Overcoat vs Peacoat: What Is The Difference?

So you’re getting ready to upgrade your wardrobe for the upcoming cold weather. But, you’re stuck at a crossroads: the classic overcoat vs peacoat decision. Which of these coat styles is best for you? Is there really even a difference?

To the untrained eye, it can be tough to distinguish between these types of coats. But make no mistake – there are some key differences between these two styles that you must be aware of if you want to truly look and feel your best when you step out of your home. Not only do they have differences in terms of style, but practicality. Don’t worry – you’ll soon learn all there is to know on the peacoat vs overcoat debate.

In this short guide, we’ll help you master the art of styling both overcoats and peacoats. We’ll also address the main question you came here with today: what is the difference between an overcoat vs peacoat? We won’t hold you in suspense any longer – let’s take a look.

Overcoat vs Peacoat: What Is The Difference?

Those out in warm climates year-round may never get to experience the stunning look and comfortable feel of either a peacoat or overcoat. But, those of us who experience cold or dreary weather throughout the year can’t get by with just a suit – an overcoat or peacoat is a must to protect your clothes underneath while keeping you warm. And let’s face it – they’re incredibly stylish, too!

But, should you buy an overcoat or a peacoat? Or, do you need both? Let’s quickly define each style before helping you decide which is right for you.

What Is An Overcoat?

An overcoat is exactly what the name suggests: a coat that goes over your outfit as a final piece. The overcoat serves a few different purposes. First and foremost, it protects your suit underneath from the harsh elements outside. While these coats are not waterproof like a trench coat, they are still great for keeping your suit looking great.

But, they also keep you warm – that is the most defining feature of an overcoat. They are one of the heaviest coats one can buy, and they tend to fall to at least your knees. The longer length is key to trapping in that warmth for when you have a long walk to work or while out running errands. You may see most men wear an overcoat on top of their suits or blazers. However, you shouldn’t limit the overcoat just to formal wear. In our guide on how to wear an overcoat casually, you’ll learn how to unlock an effortlessly casual look with this coat.

As you can see, overcoats are a versatile way to keep you warm, preserve your suit underneath, and look stylish. But how do they vary from a peacoat? Let’s take a look.

What Is A Peacoat?

A peacoat is another common coat you’ll see the well-dressed man walk out in during those colder winter months. While they were originally worn by sailors, today they are worn by all sorts of working professionals as a final layer to their outfit. These coats are typically a bit more casual choice than an overcoat. They don’t pair as well with suits or blazers as an overcoat does. That’s because they are much shorter – typically falling at thigh length rather than knee length.

They are also only found in a double-breasted coat – whereas the overcoat can be found in either single or double-breasted overcoat styles. With a lighter fabric, these may not be as well-suited for freezing cold temperatures as the overcoat is. And, they are a bit less versatile – as they tend to come in just one color: navy.

Overcoat vs Peacoat: Which Is Right For You?

With all this said, which is right for you? To help you choose between the peacoat vs overcoat, let’s break down the key differences you should be aware of. We will do this by comparing and contrasting them next to one another:

  • Overcoat: Heavier wool fabric designed to keep you warm. These pair well with a suit/blazer, but can be worn casually as well. You can find overcoats in a wide array of colors to match any suit or blazer you have in your closet. They may be available as either a single or double-breasted coat, and fall at the knee – sometimes, even lower (but not as low as the trench coat).
  • Peacoat: Lighter fabric that keeps you warm – but not to the extent of an overcoat. These are only available as a double-breasted coat, and are typically only available in navy color. Unlike the overcoat, these don’t go well with a suit or blazer as they are designed to fit much slimmer. You can wear them with slacks and a dress shirt nonetheless.

So, when shopping for your next winter coat ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you experience extremely cold weather that only an overcoat can protect from? An overcoat is much warmer and heavier than a peacoat. A peacoat is a great choice for cool spring/fall weather but won’t keep you as warm.
  • Do you wear suits and blazers on a daily basis, or do you have more flexibility in your wardrobe? Overcoats pair well with suits, peacoats do not. You’ll have to consider your dress code to answer this question.

Ultimately, the answer to which is better – a peacoat vs overcoat – comes down to your personal preferences, climate, and dress codes. Honestly, it’s not a matter of one or the other – a proper wardrobe will have both an overcoat and a peacoat. they are worn in different scenarios, so be sure you’re prepared for anything by adding both to your closet!

Want to see how these coats compare to other styles? We recently wrote an article on the overcoat vs trench coat debate – check it out to see if a trench coat might be a better fit for you!

(spoiler alert – if you live in wet, rainy climates, a trench coat is your best choice. These are water-resistant to keep you and your clothes underneath nice and dry.)

Final Thoughts On Overcoats vs Peacoats

Before we bring this discussion to a close, we want to leave you with a few tips – whether you’re shopping for an overcoat, pea coat, or both! Above all else, you need to make sure your winter coat fits right. This can make or break not just the way your outfit looks – but how it feels. To truly unlock the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and style, learn how an overcoat should fit before starting to shop.

As you may already have come to realize, it’s rare to find a coat off the rack that fits your body perfectly. These days, you really need to go custom if you want to look and feel as good as possible. And that’s why we’re proud to offer the most robust selection of custom-tailored overcoats online. In just a few clicks, we can help you get a stunning, premium quality coat that fits like it was made just for you – because it was!

At Black Lapel, we help men like you build their wardrobe with garments that impress. These fit not just your body, but your lifestyle. Need help navigating workplace dress codes? Or, want to look your best for an upcoming event? Our menswear specialists are here to help you step out in confidence looking and feeling your best. Come see the Black Lapel difference for yourself!