Coats are my favourite item of clothing. Whether it’s smart or casual, the correct coat never fails to make you look poised, elegant and sophisticated. A well-chosen coat can pull together almost any ensemble. A fabulous coat will kick your outfit up a few notches. As with boots, the assortment of coat styles available is growing each season. Many of the styles are timeless and with some savvy decisions you’ll be able to wear your coats season after season.

Coats can be divided into various categories:

  • Trapeze – this unstructured A-line retro ‘50’s style coat is the look-of-the-season. Its voluminous character is spot on with the hottest trends. Its three quarter sleeve lengths might be off putting if you tend to get cold easily, but wearing the style with long gloves is a good solution.
  • Trench – a classic single or double breasted belted style that Burberry made famous almost a century ago. It‘s usually best in some sort of water resistant fabric and always looks chic no matter what you wear it with.
  • Double breasted – this military-inspired, structured style is sharp, crisp and immaculately tailored. Good at both above and below the knee, it’s another great option to capture this season’s fashion moment.
  • Belted – coats that cinch in, tie differently at the waist. Self fabric ties are most popular, but actual structured belts are a more updated version. This versatile style is notorious for hiding a multitude of sins.
  • Asymmetrical – these are coats at any length and style that have asymmetrical button stands. They are eye catching, interesting and especially effective when extremely tailored.   
  • Toggle – these styles might remind you of your childhood but are just as stylish for you today if you are after something more playful. Toggle coats have toggle buttons and some sort of hood (usually detachable). They are most fun in a bright colour.
  • Classic – the single breasted revere collar knee-length coat is the ultimate timeless option. This style suits all body types and is most flattering with princess seams (seams that run down from bust point to hem). A detachable fake fur collar and maxi length will add an unexpected level of old movie star glamour to this style.
  • Evening – these coats are made of evening wear fabrics like brocade, velvet or silk blends. Embroidery is also common. Evening coats resemble dresses when buttoned up which is particularly useful for the party season.
  • Empire line – coats with empire lines also give us that retro feeling. They are immensely feminine and neat as a pin.
  • Cape – this dramatic high fashion statement is not for everyone – Dracula and Sherlock Holmes spring to mind.  Their unstructured quality can be unflattering.  If you have your heart set on one – consider a cropped version so that the rest of your shape shines through. 
  • Parka – these coats are fabulous! A form fitting parka is the perfect answer to ultra casual dressing. Your wardrobe is not complete without one.
  • Shearling and Fur – make sure that the fur is faux. These toasty Nordic inspired styles are super for casual weekend attire and the après ski setting.

There is an abundant array of coat styles to choose from this season – take your pick. With black and grey as the fashion colours, you might battle to get your colour of choice. Be mindful of the type of coat that is best suited to your height and body type (a topic that I will cover tomorrow). In the meantime – wrap up with style!

Belted (princess seams)                 Toggle                 Classic (princess seams)

  Empire Style                    Cropped Cape                 Structured Parka

Coats from Bebe, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, French Connection, Bloomingdales and Old Navy.