Overcoat Face-off: Banana Republic vs Kenneth Cole Reaction

Welcome to 2018! Where temperatures are in the single digits and STYLISH outerwear is a requirement.  The most attractive way to stay warm this season is to add an overcoat to your wardrobe… a camel colored overcoat that is.  A camel overcoat is a luxurious, style booster and compliment magnet that is designed to protect you from the frigid temperatures and cutting wind (The Hawk).  I picked up two overcoats during the holiday sales and worked with Cincinnati based photographer, Wessography, to get the amazing shots below and you can check out his work here.  To determine which overcoat was best for me, I compared the craftsmanship and their cold weather performance on a frigid 6° day.

The Kenneth Cole Reaction, Raburn Overcoat in Camel – Macy’s $350 (Sale Price $99)

  • Absolutely beautiful caramel color (the site description says it’s camel but in person the color is darker more rich)
  • Quarter length hits at the thigh
  • Slim-fit tailoring for a custom look
  • Contrasted collar to show off your style on those days when you need extra neck protection or you just want to show off (I’ll take the latter)
  • Wide, slanted, diagonal welt pockets that can easily be entered while wearing gloves
  • This coat did not stand up to the cold temperature and I shivered and paced during this entire portion shoot to try and stay warm

Banana Republic Melton Overcoat in Camel – Banana Republic $378 (Sale Price $189)

  • Classic camel color
  • Flap pockets that can be converted to welt pockets but are narrow and difficult to enter with winter gloves
  • Darts on the front of the coat create a tailored silhouette
  • Functional sleeve buttons are always an excellent feature for a custom feel
  • Breast pocket for added storage and style
  • Quarter length heavy weight wool blend that protected me from the cold and wind very well

The Winner: The Banana Republic Melton Overcoat in Camel

  • Color – KC takes the win with it’s beautiful, rich, caramel color. Typical Camel is lighter and washed this color is uncommon and stands out against typical overcoat color offerings.
  • Cold Weather Protection – BR wins here with it’s heavy weight 80% Italian wool blend (this one actually kept me warm during this shoot)
  • The Fit – This one was a tie, both coats had a great tailored fit and I did size down to to a 40 Long in both to achieve the look I wanted
  • Design – BR takes the W by including more tailoring details than the KC coat, such as the functional sleeve buttons, breast welt pocket, lapel pick stitching and front stitching darts
  • Quality – Another win for BR; This coat was much heavier and the material was thicker than that of  the KC coat which connotes quality and longevity; the wool is smooth with a silky luster

The Science: Wool will beat out any poly blend overcoat in very cold temperatures every time due its naturally insulative properties.   This is a big determining factor in price and higher wool compositions are worth the dollar amount when it comes to the level of warmth your coat delivers.

The Suave:  When shopping for an overcoat use suit fit guidelines to make your choices.  If the shoulders don’t fit don’t buy it!  Overcoats and top coats are cut with more than average room in the chest, shoulders and arms to comfortably fit over a suit.  If you do not plan to wear a suit under your coat sizing down is an excellent option to achieve a tailored more custom look.

You’ve seen my pick, what’s yours?

Outfit details:

  • Overcoats – see above
  • Vest – Ralph Lauren
  • Shirt – Strong Suit
  • Tie – Sprezzabox
  • Denim – Banana Republic
  • Gloves – Cole Haan
  • Boots – Johnston and Murphy
  • Belt – Kenneth Cole

3 thoughts on “Overcoat Face-off: Banana Republic vs Kenneth Cole Reaction

  1. Nice post. I’m in the market for an overcoat or two (especially since end of season sales are lurking and/or present.). I’ll keep your tips in mind.


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