Bro Where's Your Canada Goose: Purchasing "The" Coat - Part Trois
Oh baby it's cold outside here in NYC! We know you've studied Jon Rich's first and second installments in the "Bro Where's Your Canada Goose" series. Fear not our friends, your coat dating days are over and you can settle down on "the one". How timely since we just experienced an insane arctic freeze in the city. Jon expands our coat horizons and leads us to the land of warmth and fashion so we can all be savvy, style soldiers as we fight the frost- take it away Jon:
Now that you know a thing or two about what to look for when buying a winter coat, you will be glad to know that your winter coat search is not limited to Canada Goose. There are a lot of great brands out there. You just needed a crazy (handsome and fashionable) person like me to find them for you. Below are my picks, in no particular order.
1. For the pretty boy: Mackage (Canada): Ah, Mackage. Maybe you’ve seen the ladies’ winter coats from this luxe brand with their signature giant raccoon fur crisscross hood, famous for making young, impressionable 20-something gals look like cute little prairie dogs. (More like cute and a little scary (in a good way!), depending on the lighting.) The men’s collection is not as well-known, but still is below-the-radar cool. The Edward F-5 parka is on pricier side ($1,150), but it’s waterproof and warm AF, with 90% duck down, a separate vest insert, rabbit fur neck lining and raccoon fur-ruff’d hood. It’s on the shorter side for a parka, hitting at the top of the thigh, but still covers the tush.
2. For the guy the girls would most likely bring home to meet their parents: Canada Goose (Canada): He’s handsome, went to a good school, has a good job, does his taxes and loves his mother. You get the point. He’s wearing Canada Goose man! Crazy popular, but for good reason. Their products are high-quality, waterproof, extremely light, warm and stylish! Although Canada Goose has an impressive array of bombers and parkas, I chose the Chateau Parka because I think it’s the most dressy of them all, mainly because of its military-style button closure front and slim silhouette.
3. For the Francophile and avid "après-après-après" skier: Moncler (France/Italy): If Canada Goose is the Volkswagen of winter coats, Moncler is Brad and Angelina’s blacked-out Mercedes G Wagon driving through the Swiss Alps. Founded in 1952 in a small mountain village in Grenoble, France, Moncler pioneered the quilted jacket. Moncler’s first products were actually sleeping bags made for villagers who worked on the cold, snowy mountain. Brrr. Soon, they took the quilted design of their sleeping bags and started making puffy coats. 64 years later, now headquartered in Milan and run by stylish Italian, Remo Ruffini, Moncler is considered among the finest brands of winter wear, continuing to keep puffer coats atop fashion trends. From the Moncler men’s collection, I recommend the Cluny Parka, $1,795, a Bergdorf Goodman staple, because of its sleek, clean design coupled with front button closures, which gives it a formal look.
4. For the Brooklynite: Spiewak (USA): Fuggheettabboouutttiittt. Founded in 1904 in good ol’ Brooklyn, New Yawk as a big outerwear supplier for the American military, Spiewak has secured its own, unique space in the saturated outwear business. I have to admit, I’m pretty biased because I own a Spiewak, but clearly, you can trust my taste. Spiewak coats are not cheap, but they’re more affordable than Canada Goose and similar brands, topping out at about $825. Spiewak’s military roots are obvious, from the solid stitching and construction to the practical designs. However, in order to keep up with the urban fashion trends, they have significantly modernized their styles in the past few years. One more cool thing about Spiewak and then I’ll move on. Spiewak actually uses recycled down in their coats by taking used down from coats and other sources (literally pillows, comforters, etc…). This is done in a special feather recycling facility in Italy (no joke), where recycled feathers are cleaned and restored to their original fluffiness, which end up providing the exact same insulation as freshly-plucked feathers. My pick is the Aviation N3B Fur-Trim Parka, $825 at Bloomingdale’s.
If you want to see how Spiewak sources its recycled down, check out this link.
5. For the urban snowboarder*: Moose Knuckles (Canada): The great thing about Canada (besides Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds and every other person in the country named Ryan) is that there is so much winter coat diversity. While Canada Goose is mainstream and fairly conservative, Moose Knuckles is far more edgy…for a jacket company. Founded circa 2006/2007 by Toronto natives, Will Poho and Mark Peros, Moose Knuckles brilliantly combines the quality and construction needed to withstand the blustery Canadian Arctic with some flare like fox fur, dyed white, black and blue, as well as an abundance of shiny, detailed metal buttons (I like buttons). Listen, I said they have some flare, but don’t shy away from this brand if you think it’ll make you look flashy. It has the perfect dose of originality. I like the Stirling Parka because it’s on the more conservative, practical side of their line - $850 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
6. For the Liam Neeson type à la “Taken”-trendy-vigilante: Nobis (Canada): You’ll love this brand if you have a particular set of "skills" and some money to spend. Meet Ontario-based Nobis. With serious 90/10 fill white duck down insulation, breathable, waterproof shells, and no-nonsense, yet cool designs, Nobis is the Army Humvee of outerwear. Of all of the brands on this list, I would trust Nobis to keep me warm and dry if hell froze over or the Earth was rapidly drifting away from the sun…or if I was kidnapped and held hostage in Belarus. I also really like their military-esque style, which is partly why I am incapable of recommending fewer than three of their coats. The Yatesy ($1,095) is a nearly seamless, long, traditional parka; the Johan ($995), is a simple, more modern parka, featuring a button flap; and the Kato ($995), is a double-breasted down, waterproof, fur-hooded pea coat – wait, did I just say they make a down, waterproof furry double-breasted pea coat!?! I did. Nobis is mostly sold online, so click your way to warmth here.
7. For the cool dad pushing a stroller around the Union Square Barnes & Noble: Woolrich (USA): Okay, maybe I’m including this brand because maybe the founder’s name happens to be John Rich (the “H” is silent), but in reality, Woolrich is an iconic American clothing staple that makes good-quality and relatively affordable USA-made garments. Woolrich does not have the variety of these other coat makers, but if you keep your eyes peeled in the cold weather, you will see a lot of gentlemen sporting the Arctic Parka ($765, Bloomingdale’s). Their parka is a basic style, but that’s not a bad thing if you just want a clean, practical and elegant parka that will certainly withstand the urban elements. Plus, the white front buttons give it a distinct pizzazz. It’s a good deal.
8. For the Man vs. Wild enthusiast (bushy beard preferred): Parajumpers (Italy): The creation of Italian designer, Massimo Rosetti, Parajumpers was founded in 2005 after Mr. Rosetti was hanging around Anchorage, Alaska, where he chatted with members of the 210th Rescue Squad of the Alaska Air National Guard, whose job it is to perform aerial search and rescue missions in the Alaskan wild. Naturally, Mr. Rosetti thought that their outwear was pretty cool and decided to turn the look into a business. Parajumpers coats look very much like they could be useful during a free fall into a forest fire from 30,000 feet in the air, which is definitely not a bad thing. Aside from making you look like a human Jeep Wrangler, their jackets, like most of the others on this list, are warm (90/10 duck down fill), windproof and waterproof. My pick is the Kodiak ($1,110), which is on the longer side, but slender and has button closures for a more grown-up look. The signature yellow nylon strap collar gives it a distinct look that might just drive the forest girls wild.
No matter what coat you end up with remember it's cost-per-wear people. Invest in warmth + style.
Jon Rich is In the Midfield's Men's Lifestyle Editor. He is also a practicing attorney in NYC.