- The Definitive Guide to New York City Outerwear
- The Pelle Pelle
- The Marmot Mammoth Parka or “Biggie”
- The Canada Goose
- The Lo Goose
- Moncler Maya Jackets
- The North Face
- 24 Best Jacket & Coat Brands for Men
- 1. Belstaff
- 2. Acne Studios
- 3. Uniqlo
- 4. Burberry
- 5. Moncler
- 6. Canada Goose
- 7. APC
- 8. North Face
- 9. Kenzo
- 10. Valentino
- 11. Carhartt Madison
- 12. Gucci
- 13. Balenciaga
- 14. C.P. Company
- 15. Rick Owens
- 16. Prada
- 17. Saint Laurent
- 18. Battenwear
- 19. Stone Island
- 20. Barbour
- 21. Rains
- 22. Nike
- 23. Rag & Bone
- 24. Off-White
The Definitive Guide to New York City Outerwear
If there’s one thing a New Yorker never slacks on, it’s owning a top-notch winter coat. Although towners laugh at the sight of New Yorkers dressing they are about to trek across Antarctica, they just don’t get it. Yes, New York isn’t that cold—the average temperature in Jan. is 32°F—but rocking a fly coat is as important as owning a wavy pair of sneakers in this city.
The type of jacket a New Yorker rocks on any given day can identify who you are and what you are into. One can guess that the 40-year-old who just stepped onto a subway car in a rare vintage North Face jacket and ‘92 Polo Bear sweater was someone who was able to stand his ground at West 4th back in the day.
Meanwhile, that OG sitting in the corner of the train car with an iced out Pelle Pelle on, probably knew who Cam’Ron was when he was writing bars for Lil Cease in the ‘90s.
And that one person in a Canada Goose who refuses to take off their backpack, probably comes from an old money family in the Upper East or Upper West Side or has been eating Top Ramen everyday this past month to pay off his coat.
Obviously, the most “New York” jackets on this list weren’t solely worn or popularized in New York City.
But Complex wrote this list to highlight jackets we see everyday on the streets of New York and to describe why these brands have become ubiquitous in this city.
Of course, there are also many New Yorkers who struggle to afford coats in the winter, and thanks to New York Cares it only costs $20 to keep our less fortunate neighbors warm.
Here is the definitive guide to New York City outerwear.
The Pelle Pelle
You know a Pelle when you see one. In New York and many other cities, it’s a jacket that demands your undivided attention.
The rhinestone studs, raised embossed lettering, color blocking, and insanely detailed embroidery make each leather Pelle a masterpiece in itself. Founded by Marc Buchanan in Detroit in 1978, Pelle Pelle leather jackets were quickly embraced by hip-hop culture.
East Coast rappers Craig Mack, Redman, and even Guru of Gang Starr starred in Pelle Pelle’s ad campaigns through the 1990s. In the 2000s, rappers only made Pelle Pelles even more iconic when rappers Juelz Santana wore one in music videos such as “Dipset Anthem.
” One reason why 50 Cent thinks he popped off? “America got a thing for this gangster shit, they love me/Black Chukkas, black skully, leather Pelle Pelle.”
Even within the brand’s last decade, Pelle Pelle has never lost sight of its roots in hip-hop.
New York rappers French Montana and Casanova appeared in ads for the brand, Pelle Pelle annually produced custom jackets for XXL Freshmen winners, and numerous Supreme leather jackets have been inspired by Pelle Pelles.
Unfortunately, the odds of seeing a Pelle Pelle—or any oversized leather jacket—seem to be slimmer among a younger crowd nowadays. But even though Pelle Pelle–which means “leather leather” in Italian–went business around December of 2018, it’s still considered to be a revered winter coat Uptown.
The Marmot Mammoth Parka or “Biggie”
The Marmot Mammoth Parka, aka the “Biggie” coat, became one of the most coveted jackets in New York City when it was exclusively sold at Paragon Sports in Union Square. Originally released by Marmot in the ‘80s as a basecamp coat, it popped off on the streets of New York because of its super bright colors.
Although many thought it was ridiculous that New York teenagers were spending nearly $600 on a jacket that looked a Skittle, the Biggie was undeniably a top shelf winter coat worth dropping bread on.
The 700-fill coat was shielded by a waterproof Gore-Tex shell, had a removable insulated hood, and multiple pockets—such as a hidden velcro pocket built into the zipper seam nicknamed the “pistol pocket.
