Cold comfort for men

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God rest ye merry gentlemen and don't let the winter weather cause you any dismay. All you need is a decent coat and a bit of layering.

As temperatures begin to plummet thoughts may turn to trusty winter coats. And while wrapping up warm is key, digging out a coat that may well have seen better days isn't really going to cut the mustard. Like cars, spectacles and even partners, coats sometimes need upgrading too.

The jacket that's riding high in the popularity stakes this season is the puffer; no longer just confined to the ski slopes, this quilted coat is now an off-piste piece of kit for the urban sophisticate. Less bulky than previous incarnations, the silhouette is lean; no Michelin Man impersonators here. And for gold-star effort it should ideally be worn over a suit.

If you're after something more lightweight, then a cagoule or anorak should fit the brief. Not known for their warmth giving properties however, you'll need to buff up on your winter layering skills. Nobody wants to end up shivering like a sissy.

And when piling on those layers, makes sure common sense prevails; if you can't comfortably move your arms before you venture outside, then you've over done it.

Nail this conundrum, and anoraks can actually be the ultimate in utility winter coats. And, if like most of the past 12 months it continues to rain, then at least you'll be dry.

Opting for a duffel coat means you're buying into a style that has enduring appeal, which just goes to prove that even a tiny teddy bear from Peru, minus the marmalade sandwiches, can still be a style icon for our modern times.

And the recent revival of baseball jackets only goes to confirm that our love affair with 1950s Americana will never abate.

Finally, it's perhaps the overcoat which continually proves to be the perfect winter coat for everyman. It a great multitasker, working in any situation whether it be for work or on a night out. Colourwise, blacks or greys are your safest bet, but do experiment with colour or plaid if you're feeling dandy enough.

The only unwritten rule for this coat is its length; the hem should sit somewhere between 2in to 4in above the knee.

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