Northern Californians know more about winter coats than Minnesotans, Mainers, or Wisconsites are likely to learn. The Bay Area and the Monterey Bay Area just to the south may be on average warmish in January, but that's only a product of temperature swings between balmy and frigid. That means locals have to painstakingly select a coat suited to changing conditions. Robert Talbott's Shasta Jacket, designed with the tony environs of Carmel in mind, fits the region perfectly.
The cashmere and wool coat is chunky and hangs heavily, but the fabric keeps both heat and cold at bay, making it wearable even when the sun peaks out from behind those thick blankets of Big Sur fog. The mid-length is an exercise in moderation well suited to unpredictable climes and the style is – subtly – vintage California. The buffalo horn buttons are a nod to the West, and the big chest pockets hint that the coat wasn't just designed to go over a suit. This piece was meant to go outside, meant to be worn in a convertible long after convertible season has come and gone. [$418; directclothiers.com]