YOU HAVE PULLED!!! Ok you have pulled you're winter coat on, because its baltic and I can no longer feel my toes...
Winter coats are amazing, winter is my favorite season for dressing because I get to wrap myself in layers of thick slouchy fabric and I’m no longer worried about eating 5 cakes for breakfast and/or a couple of family sized Galaxy for dinner….
Coats are an investment, there are many areas in your wardrobe you can easily scrimp a little, but a coat is not that place. A well-made quality coat will last you 10, even 20 years and will make even the cheapest outfit look quality. A bad coat can do the opposite…
This doesn’t mean the coat needs to cost hundreds of pounds; lots of high street brands produce premium quality ranges for really great prices considering the cut and quality, which goes into the piece. When choosing a coat, look closely at stitching, quality of the fabric, weight, and feel. Does it look more expensive than it is? If so you are on to a winner. If your not sure - LEAVE IT.
High street brands to look at are H&M (with their conscious and premium ranges make amazing wool coats), Zara, & Other Stories, Arket and COS – all purveyors of quality basics and great coat-candy.
Other places to consider: Marks & Spencer’s, “not just for nanas” anymore, French Connection and Whistles. I have never been disappointed with a Whistles coat, its premium quality and don’t forget at the end of this month its Black Friday when many of these brands will slash prices or offer a blanket discount, so if you see something you want now – its probably going to be on sale very soon…
CUT & SHAPE
If you want your coat to last for years look for classic cuts that suit your shape and height. What suits you?
Wrap Coats are a grown up timeless classic, perfect to add the illusion of boobs and a waist to those who are a bit straight up and down.
Full Length Coats are beautiful, luxurious and classic, but really should be left to the taller ladies. If you are very petite, try and keep the coat length to below your knee so you don’t look like you stole your mum’s coat.
Oversized Coats – hide a multitude of sins, but can also add bulk where not needed, great if you are slim, not great if you are larger boobed and have some shape. You should stick to the wrap or more fitted aesthetic, not fully tailored, just not super oversized.
Go for a size that can happily fit a jumper sleeve or blazer under, when I go coat shopping I always make sure I’m layered up so that I can see if it fits a blazer. I prefer not to size down in coats unless it is ridiculous, I tend to always size up. And on the neckline, funnel neck high neck coats are a great collection ground for makeup, so I prefer something with a low or V-neck cut.
A MENU OF COATS
I have omitted leather and trench coats on this essentials list because of the time of year, so lets just assume they are completely essential and you already have them for layering!
I have listed below my absolute ideal coat menu: you might have one you might have them all!! Good for you! You don’t need them all, but a few never hurt... They will take you from winter to winter and last 10 years minimum. All can be dressed up or down, ball gowns or jeans. All investments worth the wardrobe space…
Yes leopard print is your first classic. It is ALWAYS a classic and don’t believe those who say, “Leopard is IN this winter” it’s always IN especially with coats and especially during winter... The second the mercury drops what more do you want to do but wrap yourself in something akin to a big warm fluffy blanket and stay warm? My kids especially love my leopard print coat, when I wear it they literally squish me and stroke the arms, a tad weird but whatever’s.... I’ve selected a few of my favorite leopard coats…
H&M Leopard Faux Fur Jacket - £34.99
DRINK UP THAT CAMEL
A camel coat is your best friend. If you only had one coat it should be camel. It works with all the other base colours and a well cut coat will work for ANYTHING! It’s that hard working, something like a camel! I imagine camels are hard working, you might get a lazy one, sorry for generalizing!
Camel could be worn with stripes/ block colours/ anything to be honest. Again go for a classic shape you would be as happy to wear to work as with trainers.
H&M Long Wool Blend Coat - £79.99
COS Classic Long Wool Coat - £180
This might divide the masses but a Parka is an essential. Let me paint a picture. Your walking twenty five kids (or how ever many it feels you have) to school on the way to work… you have an art project in one hand, your laptop bag in the other and your three sons in the other three spare hands... oh hang on we don't have five hands... then it rains, you need to find the sixth hand for your umbrella...
A decent parka is entirely acceptable to wear to work. As long as it is DECENT. Also let me stipulate, we all like a down puffer, but much of the time they just don’t work, there is too much bulk, and they get too hot, a parka will last 6-7 months of the year, a down jacket considerably less. At this time of year you can wear a zillion layers under a parka, a down base layer, a leather biker, the world is your oyster....
COS Long Parka - £135
H&M Padded Mole Parka - £59.99
SHEER ME BABY
Marmite for some but OMG I love them. A shearling biker, aviator whatever your naming preference - they are just fantastic. They look great over dresses or jeans alike and are a warmer alternative to the leather biker over winter. They can easily be dressed up and down and can add a rock edge to even the dullest outfit. The Marks one here is so nice and comes in two colours if pushed, I would buy them both (there I said that out loud)!
Zara Double Face Biker Jacket - £95.99
CHECK YOU OUT BABY
Check coats are again forever!!!! I love a check, I had a lovely one from Mango which just wasn’t that hard wearing as it turned out in the end so it has moved on and I will replace it sometime, but these are my picks of the best of what is out there at the moment. I think the dogtooth will be the most practical going forward and date less.
Zara Oversized Checked Coat - £99.99
PAINT IT BLACK
Black gets a bad wrap, “I feel boring, I always wear black”, would you rather look like a Technicolor dream coat? Black like it or loath it is a classic, it DOES go with all the other colors whether you like it or not a black coat can be easily thrown over anything else. This doesn’t mean you get a boring one – quite the opposite, for a colour so base go for something outstanding… something people will ask about…. Never settle, get a showstopper...
H&M Wool Blend Coat - £79.99
That is it for now, I have excluded the teddy coat. I love them and I might possibly buy one, especially that MaxMara one if I can see it for a £10 on ebay... however, if I am not as yet convinced it’s a teddy is a classic, faux fur yes.... Its certainly warm, but not necessarily a classic – buy one, enjoy it, but expect it to age and date so don’t overspend on it.