jacket is made from, whether it has a hood, how durable it is and finally, and most importantly, whether it suits your body shape. 

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Despite there being a strict small, medium and large size guide in every clothing store, it’s a well known fact that people are unique when it comes to shapes and sizes. One size does not fit all, and that applies to styles as well. To look your best it’s all about knowing your shape and dressing to compliment it. Getting the Winter staple right is the first thing to do. You’re going to be wearing a coat for a good four months – you want to make sure it’s the right one.

There are five basic shapes, and although you might not fit exactly into one, there’s going to be one that is closest to you to help guide you a little bit.

Coat Styles

The type of coat you can choose from can seem endless but once you have an idea of what coat will suit you, it will take no time at all to get to grips with what will make you look good. Whether you’re broad or slender, there will be coat that will work for you. Some of the coats on our list have been a staple of men’s wardrobes for generations and they don’t seem like they’re going anywhere.

If you pick up a classic coat design you know you’re going to be able to get a decent wear out of it and will last you a few winters. You also know it’s not going to go out of style as men will always love classic coat designs. Check out a few of the coat designs available in The Idle Man store right now.

Men’s Barbour Jacket

The Barbour jacket has become a staple of men’s wardrobes. It’s gone from being a jacket purely for hunting into a fashion essential. The wax design means it’s waterproof and perfect for the whole winter. They’re also not too heavy which is perfect if you’re popping out and don’t want to have to lug a heavy coat around with you.

Since their creation in 1800s South Shields, this brand has become one of the most sought after British brands out there. If you’re thinking about picking up a Barbour jacket there are so many more options available than you could previously access. They also still manufacture their jackets in the UK with around 100,000 coats and jackets coming from their Simonside factory each year. Don’t forget if you do get hold of a wax jacket and it loses it’s waterproofing you can always re-wax which is a huge benefit rather than having to give in and buy a new coat.

Check out the outfit below to get an idea of how you can wear a Barbour. Their darker jacket shades work well with most outfits. You can throw it on top of a jumper in winter, with a pair of selvedge denim jeans and a casual pair of trainers. The broad nature of these coats will work for lots of body shapes from smaller guys to bigger bulkier men.

Men’s Trench Coat

The trench is a longer coat, making them ideal for taller guys. You might want to avoid a trench if you’re smaller as you could look drowned out by the sheer size of it. Check the outfit below to see how you can wear a trench casually. The great thing about a trench has to be that it looks great in so many different colours and is so impressive in lighter shades. Often it can be difficult to find a coat that works with a lot of your outfits, if it’s not a darker shade but a trench works well in tan or camel shades.

It’ll suit a lot of different shapes but you want to make sure the fit is right. Like most clothes, if you make sure the sizing is right you’ll look good in most body shapes. If you can make sure your coats are well fitted they can work well in any kind of outfit. Below shows how easy it is to blend a smart coat with a stylish outfit without looking dated.

Men’s Duffle Coat

If you’re looking for a fitted winter coat, a duffle probably isn’t your best choice. It does look great on top of a suit and will compliment guys with a broader build. If you’re very slender it might be a good idea to find a fitted cut or avoid a baggy duffle coat. Because the duffle coat is a very casual piece you can team it with a plethora of looks and styles with ease. Dress it up or down, either way, the duffle coat will work for you this season no problem.

mens parka jeans black vans
A man wearing a green parka jacket

Men’s Puffer Jacket

Puffa jackets have been around for a while now and they’re a perfect winter jacket choice. The internal insulation means that you’re going to be able to keep warm when the weather suddenly drops. Thankfully for you, puffa jackets are both stylish and practical, meaning they’re the perfect jacket to have for this season.

We couldn’t be happier with this season’s 1992 Nuptse’s, purely for the incredible colours and patterns that they come in. Right now, we’re stocking three 1992 Nuptse’s in blue, red and the brightest yellow North Face jacket you’ve ever seen. It’s the closest to something you’d expect from Supreme and The North Face and is one of the best jackets around in our eyes. We’ve also got the classic mens black North Face jacket, just in case you want to keep it simple and monochromatic.

Men’s Parka Coat

The parka is a classic part of menswear. They don’t all come with a furry hood but they will have a full length zip. Their history dates back to the Inuits in Iceland protecting themselves with coats made from seal skin. Parkas are still considered to be a great choice for keeping warm and they’re often waterproof. When you’re picking up a coat like this you know you’re going to get years of wear out of it.

