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Thread: Overcoat with a suit, how to make it work?

  1. #1

    Overcoat with a suit, how to make it work?

    So if all goes to plan I will be interviewing in some very cold places during December and January. Being a southern boy and lifelong student, I've rarely had the occasion to wear a suit (which I despise because of the way the jacket bunches when I push) and I've never ever written any kind of coat over a suit.

    But if I get these interviews in places like Minnesota and Michigan in the dead of winter, I am going to have to buy an overcoat and figure out how to make it work.

    Anyone have any experience wearing a nice overcoat in a chair?

    From what I gather they are generally pretty long, so I was ending if I would be able to cut out the back so I wasn't sitting on it.

    The whole thing just seems like it I'd going to be awkward, especially because most of these interviews I will be taking the coat on and off several times and transferring into unfamiliar vehicles while wearing it, but that is all beside the point.

    Any advice or suggestions?

  2. #2
    What about modifying a peacoat?

    I was looking at this one for my husband for a upcoming winter trip:
    http://www.izcollection.com/products...-coat-easy-zip
    It's a bit pricey so I'm going to first take his pre-injury peacoat to the tailor for a look-over.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I think you're on the right track. Find a decent coat, have it tailored so that you aren't sitting on it, but still retain some length for your upper legs. Like the pea coat in the other poster's link, but I'd prefer a less dramatic relief cutout on the back. Something long enough to reach the top of my cushion, at least, for warmth, and for helping "pin" it in place while pushing, moving, pressure relieving, etc.
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies.

    I feel like that coat in 2dr's link is demonstrating my main concern with an overcoat (besides getting a huge coat on and off). It looks (to me anyway) that the model is folding his hands in his lap because otherwise the coat is going to bunch up and look silly... I guess there may be no getting around that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Do you really need a formal overcoat? Especially in cold climates like you mentioned, most people dress for warmth rather than style. The last coat I bought for my husband he wanted something a bit more dressy. I found a nice black Calvin Klein jacket that was short, had a matte nylon weatherproof finish, a zip on hood, a covered zipper that could also be shut with velcro if in a hurry, a liner that can be taken out for when it's not so cold, non-constricting wrists, and the insides are nylon to make it easier to get on. I always wait until during or after the holidays and I think I paid about $75 for it on Amazon.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    Do you really need a formal overcoat? Especially in cold climates like you mentioned, most people dress for warmth rather than style. The last coat I bought for my husband he wanted something a bit more dressy. I found a nice black Calvin Klein jacket that was short, had a matte nylon weatherproof finish, a zip on hood, a covered zipper that could also be shut with velcro if in a hurry, a liner that can be taken out for when it's not so cold, non-constricting wrists, and the insides are nylon to make it easier to get on. I always wait until during or after the holidays and I think I paid about $75 for it on Amazon.
    That's an interesting idea. Look at sierratradingpost.com. They have a decent selection of shorter length mens coats with smooth exterior fabrics. You might want to look for one with a double zipper-pull so you can adjust it not to bunch up in the chair. One in a conservative black, navy or gray might work. Sign up for their deal flyer for discount coupons and shipping cost reduction.

  7. #7
    You might want to stick to short jackets, such as a pea coat or short leather jacket. This company has some good ideas:

    http://www.izcollection.com/collections/mens-outerwear

    For your suits, you may want to get ones you purchase professionally tailored to manage the bunching in the lap area. Most of the PVA professional staff and top officers do this, and always look sharp.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by elarson View Post
    Do you really need a formal overcoat? Especially in cold climates like you mentioned, most people dress for warmth rather than style. The last coat I bought for my husband he wanted something a bit more dressy. I found a nice black Calvin Klein jacket that was short, had a matte nylon weatherproof finish, a zip on hood, a covered zipper that could also be shut with velcro if in a hurry, a liner that can be taken out for when it's not so cold, non-constricting wrists, and the insides are nylon to make it easier to get on. I always wait until during or after the holidays and I think I paid about $75 for it on Amazon.
    Agreed. Just how cold is it going to be? Here it can get as cold as -40oC (-40F) and people dress for practicality and warmth. I live in the capital and it's business attire everywhere but it's not unusual to see business men dressed up with big puffy coats and tuques and massive gloves on top of it. It's a functional thing. Of course those who can afford a cab straight to the door might not bother but yknow. But with wheelchairs and snow, you're going to get salt, snow, leaky axle grease/rust pulling wet wheels off to get in the car (if you plan on being around a few weeks) and all kinds of stuff on your sleeves and some on the sides of your pants even if you have side-guards, and that's from pushing the 10-20 feet from the accessible parking to the door.

    I wear one of these: http://arcteryx.com/product.aspx?lan...orium-AR-Hoody
    And depending on how snowy it is, I'll wear a gortex jacket on top - it's the only way I found to keep my sleeves dry. And I can throw them in the washing machine every few days as needed. You can obviously get cheaper deals since you won't be using it much (all my jackets either repel water or are waterproof - makes the difference between showing up to work colder than necessary with soaked dress shirt sleeves) but it's an idea.

    If you really don't plan on being out in the snow or cold much then by all means modify a nicer coat - I'm sure it can be done for cheaper than the links posted. If that's the case I would get a dark-ish grey or black - black does hide wet spots well and looks more professional but shows white salt stains in no time and really light colours will end up with brown sleeves. All depends on the material though.

  9. #9
    In addition to elarson's comments, I suggest thinking outside the box. An overcoat is just trouble for a wheeler. Maybe you can muddle through interviews with a modified one, but if you get a job in a cold climate you might consider a "packable down jacket" with a hood. Got one last year and they are so lightweight and warm. When it's super cold I wear layers underneath it, and a scarf. A black one would certainly be acceptable - they are not "puffy" like regular down jackets.
    I have seen wheelers wear down vests, with layers under. Those are great for pushing a wheelchair in winter months.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    In addition to elarson's comments, I suggest thinking outside the box. An overcoat is just trouble for a wheeler. Maybe you can muddle through interviews with a modified one, but if you get a job in a cold climate you might consider a "packable down jacket" with a hood. Got one last year and they are so lightweight and warm. When it's super cold I wear layers underneath it, and a scarf. A black one would certainly be acceptable - they are not "puffy" like regular down jackets.
    I have seen wheelers wear down vests, with layers under. Those are great for pushing a wheelchair in winter months.
    I've got no problems dealing with the cold weather in a chair. If I have to move there, I can sort that out no problem. The overcoat is essentially an extension of my suit... the most expensive clothing I own which I wear the least... Basically I just have to have something that looks as professional as possible for 8 hours... then I can put it in the closet and never ever take it out (because I will be moving back south when I'm finished, so no more overcoat interviews).

    The last go around I interviewed in February in the south and just left my coat (not professional looking at all) in the car and tried to pretend I wasn't cold during the tour... If it's 8 degrees in Minneapolis in February I can't pull that off quite so smoothly.

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