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Duffle Coat Styling for an Old Money Look – A Gentleman’s Guide

The duffle coat is an essential garment in the wardrobe of distinguished gentlemen seeking to project an air of success and quiet wealth.

With a rich history and classic styling heritage, a well-chosen duffle coat can elevate any casual outfit, making it a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the duffle coat’s origins, key silhouette and material characteristics, styling tips, and how to select the perfect one to achieve that coveted old-money look.

Duffle Coat Roots

The duffle coat’s origins can be traced back to the late 19th century, with roots in Belgian and British fashion history.

The term “duffle” comes from the Belgian town of Duffel, known for producing the thick, woollen cloth used in the production of coats.

In 1887, British outerwear designer John Partridge began offering a duffle coat featuring the characteristic wooden toggle closures.

The design was later commissioned by the Royal British Navy, who sought a stylish and distinctive coat for sailors on military ships.

The duffle coat gained widespread popularity during World War II, with Field Marshal Montgomery and Colonel David Sterling favouring the style.

The coat’s unique appearance made it an iconic era garment, projecting an air of authority and sophistication.

After the war, surplus military duffle coats were released to the public, finding favour among artists, students, and intellectuals who appreciated its classic styling and cultural significance.

The coat peaked in the 1950s and 1960s, with fashion publications like SIR featuring articles on the “Monty-Coat.”

Today, the duffle coat remains a timeless classic offering a stylistic versatility that appeals to fashion-conscious men seeking to showcase a refined, old-money aesthetic.

Duffle Coat Characteristics

The duffle coat’s distinctive features contribute to its enduring appeal and make it an instantly recognizable garment.

When selecting a duffle coat, look for these key characteristics to ensure you invest in a stylish, high-quality piece.

Understanding these characteristics is critical to recognizing and selecting one that complements your old money-inspired wardrobe.

Material

Traditional duffle coats are made from a heavy, woollen cloth, often boiled wool or a thick Tyrolean loden fabric.

These materials offer a luxurious texture and a timeless look that pairs well with old-money staples like Oxford shirts, wool trousers, and leather boots.

When shopping for a duffle coat, prioritize natural fabrics for a classic, refined appearance.

Toggle Closures

The duffle coat’s signature feature is its toggle closures, typically made from wood or horn.

When combined with rope or leather loops, toggles create a visually striking fastening system that sets the duffle coat apart from other outerwear styles.

Opt for a coat with high-quality toggles that complement the fabric and overall design.

Hood

Another defining feature of the duffle coat is its attached hood, which adds a touch of casual elegance to the garment.

A well-designed hood should be adjustable, allowing you to create a snug fit around your face for a more streamlined look.

Patch Pockets

Duffle coats feature large patch pockets, which provide a convenient place to store essentials while adding to the coat’s overall visual interest.

Look for pockets that are well-crafted and proportionate to the coat’s size.

Ideal Fit

While original duffle coats were known for an oversized fit, modern interpretations often feature a more tailored silhouette.

When selecting a duffle coat, choose a fit that complements your body type and allows room for layering without appearing too bulky.

Colour

Duffle coats are available in various colours, from the traditional navy and camel to bolder hues like red and green.

Navy and camel are traditional colours because they can be paired with garments from classic old-money styles such as Preppy, Sloane Ranger, and BCBG.

However, while neutral hues are always a safe choice, don’t be afraid to experiment with bolder colours like deep red or forest green for a touch of personality.

Duffle Coat Styling Tips and Outfit Ideas

How to Style a Duffle Coat in the Morning

Pair a navy duffle coat with a pale blue button-down shirt, a cream cable-knit sweater, and tan corduroy trousers for a quintessential Sloane Ranger morning look.

Complete the outfit with dark brown leather brogue boots, a matching belt, a silk paisley pocket square, and tortoiseshell sunglasses for a sophisticated British upper-class aesthetic, perfect for a casual brunch or a morning stroll.

How to Style a Duffle Coat in the Afternoon

Pair a classic camel duffle coat with a white Oxford shirt, a navy V-neck sweater, and khaki chinos to create a preppy-inspired afternoon look.

Complete the outfit with a pair of brown leather penny loafers, a navy-and-green striped rep tie, a vintage gold watch, and a leather messenger bag for a collegiate-inspired appearance that exudes old-money charm.

How to Style a Duffle Coat in the Evening

Layer a forest green duffle coat over a black turtleneck sweater and charcoal grey flannel trousers to create a refined, BCBG-inspired evening look.

Elevate the outfit with black leather Chelsea boots, a sleek black leather watch, and a muted grey or navy cashmere scarf with a slip knot for an understated touch of luxury, ideal for an evening out at a trendy restaurant or an art gallery opening.

Duffle Coat Brands to Consider

When searching for the perfect duffle coat to add to your old money-inspired capsule wardrobe, consider these reputable brands known for their quality craftsmanship and timeless designs.

Gloverall

Gloverall, a British brand with a rich heritage dating back to the 1950s, is renowned for its classic duffle coats.

Their coats are made from premium materials such as Italian wool and feature authentic detailing, including wooden toggles and leather loops.

The Gloverall Monty duffle coat is an iconic style named after Field Marshal Montgomery, who popularized it during World War II.

Original Montgomery

Another British clothing brand with a long-standing history, Original Montgomery, has been producing duffle coats for the British Admiralty since the late 19th century.

The brand’s coats are crafted from high-quality wool and boast a timeless, authentic design.

The Original Montgomery Classic Fit Duffle Coat is a standout option for those seeking a traditional, well-made garment.

Burberry

Old Money luxury fashion house Burberry offers a range of duffle coat styles that blend and use the brand’s signature design elements to create a touch of the British classic Sloane Ranger silhouette.

Burberry’s duffle coats are crafted from premium wool and feature the brand’s iconic check lining, adding a touch of understated luxury to the garment.

While these coats come at a higher price point, they offer unparalleled quality and a refined, sophisticated aesthetic.

Ralph Lauren

American fashion brand Ralph Lauren is known for popularising preppy fashion, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to incorporate a duffle coat into their old money-inspired wardrobe.

Ralph Lauren’s duffle coats are made from high-quality wool and feature classic detailing, such as wooden toggles and a tartan lining.

The Polo Ralph Lauren Wool-Blend Duffle Coat is a timeless option that embodies the brand’s signature style.

Brooks Brothers

Brooks Brothers, another American Ivy League brand with a rich heritage and Ivy League-inspired designs, offers a range of duffle coat styles seamlessly blending into an old money-inspired wardrobe.

BB’s coats are crafted from premium materials such as Italian wool and feature classic detailing, including wooden toggles and a comfortable, tailored fit.

The Brooks Brothers Wool Duffle Coat is a versatile and well-constructed option for those seeking a timeless, high-quality garment.

With over twenty years of front-row fashion and styling events, collabs with haute-couture houses, and a PhD in Luxury Fashion, Laurenti is an expert in crafting personalized looks that depict old-money sophistication.

With years of expertise in high-end fashion collabs and a PhD in Sustainable Fashion, Ru specializes in curating eco-luxe wardrobes for the modern gentleman seeking understated refinement.

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