Trench coats vs pea coats, the age old discussion. It was Spring the first time I bought a suit for work and it didn’t even occur to me that I needed to buy a new coat to go with my suit. Fast forward to Fall and with an abrupt temperature change, I was in a suit store between sales calls asking about coats.
The traditional suit coat is the trench coat. If you want a suit coat that is more formal in nature, go with a trench coat. Otherwise, keep reading to find out what you should wear.
What is a pea coat?
A pea coat is a double-breasted coat with wide lapels and large buttons. It is shorter than a trench coat and is typically made out of wool.
This type of jacket has been around for centuries and isn’t going to go out of fashion anytime soon.
Why buy a pea coat?
One reason you might want to consider wearing this over a trench coat is that it makes it’s wearer look thicker rather than thinner.
Skinny men can sometimes look frail in a trench coat, but never in a pea coat. This is because these coats add bulk to the shoulders and chest without adding the illusion of elongation to a man’s torso.
Another reason a person might want to buy this over a trench is because it is less restrictive at the knees and great for movement. Outside salesmen looking to pound the pavements each day do not need a garment that reduces their movement speed.
This is the reason I made my first suit coat a pea coat rather than a trench coat. I wanted something warm but not too bulky or restrictive.
Also a person can sit down on a chair in a pea coat without ever having to take it off. This is good for those that might work in a cold environment that requires them to leave their coat on during the day.
What is a trench coat?
A trench coat is also a double-breasted coat with large buttons. However, this coat typically extends down past a person’s knees.
Because of it’s extended length, a trench coat will have a built-in belt that goes around the waste. This makes it a coat that takes a little bit longer to put on than a pea coat.
Trench coats are more popular than pea coats and are the more traditional choice. You simply can’t go wrong with buying one a trench coat.
Why buy a trench coat?
A trench coat is a mainstay for people walking to and from cold train stations or office parking lots because it helps insulate a man’s entire body. Wear a trench coat over a pea coat if you need added warmth and protection against the cold for both your upper body as well as your legs.
Another added benefit of the trench coat is that it can have a slimming effect on it’s wearer. If you have a thick build or are short and stocky, buy this before even looking at a pea coat.
How to Buy a Suit Coat
Whether you choose to go with a trench coat or a pea coat, you’ll want to choose one that fits properly. Suit coats aren’t hard to size, but you do need to take into account the fact that you’ll have a suit jacket on underneath of them.
Never buy a trench coat or a pea coat without accounting for the space your suit’s jacket will take up inside of it.
Another aspect of the suit coat to consider is the color.
My recommendation is to always start off with a neutral color. Charcoal gray trench coats and pea coats will go with any suit color you might wear.
Start off with a gray suit coat and then move onto blue or tan as you see fit.