” Those specs translate into this jacket being the only coat you would ever have to buy if you were tough enough to hold onto it.
other hyped pieces of clothing, the Biggie became so sought after that it led to some violent crimes—a shooting at Bryant Park pushed Marmot and Paragon to pull the jacket from the New York City market in 2013. But recently, Biggies have been rereleased in the region due to its cult following within New York streetwear. Let’s take a quick moment to remember this iconic video of Harlem’s own Vado dropping bars in a Big Boy.
The Canada Goose
One question that pops up in everyone’s heads when standing on a crowded MTA subway car during winter is: “Why does everyone wear Canada Goose?” The North Face, it’s literally impossible to go a single day in New York without seeing that red, white, and blue circle patch in the field. The brand’s most popular model, the Expedition Parka, was originally designed to be worn by scientists in Antarctica for temperatures of -22°F and below. In New York, it’s the go-to outfit on a 40°F day for Yuppies who live on the Upper East and Upper West Side of Manhattan. How did these jackets become so popular in major cities that never really get that cold? Starting in 2010, Canada Goose began sending their jackets to Hollywood celebrities and the brand continuously sponsors major film festivals Sundance.
It’s difficult to ascertain if Canada Goose wearers are actually looking for superior warmth or just spending upwards of $1,000 for a jacket with an eye-catching logo.
Seeing how many fake Canada Goose patches are sold on eBay, and the knockoff “Canada Weather Gear” coats commonly spotted in New York, it’s clear that a large part of Canada Goose’s popularity revolves around its eye-catching logo.
It’s always difficult to hear someone explain why they needed to buy a Canada Goose. They always swear it’s about “the quality’ and don’t even know what fill power their coat is.
So are these jackets valid? I’m not going to hold you, the only Canada Goose I ever fucked with is that Lil Uzi song and that oversized Vetements collaboration. At the end of the day, rocking a Canada Goose in New York comes down to just flexin how much bread you’re able to drop on a coat.
The Lo Goose
The Lo Lifes and Lo Heads of New York City won’t settle for anything else. Every year, on a winter night in January, hundreds of Polo Ralph Lauren fanatics converge in Times Square to celebrate “Lo Goose On The Deuce”—an unofficial holiday specifically focused on highlighting the best in Polo Ralph Lauren down jackets.
Polo collectors from around the world come to 42nd Street to flex the rarest Lo Gooses that range from Polo’s golden era in the ‘90s to freshly released pieces found in stores today.
Although a Lo Goose isn’t for everyone, if you ever wanted to fully understand what rocking a Lo Goose meant to Raekwon as a young youth, just visit Times Square for 15 minutes when this event is popping off.
As explained in Complex’s Ralph Lauren documentary Horse Power, “The Deuce '' were stomping grounds for the shoplifting Lo Lifes before Mayor Rudy Giulani turned 42nd Street into a watered down version of Disneyland. “We used to meet up there to show off what we had and what we caught.” one Lo Life named Rudy-Lo told Complex.
In 2020, you won’t see any Lo Lifes robbing Lo Gooses off people’s backs. But you will see their undying love for these jackets at events “Lo Goose On The Deuce.
” Because of that event, New York City is probably the only place in the world where you can see a mob of people wearing rare Polo grails, the Ghost Skier and Ski ‘92 jackets, in mint condition on the streets.
While bedazzled Pelle Pelles made New Yorkers look Liberace, in the ‘90s, Avirex leathers made them look World War II pilots who landed their planes in the Queensbridge projects.
Surprisingly, Avirex was launched in 1975 by a Long Islander named Jeff Clyman, a pilot who flew warbirds as a hobby and loved the look of vintage aviator jackets. Despite having a large collection, Clyman realized he couldn’t survive off reselling vintage flight jackets because they were so scarce. So Clyman began remaking them.
The brand became so respected for recreating aviator jackets that the U.S. Air Force even tapped the brand to make jackets for their pilots. In the ‘80s, Avirex received a huge boost in popularity when Tom Cruise wore it in his 1986 blockbuster film Top Gun.
Subsequently, Avirex opened its first retail store on Broadway in SoHo, Manhattan, which was located just a couple blocks away from Hot 97’s offices. So, New York rappers stopped by the store and picked up Avirex pieces.
