Tailor That Topcoat

We do a lot of talking about tailoring when it comes to suits, jackets and trousers. But what about tailoring outerwear?

The most common mistake men make with topcoats and overcoats is by going too large in the first place, which does nothing but physically diminish the wearer. My off-the-peg jacket size is 38R, which means I also wear a 38R topcoat, contrary to the more popular practice of “sizing up.” Even if the coat has the right snug fit in the shoulders, there still may be tailoring required to get the coat to look its best.

My current topcoat is a wool/cashmere blend from J.Crew’s Ludlow line. Since the Ludlow cut is pretty trim already, with a slight slimming at the waist, I didn’t need to bring mine to a tailor. I was lucky. Not all coats are cut like this. A quick look around the city sidewalks of Manhattan reveals a lot of ill-fitting topcoats and overcoats that look like shapeless columns of fabric with sleeves and lapels. It doesn’t mean that the coats are not good. They may even be made with superlative craftsmanship and quality. But a lot of brands are trying to fit as many men as possible, which means that the off-the-rack as-is fit might be very generic and ill-suited for the wearer. A quick trip to the tailor with a little nip here and there would fix that. Nothing crazy, not sausage-casing “skinny” fit. Just something to give it a nicer shape and fit.

Featured image from Skyfall, Copyright © EON Productions, MGM, Sony Pictures.



  1. Do you have a tailor in Manhattan that you would recommend for taking in a topcoat?

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