Wool peacoats have been popular since the Dutch started making them some 400 years ago, but the coat designed to tame the North Atlantic cold never made much sense farther south than Amsterdam. The double-breasted coats work with formal outfits and T-shirts, but sometimes struggle to interface with blazers or temperate weather because of their bulk – coarse wool pij fabrics, from which the coats originally derived their name, are notoriously thick. The new waxed-cotton peacoat from Orvis solves this problem by being slim enough to comfortably wrap around tweed or pinstripes and durable enough to weather any storm. It also offers a wrinkled sort of elegance, draping down almost to the knee and creating a narrower silhouette than most classic coats.
Forever practical, the designers at Orvis have outfitted their lighter peacoat with handwarmer pockets and lined it with comfortable flannel. A bit of leather trim around the pockets on the pocket flaps adds a slightly more modern touch to the coat, which looks as comfortable in the woods as it does downtown. The coat isn't complicated, but the wrinkled matte finish and burnished buttons make it worth a second glance, especially on winter's warmest days. [$325; orvis.com]