The Best Winter Jackets

Jack Whitehall

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Get back to nature with this season’s best coats. Comedian Jack Whitehall shows you how.

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“How about ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’?” says Jack Whitehall, helpfully suggesting possible headlines for this article. “Wait, that makes me sound really bad. Erm, ‘master of… some’?”

Still only 24, Whitehall is already a seasoned stand-up comedian and panel show regular, with slots on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats under his belt, and a regular spot on the latest series of James Corden’s sporting quiz show A League of Their Own. “How about ‘50 Shades of Whitehall’?” he proffers.

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With an agent father and actress mother, Whitehall comes from show business stock — but it was only in 2011 that he began adding professional acting credits to his precociously overstuffed CV.

He appeared in Fresh Meat (the university campus sitcom created by Peep Show writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain), and Whitehall’s performance as petulant ex-public schoolboy JP proved to be the series’ breakout talking point, winning critical plaudits and a Best TV Comedy Actor nomination at the British Comedy Awards.

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Unashamedly posh, gallingly young, in theory it seems easy to dislike Whitehall. In practice, however, he’s a winning proposition — he uses his privilege to his advantage, like Boris Johnson, and delivers his stand-up with an energetic, theatrical, self-deprecating zeal. It’s almost impossible not to be won over and his role as a mainstay in the firmament of mainstream British comedy seems increasingly assured.

Sitcom versus stand-up — does Whitehall have a preference? “Well, there’s a real sense of camaraderie with sitcoms,” he says.  “I love stand-up, but the process of writing is a little more lonely. I want to keep doing both, though.”

For now, that plan seems to be working — Whitehall is busier than ever. He’s releasing his first DVD, he’s written and starred in his own BBC3 sitcom Bad Education, in which he plays Alfie, “the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system” (it’s recently been re-commissioned for a second series), and he’s starting to plot his 2013 live stand-up show.

And now, following his Esquire shoot, might Whitehall also find the time to pursue professional modelling as well? “Erm, not really. The clothes are nice, but I have to fight the compulsion to gurn in photos.” Ah. “And to be honest, in real life I just tend to wear black most of the time, like Queen Victoria. Ooh, how about ‘Once You Go Jack, You Never Go Back’?”
 

Jack Whitehall Live is available on DVD from November 19th
 

 

Look 1 (top) - Team hi-tech with low-fi

It’s fine to wear a properly practical, rambler-style coat so long as you keep everything else very simple. This shearling-collared windbreaker from Timberland works just as well on a hike as it does with a pair of jeans and a shirt; just keep the rest of your outfit dark.

(Olive/navy cotton jacket, £250, by Timberland. Dark green checked cotton shirt, £105, by Woolrich Woolen Mills. Blue denim jeans, £220, by Diesel. Black leather hiking boots, £220, by Sorel)

 

 
 
Look 2 - Embrace the gilet
 
Once the preserve of elderly gentlemen from west London, padded gilets are back on the style agenda, with quality pieces being produced by brands like Marni, Rick Owens and Dunhill. Ensure the rest of your outfit is closely tailored to your body — anything too billowy will look old-fashioned.
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(Burgundy quilted vest, £269, by Napapijri. Navy cord blazer, £389, by Woolrich Woolen Mills. Blue/white cotton shirt, £89, by Wolsey. Blue denim jeans, £220, by Diesel. Black leather hiking boots, £220, by Sorel)
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Look 3 -  Make like an onion
 
Prepare yourself for a sweaty commute by wearing several layers that can be added or removed at will. A thick, woolly outer piece will keep out the worst of the cold on your walk to the station; while thinner shirts and jumpers beneath should suffice once you’re at your desk.
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(Grey/multi-coloured wool hooded jacket, £445, by Napapijri. Green wool cardigan, £75, by Wolsey. Blue cotton shirt, £149; navy cord trousers, £179, both by Woolrich Woolen Mills. Brown leather hiking boots, £190, by Timberland Earthkeepers)
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Look 4 -  Be practical
 
CP Company’s nylon jacket is the ultimate urban winter garment. Internally padded with a concealed flock hood, elasticated waistband and cuffs plus concealed hand-warmer pockets, it’ll keep out the cold without making you look like you’re taking on Everest.
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(Olive nylon jacket with waxed hood, £625, by CP Company. Red/blue checked cotton shirt, £65, by Penfield. Blue denim jeans, £220, by Diesel. Burgundy canvas shoes, £150, by Dr Martens)
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Look 5 - Quilt yourself warm

Quilting is big news this season with brands like Burberry Prorsum, Giorgio Armani and Bosideng all getting in on the trend. The key item is a quilted blazer, but if you’re yet to be convinced, opt for Victorinox’s understated black padded jacket, instead. Team with brighter shades and bold patterns to pep up the look.

(Black quilted jacket, £195, by Victorinox. Navy Fair Isle wool knit, £45, by Gap. Black/white wool checked shirt, £195, by Woolrich Woolen Mills. Navy wool trousers, £119, by Wolsey)

 
Look 6 - Opt for autumnal
 
Brighten your outfit without looking like a crazy person by working shades of olive, mustard and burgundy into your look. Pick colours that are understated and complementary. Ochre, for instance, works well with moss green, while burgundy looks the business paired with midnight blue.

 

(Olive quilted vest, £130; navy wool duffel cardigan, £150, both by Penfield. Navy/red checked cotton shirt, £85, by Victorinox. Tan cotton chinos, £30, by H&M. Wool socks, £12, by Falke. Brown leather boots, £200, by Timberland Earthkeepers)
 

Photography by Dan Burn-Forti
Fashion by Gareth Scourfield
Words by Max Olesker 

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