One of the keys to dressing well during the fall and winter season is choosing the right outerwear.
I consider the pea coat to be the quintessential fall/winter coat for men. It’s one of my favourite pieces and one of those inherently masculine items that can elevate your look.
But the pea coat is not the be-all and end-all of stylish outerwear options for the fall/winter season. There are other coats out there that are just as stylish (albeit not as well known).
Case in the point: the quilted jacket
The quilted jacket (also known as the puffer) is a fantastic outerwear option for the fall/winter season. Quilted jackets combine two layers of fabric through decorative stitching (usually in a diamond pattern) with a possible third layer or interlining in between which gives the jacket a slightly “puffy” or three dimensional look.
The are two main reasons why I like quilted jackets: first, not a lot of men wear them. It’s not something I see routinely so if you want a jacket that is somewhat unique then the quilted jacket is a solid choice. Second, quilted jackets are incredibly lightweight and yet warm. They are perfect for layering over several pieces.
Lots of companies are making quilted jackets these days. Some better than others. One company that seems to be getting it right is Merc. Recently, they sent me their much coveted Alcester Quilted Jacket to review.
I love the colour of this jacket. A nice deep green (oddly enough Merc calls it khaki). Perfect for the fall season and a shade that pairs very nicely with the navy, grey, and brown.
The Alcester Quilted Jacket is also incredibly lightweight and not overly puffy at all. You won’t feel like the Michelin Man wearing this thing. I also noticed that the arm holes are cut quite high on the jacket which is exactly what you want. This allows you to freely move your arms without the whole body of the jacket moving around with you. Jackets with lower arm holes end up looking boxy and are not nearly as comfortable to wear.
Here’s yours truly wearing the Alcester Quilted Jacket to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
In this outfit I’ve got the Alcester Quilted Jacket on over a nice fleece button up shirt (perfect for the fall) with my favourite pair of cords (770 fit by J.Crew) and a beautiful pair of Red Wing Iron Rangers. A simple look for the fall season.
In terms of sizing of the jacket I went with a medium and as you can see it fits beautifully. The sleeve length is on point and the body of the jacket is neither too tight nor too boxy. For reference I’m 6’0″ and weigh about 180-185lbs.
The Alcester Quilted Jacket has three buttoned pockets on the front (two large pockets near the waist and one pocket on the left breast). There is also a buttoned pocket in the interior of the jacket.
The jacket also has a really nice buttoned double vent. I really like this feature as it allows you to put your hands in your trouser’s pockets without the jacket bunching excessively.
There is also a buttoned tab on either side of the jacket just above the bottom pockets. What these tabs allow you to do is give the jacket a little bit more shape through the midsection. This is a great option although I found the jacket’s overall shape to be flattering without having the tabs buttoned.
Another detail that really makes the Alcester Quilted Jacket noteworthy is its corduroy collar with the tartan lining underneath. It’s one of my favourite features of the jacket. I like wearing mine with the collar popped so the corduroy collar + tartan lining really adds an eye catching element to the jacket.
The other thing I like about this jacket (and Merc in general) is the discreet branding. There is just a small, tasteful logo on one of the bottom pockets. Many of my readers know that I’m not a fan of big logos or obnoxious branding so I was pleased to see Merc stick with its tradition of understated, classy branding.
Lastly, the shell of the Alcester Quilted Jacket is 100% nylon while the interior lining is made from cotton. I actually really like the interior lining which is a light blue cotton (almost chambray-esque) with a little tartan detailing around the edges.
The Alcester Quilted Jacket retails for £100 which is a steal. A Barbour quilted jacket would run in the range of ~$300 US so Merc’s qui
Could you dress up the Alcester Quilted Jacket?
Absolutely. The Alcester Quilted Jacket is incredibly versatile. If I were to dress this jacket up for the office I would wear it like this:
In this outfit I’ve paired the Alcester Quilted Jacket with a simple oxford button up shirt by J.Crew, a cotton/cashmere cardigan by J.Crew, a pair of grey dress slacks by J.Crew as well, a full grain leather belt by Florsheim, and a pair of leather dress boots by Beckett Simonon.
This is a money look for the office or for any other occasion when you need to look a little bit more polished.
Choosing the right outerwear is key to stellar style during the fall/winter season. Top coats and pea coats are great choices for the cooler weather but they are by no means the only stylish options out there. Quilted jackets are definitely underrated but the right one could really help you take your style to the next level. I highly recommend you check out the Alcester Quilted Jacket by Merc. I was thoroughly impressed with the cut and the quality of this jacket, and at £100 it is hard to beat.
Here’s to looking sharp!