Todd Snyder Balmacaan Coat Review and Endorsement


store $1,198, toddsnyder.com


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A big coat is a big step. That’s as it should be, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating for real-time coat seekers. The hours I spent attending to details, researching stories, shrugging in and out of knee-length tops—let’s just say that while it worked out in the long run, I wouldn’t necessarily wish it on you, dear reader. That’s great, because if you keep reading, you’ll learn that my struggle doesn’t have to be yours. I’ve found a timeless, versatile and supremely comfortable overcoat that you can buy right now, no searching required. So let my loss – of time and briefly, of mind – be your gain. Just pick up Todd Snyder’s balmacaan before the icy grip of winter takes over us all. You’ll be glad you did.

Timothy Mulcare

First, a little history

As Todd Snyder’s site will dutifully inform you, Balmacaan has a back story. The coat is named for a Scottish estate near Inverness, where it first appeared in the 1800s. The history of the garment is always tainted – it turns out that 19th-century Scottish tailors didn’t keep records until Wikipedia arrived – but the account of Balmacaan’s origins is fairly consistent across platforms, meaning it’s likely accurate (or at least a compelling tale). And even if you haven’t spent significant time in the country, you probably already know that it’s known for its cold and wet weather. So should it come as any surprise that a distinctly Scottish overcoat is particularly suited to the bleakest months of the year? It shouldn’t and shouldn’t. But it’s still nice to be able to tell the story over a pint in the pub if you ever find yourself in that position.

store $1,198, toddsnyder.com

todd snyder balmacaan

Timothy Mulcare

The fit is perfect

There was a time, not too long ago, when men’s magazines – this one included – preached the idea that a coat should be slim-fitting and end around mid-thigh. The idea was to cut a cleaner line, to feel more modern. The view was acceptable. Protection against winter wind, rain, sleet and snow? Not that much. Todd Snyder’s Balmacaan doesn’t fit snug and doesn’t end around mid-thigh. It’s loose, generous, cut for substantial layering underneath. It’s also long. I’m only about six feet tall, and what I’m wearing to make sure this edition of The Investment is really great—is—hits just below the knee. For people who have packed their sweaters and hoodies with very fancy outerwear, the fit can seem like a big departure. But for the winter of 2022/2023 and beyond, when substantial outerwear has become a bona fide item, not a relic of days gone by, the fit is perfectly appropriate. Word to the wise: if you’re inclined towards slimmer silhouettes, you may want to order a size down. It will still stay loose, as it should, but it won’t look as bare.

store $1,198, toddsnyder.com

todd snyder balmacaan

Timothy Mulcare

About that fabric…

Traditional Balmacaans were cut from coarse wool and tweed. A significant number of these to date have been made into nearly indestructible melts, scratchy fishbones, and the like. While those fabrics do offer impressive protection from Mother Nature’s winter fury, I find them a bit overpowered for modern life. After all, I wear this coat to get from my apartment to my office, not to stalk the grounds of my vast, windswept estate. Todd Snyder chose instead a dongal tweed that is 87 percent wool and 13 percent cotton. It’s dull and wintry, but it’s completely scratch-free and a bit lighter and more breathable than you might expect from the look. This means you’ll absolutely need a layer down if you’re dealing with the wind and cold, but it also means you won’t overheat as soon as you step out into the elements. In my book—and hopefully yours—that’s the perfect balance.

store $1,198, toddsnyder.com


Photo by Timothy Mulcare. Prop styling by John Olson for Halley Resources.

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