According to a story the late Prodigy told Jeff Weiss, Panda P met the other half of Mobb Deep, Havoc, after seeing a goon try to slice through Havoc’s Avirex jacket with a switchblade in midtown Manhattan. “Then Havoc spazzed out and fucked this nigga up. That was my introduction to him,” Prodigy told Weiss.
Later on, Prodigy really sat in the studio and spit a whole verse about his love of Avirex. Although Avirex’s have been seen on everyone from Biggie to Cam’Ron, the most iconic New York moment for Avirex is ly when Nas wore that white Avirex USA joint in Hype Williams’ 1998 film Belly.
That scene when Sincere smokes a blunt with a 12-year-old drug dealer, while trying to convince him to leave that street shit behind, is a tearjerker to this day.
Moncler Maya Jackets
Another way you can tell a New Yorker is really stacking that bread is when he steps onto a train with a crispy af Moncler on. Canada Goose and Moncler are head to head competitors when it comes down to flexin how much money one can spend on a winter coat. The cheapest jacket Moncler offers this season will run you at least $1000 and it doesn’t even come with a hood.
Although the 58-year-old brand is known for high fashion collaborations with designers Matthew Williams and Hiroshi Fujiwara today, Moncler originally launched with sleeping bags and tents. When Moncler started making down jackets in the ‘50s, they were worn by climbers Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli on expeditions to K2–the second highest mountain in the world.
Moncler has historically been associated with the upper crust sections of New York City. Walk into the luxury supermarket Eataly in the Flatiron and you’ll ly see a couple Tribeca moms rocking Monclers while buying a $45 bottle of white truffle olive oil.
But recently, it seems nearly impossible for any Brooklyn Drill rapper to not have a Moncler on. Whoever sold Sheff G, Sleepy Hollow, Pop Smoke, and 22Gz black Moncler Maya coats last year must be eating hella good right now.
Of course, we can’t disregard that Moncler Mayas were already popping off four years ago when Drake wore that same coat in red for the “Hotline Bling” video.
But it’s nice to see that as Brooklyn Drill has gotten more mainstream attention, these rappers have glowed up from wearing Nike Tech fleeces and Puma tracksuits.
The North Face
Today, a North Face jacket is typically highlighted as the stereotypical staple piece of a supposedly “real” New Yorker. Every corny “deadass” meme ever made shows some photoshopped pop culture character wearing a Yankee fitted, Timbs and a North Face Nuptse jacket.
Those memes deliver a decent chuckle, but The North Face’s relationship with New York has always been larger than played out internet memes.
In the ‘90s, the heritage outdoor clothing brand was recontextualized as an deified streetwear brand when graffiti writers began boosting it high-end outdoor clothing retailers in the tri-state area.
Many trendy North Face jackets released in collaboration with Supreme—such as Mountain Lights, Steep Techs, Mountain Jackets, and Trans-Antarctica pieces—were modeled after some of the most popular North Face jackets in ‘90s New York City.
There really isn’t a single North Face piece one can point to which fully encompass the brand’s relationship with New York City.
The Nuptse puffer was immortalized on the cover of New York Magazine for Nancy Jo Sales’ 1996 cover story “Prep School Gangsters,” a piece about rich Upper West Side teenagers who hustled drugs and finessed other rich kids who wanted to be down.
Skateboarder Harold Hunter belly flopped onto the sidewalk while wearing a 1997 Steep Tech Azimuth in the music video for “1999,” a killer single off of Rawkus Records’ Soundbombing 2 mixtape released that same year.
Graffiti writer Earsnot wears a yellow Heli Vest in that memorable Polaroid shot by Ryan McGinley—as the name suggests, IRAK was a graffiti crew well known for racking North Face jackets. Let’s also not forget that Puff Daddy spun an 18-wheeler control wearing a coke white Steep Tech Moto jacket in Black Rob’s music video for “Whoa.” You know what kind of jacket you wear while chilling inside an Igloo built in Brownsville, Brooklyn? A North Face McMurdo parka.
If you approach any New Yorker who grew up in the ‘90s loving graffiti and hip-hop, or who was a proud member of the Vintage Gear Addicts forum, they probably have a million stories about what wearing a North Face in New York City meant back then. Those are the people who can really tell you why North Face jackets are considered to be some of the most iconic pieces of “New York” outerwear. Rest in Peace Tent & Trails.
