A man needs a coat, or several of them, for the rain and the snow.
Every wardrobe has to start somewhere. If you have one coat it should be a tan raincoat with a zip-in lining that will help keep you warm when the temperature falls below freezing.
Your second coat should be designed to get you to and from your work in cold weather, like the navy guard's coat in the drawing. Less useful than a raincoat in the rain, an overcoat can literally keep you from freezing on very cold days.
Variety being the spice of life, larger wardrobes have five or more coats for different purposes. In addition to the raincoat and an overcoat, you could constructively add a topcoat, like the covert coat pictured in the center of the drawing, for milder days.
A more formal overcoat, such as a charcoal Chesterfield with a black velvet collar, will be more appropriate than a conventional coat at solemn occasions and in the evening.
Finally, a tweed coat with raglan sleeves will look fitting worn over tweed suits and odd jackets.
We differentiate between overcoats and topcoats because a topcoat is lighter than an overcoat and more appropriate for spring, fall and milder winter days.
Coat fabrics come in several different weights. Very heavy overcoat fabrics, suitable for a Moscow winter, weigh as much as 30 ounces and are increasingly difficult to find today. Normal overcoat fabric runs 20-22 ounces, and topcoat cloth 17-18 ounces. In warmer climates such as Naples or San Francisco, topcoats may be made from suiting fabric weighing as little as 13 ounces.
The classic colors for overcoats and topcoats are the usual navy, charcoal and tan. For variety, you should acquire one of each color before considering a second or third in a similar color. For example, your closet might contain:
-Navy guard's coat
-Fawn covert coat
-Brown and cream houndstooth tweed
If you prefer other choices, such as a camel polo coat instead of the navy guard's coat, you can maintain color choices in your closet by substituting, for example, a black and white herringbone topcoat for the covert.
If you've earned an indulgence this winter, remember that coats may be the best opportunities to employ luxury cloth in your wardrobe. Cold weather is significantly less uncomfortable when you're wrapped up in a cashmere overcoat.