When you think of stylish winter outerwear you generally think of things like pea coats, top coats, duffle coats and the like.
These are all wonderful options for the cold weather season but they are far from the only options available.
In fact, there’s another coat that doesn’t garner nearly as much attention as the above three but can be just as stylish.
I’m talking about the parka:
A parka is a hip or mid-thigh length cold-weather coat that is typically down filled or stuffed with synthetic fiber. Parkas also have a hood that is usually fur lined or faux fur lined.
The design of the parka makes it an excellent option for the winter season (especially for those of you who experience particularly harsh winters).
But as great as parkas are at keeping you warm, the are often less than aesthetically pleasing. Usually a little too big and bulky for my liking. Functional but not necessarily stylish.
There are exceptions, however, as some companies have figured out how to strike a balance between form and function.
What immediately drew my attention to this coat is its sleek design. This is far from a bulky and puffy parka jacket.
The fishtail cut is also classic. This is the type of parka that was originally created for the US Army in Korea before being popularized by mod culture in the 1960s.
The innovative split or “fishtail” design on the jacket actually serves a functional purpose. Each split has a drawstring on the hem which allows you to tie each half of the parka around one of your legs. This allows you to keep the wind out and trap more of your body heat.
So not only does this parka look good, it will also keep you plenty warm too.
Here’s what the Tobias Fishtail Parka looks like on yours truly:
As you can see the parka is cut beautifully and fits very well. It’s actually incredibly lightweight for a 3/4 length winter coat.
For sake of reference I’m 6’0″ and 180-185lbs. The coat I’m wearing is a large.
The Tobias Fishtail Parka has four exterior pockets (two slanted pockets on the the chest and two flap pockets on either side of the waist). There are also a couple of interior pockets as well (one buttoned pocket at the waist and another pocket on the chest).
The coat also has an interior drawstring that can be used to give it a little more shape.
The jacket itself is made with a water-repellent polyester (although you wouldn’t be able to tell based on feel) and comes with Merc’s signature cotton tartan lining (one of my favourite features of Merc’s outerwear).
The hardware on the jacket (buttons and zipper) all feel really sturdy. Nothing about this jacket looks or feels cheap.
There’s a reason why the Tobias Fishtail Parka is one of Merc’s best sellers. It’s an absolutely fantastic piece of outerwear that is the perfect blend of form and function.
The Merc Tobias Fishtail Parka currently retails for £155.
How to wear Tobias Fishtail Parka
In the images above I’m wearing the Tobias Fishtail Parka with a pair of dark denim jeans, a grey cable knit sweater, and a pair of leather boots. Work wear pieces like this tend to balance nicely with the parka but you’re certainly not limited to just these kinds of items.
Here’s one way you could “dress up” the Tobias Fishtail Parka:
In this look I’ve paired the Tobias Fishtail Parka with the Saxon wool v-neck sweater by Brooks Brothers, a basic white button up dress shirt by J.Crew, navy wool trousers by Suit Supply, a pair of Allen Edmonds Strand lace ups and a braided leather belt by L.L Bean.
This is a simple, clean look for the winter season.
Parkas can be an excellent option for the winter season, provided that you choose the right one.
I was very impressed with the Merc Fishtail Parka. It’s classic design elements and sturdy construction make it a great choice for those of you looking to stay warm during the winter season without having to sacrifice your style.
Be sure to check out all of Merc’s fantastic outerwear items here.
Here’s to looking sharp!