Updated: Oct 30, 2021
Unless you are super organised and bought your winter coat at the end of August (yes this is key coat buying time!) you are no doubt thinking about what winter coat to go for this year. With all this time spent working from home or in lock down it maybe that your lifestyle has changed and you need something more suited to winter walks rather than commuting to the office, either way there are some simple tips that will help you choose a great coat to keep you snug right through to February 2021.
Timeless or Trendy?
I always advise my clients to have at least one timeless, classic coat in a neutral colour that can be worn with most items in their wardrobe. If you are buying for longevity and warmth it’s best to spend a little extra, as the percentage of wool, cashmere or leather tends to be an indicator of warmth and therefore is normally a higher price point(that said you can always layer sweaters under your coat for additional warmth).
Styles that are timeless and can be worn year on year include the trench coat, either belted or flowing, parka style, pea coats and classic military.
If you’ve decided to go for something that is more fashion forward, there are some great choices on the high street. Some of the key trends for this year include the puffa / quilted coat, minimalist belted coat, checks, leather and PVC trenches.
Barbour International Lineout jacket www.barbourinternational.com/uk £239
Hounds tooth coat www.allsaints.com £279
Leather Coat www.allsaints.com £629.30
Pale blue coat www.topshop.com £69.99
Fashion or Function?
An obvious question to ask yourself is what am I going to use the coat for? If it’s mainly country walks and taking the dog to the park, then warmth is going to be a key factor. If you’re going to be mainly wearing thick sweaters under your coat buying one size bigger is always advisable, not so much if it’s a dress coat that you’ll be wearing for evenings out.
Aviator jacket www.riverisland.com £85
Checked Coat www.johnlewis.com £495
Consider your body shape
This is one of the main factors to ensure your winter coat is flattering and makes you feel fabulous every time you wear it. If you know your body shape then great, if you’re not sure a useful guide is to think about where the bulk of the coat sits on your body and if your happy with how it affects your figure. You’ll want your coat to skim the parts of your figure you’re not so happy with and highlights the parts you like.
Here’s a collection of styles that will suit various different body shapes: (All prices and styles are currently available on line November 2020.)
The Straight www.mintvelvet.co.uk £199
Good for: If you are tall and have a slim body type, you can carry off a little extra volume and length.
Look for coats with drop shoulders, a long hemline and upscale proportions created by large pockets, collars or sleeves. Avoid this shape if you have a petite figure.
The Tailored coat www.hobbs.com £269.25
Good for: Traditionally this shape is great for if you are smaller on top and more shapely on your bottom half.
A coast that skims rather than clings creates an illusion of length. Avoid styles that have pockets on the hip which adds bulk and instead choose an ‘a’ line style that ends at the slimmer part of the leg.
The Belted Trench www.topshop.com £89.99
A classic wardrobe staple (who doesn’t want a Burberry trench in their wardrobe.) The trench coat never goes out of fashion.
Good for: Hourglass figures (Balanced proportions and a defined waist) and curvy figures (belted). A shorter length trench is the best option for petite figures and can be worn with or without the belt.
Single Breasted www.hobbs.com £224.25
Good for: If you have broad shoulders and a bigger bust a single- breasted style will make you look more in proportion.
The trick is to create an elongated shape and avoid anything with pockets on the bust line or fussy collars and small scale prints which will add width.
The Classic Pea Coat
Good for: If you’re petite, 5’5 or under it’s important to choose styles that don’t overpower your frame and are no longer than your mid thigh. If you are petite it’s advisable to avoid oversized, cocoon coats and anything with large prints, checks and upscale fabrics, all of which will drown
a petite frame.
Avoid this style if you have broad shoulders as double breasted styles tend to add width and can look boxy.)