24 Best Jacket & Coat Brands for Men
When the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to take out your outerwear. From biker jackets to overcoats, every gent must have a collection of warm clothes for the cooler seasons. Whether you’re a fan of luxury designers or affordable fashion, you can’t go past the best coat and jacket brands for men.
If you’re after a brand that focusses on excellent quality clothing, bring your attention to Belstaff. With a history going back to 1924, this clothing brand is the best place to purchase a biker jacket. Featuring heavy-duty leather and timeless designs, this label is an excellent option for the man who isn’t afraid to get a little rough while looking stylish.
2. Acne Studios
Take luxury to a new level with Acne Studios. This Swedish company was established in 1996 and offers the hottest ready-to-wear clothes for men.
With daring styles and a timeless twist, this is the perfect place to go for the man who cares about style and functionality.
Keep your eyes peeled for their latest collaborations, which are ideal for the guy who loves unique and effortless style.
SHOP: Acne Studios
Whether you’re heading to the snow or the tennis ground, Uniqlo is sure to keep you and your needs covered. This Japanese brand has been around since 1949 and has established itself as one of the leading menswear brands in the world. From the freezing-friendly puffer jackets to a cozy wool blazer, you can get a year’s worth of outerwear from this versatile brand.
Up the ante of every outfit that you own with Burberry. This London-based brand was established in 1856 and is renowned for its iconic check pattern. Whether you’re after a classic trench coat or a laidback jacket, this luxury brand has you set for life. It’s the perfect option for the man who enjoys a timeless style and loves investment pieces in his wardrobe.
As one of the ultimate lifestyle brands, Moncler has set the standard for outerwear world-wide. This Italian fashion label has created fantastic menswear since 1952, providing jackets, coats, and other fine apparel for outdoor wear. From down vests to hoodies, you can wear this label throughout the year and look stylish everywhere you go.
6. Canada Goose
Are you a fan of extreme outdoor adventures? Then Canada Goose is the right brand for you. Made for tough winter temperatures this outerwear helps you stay warm and comfortable without sacrificing on design. This lifestyle label has kept its wearers in pure atmospheric protection since 1957 and is just as stylish now as ever.
SHOP: Canada Goose
Find a jacket or coat that will last the test of time with A.P.C. This French ready-to-wear brand was founded in 1987 and has quickly become one of the hottest labels to wear for any man. With minimalist designs, clean lines, and timeless styles, you can wear these pieces to any event. This is the best brand for the man who wishes to look classic everywhere he goes.
8. North Face
Keep the cold at bay with the help of North Face. This American outdoor apparel company prides itself on high-quality mountain wear. From light jackets to something worthy of Everest, they’ve got you and your needs covered. Choose from an array of designs to flatter your personal style, and you’ll want to wear them forever.
SHOP: North Face
With a delightful blend of Japanese and French style, Kenzo is the best brand for men’s outerwear.
With sleek designs and an Asian twist, you can enjoy colorful and one-of-a-kind pieces that will turn heads for the right reasons.
Established in 1970 by Japanese designer, Kenzo Takada, it’s become one of the most recognizable and influential luxury labels in the industry. This is an excellent option for the man who isn’t afraid to stand out.
You can’t get more luxurious than a piece of clothing from Valentino. Founded in 1960, this is one of the most opulent brands that you can wear. Choose from one of the iconic coats, or dare to rock outerwear that’s this world. No matter what you decide, donning this Italian label is an excellent addition to anyone’s wardrobe.
11. Carhartt Madison
If you’re looking for a piece of clothing that will last, look no further than Carhartt Madison. Going back to 1899 this label creates durable and stylish workwear, including jackets, coats, and other men’s apparel. The styles range from traditional outerwear to tough and sturdy work clothing. Once you try this brand, you’ll want to wear it all the time.
SHOP: Carhartt Madison
Take your style game to the next level in outerwear from Gucci. This Italian label has inspired the fashion industry since 1921 and continues to make waves throughout the world. From the decadent shades of blue, green and red to the showstopping designs by Alessandro Michele, you’ll be turning heads in one of these fantastic pieces.
For the man who loves a bit of experimental, yet effortless style, look no further than Balenciaga. This iconic Spanish luxury label began with couture garments but is now a powerhouse of modern and daring ready-to-wear designs for women and men. From its classic blazers to the coats and jackets, you can’t look past this alluring label.