They’re great because they come in so many different fits and styles. There isn’t one design of a parka so they’ll suit a lot of different body shapes. If you pick up a well fitted parka it would look great on a smaller guy but also can work on a bigger build guy as it flatters your larger size.

The outfit below is a simple way to wear a parka and shows how versatile it is. You can throw it on top of smarter or casual outfits easily. A pair of skinny jeans will work well under a light coloured Parka. A great addition to any outfit has to be a pair of Vans sneakers. They’re perfect casually but also make you look smarter effortlessly.

Fitted Coats

It’s hard to deny that  well fitted coat looks good on most men. When you get it right you’ll never want winter to end and coat season to come to a close. Getting hold of a fitted coat is the perfect idea for any man looking to keep warm during the winter and look good at the same time.

Male Body Types

What body shape am I? It’s a question a lot of men have asked themselves and now we can help you out. No matter what your shape there will always be a coat to suit you. The most important part of buying a coat is making sure it fits right. This is where having an idea of what would work for your body type comes in handy. Take a look at a few of the most common shapes and see what coats would suit you.

The Trapezoid

This is a look that a lot of men want, with broad shoulders and chest, and narrow hips and waist. If you’ve got this then you’re one of the lucky ones. It’s considered a balances shape and suits most styles of coats and jackets. You can get away with bolder colours and and brighter looks because the coats will be fitting you almost perfectly so you can get away with it.

The pea coat is great for this kind of shape. It can emphasise your broader shoulders and compliment your thinner waist. You also don’t have to worry about looking gangly. The military style button layout will add some interest to the design. It was originally worn by sailors, the double breasted buttoning is great at keeping out the cold. An eye-catching parka is also a good choice for a trapezoid build as the fitted shoulders and high neck won’t drown out your shape and will instead flatter your form.

mens street style bomber
A man wearing a green bomber jacket and skinny jeans

The Inverted Triangle

This is very similar to the trapezoid, if you’re the type to hit the gym and focus on bodybuilding, you’re more likely to be this shape. Your shoulders will be much broader than your waist and hips, with a greater contrast than the trapezoid build. It’s important to find a coat that won’t highlight the difference between your top and bottom so much that you’ll look top heavy, but to find a coat that will streamline your body to make you look more balanced.

A V-neck coat is a good option, as the shape will create a line that will make your chest appear narrower and draw attention to your slim waist. Avoid anything with pointed or padded shoulders. You’re going to be broad enough, so there’s no need to add any more.

The Rectangle

Not the most flattering name for a body shape, but it basically means that your shoulders and hips are around the same size. You might then want a coat that helps broaden the look of your shoulders and make your waist appear narrower. You’re going to want something with a structured shoulder and that’s a little shorter in length to widen your chest but not hide your hips. A chunkier jacket or coat with defined shoulders is a good choice to give your body a little more shape.

The Triangle

Now although this shape means that your hips and waist are wider than your shoulders and chest, this doesn’t automatically mean that you’re overweight or unhealthy, it just means your body is proportioned a little differently.

The focus is on streamlining your body, so you want something close fitting and not too bulky. Try a single breasted blazer to keep things neat and well fitted, or avoid the buttons altogether with a slim fitting jacket.

The Oval

This shape means that the torso appears rounder compared to the rest of the body and may give the impression of narrower shoulders. You want to focus on lengthening the torso and giving definition to the shoulders. Try a coat that’s long in the body as it’ll help elongate your form, and a coat that has structured shoulders will give you more definition.

Best Coat Style for Your Body Shape

  • If you have a broad top and thin waist or the inverted triangle, you’ll find a lot of coats will suit you and a parka or pea coat are great options.
  • If you’re smaller and broad then a long coat won’t compliment your build. Think about getting a coat that will fit your and it won’t look like you’re drowning in the fabric.
  • Guys who are a little rounder would benefit from getting a coat that accentuates their wider shoulders but also flatters their larger stomach.
fredrik risvik grey hoodie black coat mens street style
PHOTO CREDIT: Fredrik Risvik

On That Note

Men come in so many different shapes and sizes and coats are no different. You can get hold of a coat that will suit you by making sure it fits right. It’s a simple way to get the most out of your purchase. If you’re a bit broader then consider a coat that will compliment your shoulders like a peacoat. If you’re more slender don’t go for anything too big and above all you want to feel comfortable in it!


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