Reversible menswear with twice the style

Reversible outerwear and knits cut a fine – and versatile – figure this season, says Tom Stubbs

Hackett wool car coat, £750
Hackett wool car coat, £750

Buy one, get one free offers aren’t something one would expect to associate with luxury fashion, yet this season high-end menswear brands are offering up their own versions of two for one – reversible garments that are as stylish as they are versatile.

From left: Gucci wool trench, £2,480. Drake’s cotton-mix jacket, £995
From left: Gucci wool trench, £2,480. Drake’s cotton-mix jacket, £995

The format lends itself well to light garments, such as macs that can be worn two ways. Italian brand Corneliani’s heritage is as a raincoat manufacturer, and the highlight of its new capsule collection of four different macs is one precisely cut, reversible raincoat (£610). Muted olive on one side, navy on the other, it’s made from a light technical fabric with a matte handle and distinctive raw edges. Naples-based Isaia also has a new double-sided mac (£1,370) in a treated canvas, with a navy exterior that reverses to a sleek tan alternative.

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Hackett has a neat hybrid car coat (£750, main picture) with a natty grey windowpane-check side, made from a lightweight wool, that reverses to a navy water-repellent fabric. Other hybrids include Thom Sweeney’s navy mélange wool/cashmere jacket (£1,350), with field-style pockets, that reverses to a plain goose-down padded side. Co-founder Thom Whiddett says they developed the jacket after the success of the brand’s Loro Piana reversible gilets. Burberry has long played with double-sided pieces with updates of its reversible car coat from the 1980s. This season’s version (£1,590) has a punchy black and white cashmere/wool check on one side, and a smart black gabardine on the reverse. Another bold take comes from Gucci with a traditional double-breasted wool trench (£2,480): one side is in taupe check, the other plain navy, with both showing the reverse fabric on the folded-down lapels. 

From left: Corneliani technical fabric Beyond the Rain raincoat, £610 Burberry cashmere/wool and gabardine car coat, £1,590
From left: Corneliani technical fabric Beyond the Rain raincoat, £610 Burberry cashmere/wool and gabardine car coat, £1,590

Knitwear is suited to this format too. Pringle has a cotton/linen cardigan (£550) that is zinc-grey with patch pockets on one side and dark ink on the other. Nigel Cabourn’s hoodie (£275) has a plain sun-bleached-red jersey side with a kangaroo pouch, contrasted with multicolour ribbed jersey on the other. It’s inspired by the colours worn by US aircraft crewmen, which inform Cabourn’s summer palette.

Drake’s cotton Harrington jacket, £495
Drake’s cotton Harrington jacket, £495

Collegiate-style check blazers and sporty windbreakers also work well as reversibles, such as Drake’s jaunty lightweight tailored jacket (£995) with solid red on one side, flipping to a Madras check. Drake’s also does a smashing Harrington jacket (£495) with a sporty zip front but slightly more fitted cut. It’s off-white on one side, and olive on the other with a navy stripe across the body inspired by old-school games kits. Mackintosh’s Riri zip jacket (£695) plays on the classic Harrington combo of a putty hue on one side and tartan in a water-repellent polyester on the other. 

Tom Ford wool-mix and leather coat, £7,150
Tom Ford wool-mix and leather coat, £7,150

Hermès pushes the genre further with its slick blouson (£7,248) in green rubberised lambskin that reverses to blue Toilovent, a contemporary material with a matte handle devised in-house. The jacket’s varsity style is underscored with pale green piping and a ribbed collar and cuffs. Toilovent is also used for a preppy windcheater (£8,202), with the fabric in navy on one side and a gorgeous grey-blue rubberised lambskin on the other. 

Pringle cotton/linen cardigan, £550
Pringle cotton/linen cardigan, £550

A further relaxed reversible style comes from Tom Ford, which has taken the classic jean jacket and rendered it (£6,890) in a light yellow/ivory soft calfskin. An elegant two-sided long coat (£7,150) is a perfect example of how reversible can embody casual and smart in a single garment: on one side is a relatively conservative grey jaspe check; on the other, black leather delivers a certain racy machismo. 

Mackintosh wool/polyester Riri jacket, £695
Mackintosh wool/polyester Riri jacket, £695

None of these pieces could be viewed as a bargain buy, but they do offer twice the styling options – and possibly a positive spin on the term turncoat.

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