14. C.P. Company
Combine sporting with fashion while wearing C.P. Company. This Italian sportswear brand is renowned for its athletic purpose and cutting edge style. Established in 1971, they’re famous for the ‘Google Hood’, as well as other one-of-a-kind pieces. No matter where you’re going, this brand is sure to keep you sleek and ready for anything.
SHOP: C.P. Company
15. Rick Owens
Sculptural, exciting, and timeless, Rick Owens’ pieces are for the man who loves to stand out. Launching his fashion line in 1994, this brand creates a combination of traditional designs with a cutting edge twist. From the art gallery to the office, this designer is worth rocking every day of the year.
SHOP: Rick Owens
As one of the most celebrated luxury labels in the world, Prada creates outerwear for men that’s worth wearing. With a history that spans back more than 100 years, this Italian fashion house specializes in leather handbags, ready-to-wear and other impeccable pieces. Whether you purchase a blazer or a full-length coat, it will become one of your prized possessions forever.
17. Saint Laurent
YSL continues to be one of the trailblazers in European fashion. Now known as Saint Laurent, this French luxury label makes some of the best menswear in the industry, as it has done since 1961. From Anthony Vaccarello’s daring bombers to the classic leather biker jacket, you can’t go wrong with these timeless pieces.
SHOP: Saint Laurent
Step into the great outdoors in style with Battenwear. This outerwear brand has made waves in the industry with its cozy flannels, puffer jackets, and fleece. This is the best brand for the man who loves an adventure while staying fashionable enough for the city. Take it from the streets to the mountains in this versatile brand.
19. Stone Island
Mixing street style with high-end fashion, Stone Island is the best way to get around the town. Featuring timeless denim and warm-weather jackets, you can go from a cafe to a gallery without having to make a pit stop at home. As a native from the ’80s, this fashion label stays true to skate culture and remains cool in every decade.
SHOP: Stone Island
No matter the era, timeless fashion never goes style. Barbour is home to the wax jacket, an iconic piece since its establishment in 1894. Available in shades camel, green, and navy, you can swap them out with any outfit and look you’ve stepped off the runway. From casual to smart-casual events, you’ll look the most dapper man in the room.
SHOP: Acne Studios
Stuck in a storm? Have no fear when you wear Rains. This waterproof menswear is perfect for the seasons when the temperature drops – all while looking incredibly slick. The Danish outdoor brand provides tough and durable jackets and coats for adventure-loving people. Hike a mountain or head to a festival, and you’ll feel dry and stylish.
SHOP: Acne Studios
If you’re going for a run or heading to the club, you can’t go past Nike. This iconic sportswear brand is famous for its high-quality workout gear and holds enough style to be worn almost anywhere. This brand looks great as streetwear or during a basketball game – no matter how you do it, you’ll look a rockstar.
23. Rag & Bone
Effortless in style and timeless in design, Rag & Bone is a label that will last the test of time. Established in 2002, this relatively young brand is famous for its expert craftsmanship and classic taste. From the long coats to the leather jackets, you’ll find something you love in an instant, and want to wear it every day of the year.
SHOP: Rag & Bone
Virgil Abloh’s brainchild, Off-White, is one of the most celebrated labels in fashion. Its street style credibility with a high fashion twist makes it truly unique, and its perspective on the meaning of style is refreshing for the industry. With its oversized blazers, bold prints, and sharp lines, you’ll be donning this brand for years to come.
There are several brands that are well-known for their jackets. Perhaps the most famous is Burberry, which is known for its iconic trench coats. For incredibly warm down jackets that help you brave the elements while still looking stylish, Canada Goose and North Face are some of the best. Meanwhile, Belstaff is known for its leather biker jackets – a staple in any man's closet.
For the warmest jackets, look to brands that design pieces for outdoor wear – for example, hiking or mountain climbing – such as North Face, Canada Goose, and Moncler.
The most expensive jackets are made by luxury designer brands – such as Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Gucci – from the highest-quality materials. Leather jackets are often at the higher end of the price scale, as are full-length coats.
Three jackets are considered essentials: a casual jacket such as a bomber, denim, or leather jacket, a formal coat a crombie or peacoat, and a protective winter style. However, your lifestyle – and where you live – will dictate whether you require a wider jacket wardrobe.