Let’s talk about coats. For many, it’s hard to even know where to begin looking for outerwear as the diversity in options can be overwhelming. Since my mission with this blog is to help make fashion easy and accessible to you, here is my rundown of what to get, what to avoid, and what to expect.
As far as I’m concerned, the 4 categories of outerwear to invest in are a field jacket, puffer coat, leather jacket, and your standard dressier long coat.
Field jackets are a great option for a variety of reasons. They are multi-seasonal, as useful and appropriate in the spring as the fall. They add a stylish ruggedness to any outfit, making them the perfect item to pair with something more delicate and feminine. They also are typically found in the color olive, which looks good on everybody and with every other color. The coat on the right is from J-CREW’S Collection. The collar is removable, and the details in the cuffs and interior structure are fabulous and justify the price. It’s more upscale partner is from designer superstar Isabel Marant, who (like Tom Ford) can’t seem to do anything wrong.
Puffer jackets are a necessity as they are equal parts fashion and function. There is no doubt that this jacket keeps you warm; To be able to look good simultaneously is heaven- add in an affordable price and you have the consumer’s holy trinity! The mack-daddy of puffer jackets is Moncler. Around since the 50s, Moncler’s profile has risen dramatically in the last few years, owing in large part to a synthesis of its inherent sporty spirit with an urban sensibility. Luckily, you are as likely to find an affordable replacement as you are dread locks on Pearl Street: Inexpensive and chic puffer jackets are everywhere. Pictured is only one of many great options.
If you frequent this blog, you know of my affinity for the motorcycle jacket. The quickest way to add edge and a masculine element to your outfit, they are suitable all year round and will never be passe. Something wonderful happened to the MJ when designer Rick Owens modernized the silhouette- instead of bulky and stiff (which also works and I do love), you can now wear a feminine, lighter, more tailored shape. This look was no fad, and in the past few years popular label VINCE paid homage (read: copied) his look in their bestselling jacket. Featured is the inspiration by Rick Owens as well as a fabulous knockoff by Anthropologie. It’s worth noting that the price on the 2nd can’t be beat.. the price on the 1st…? You don’t want to know.
Finally, there’s the standard long coat. Often made of a wool/cashmere blend, this is the staple coat of any wardrobe. From my perspective, I look for something a little bit different but not too stylized. I find prints work very well here as most winter wear is monochromatic. I also try to stay away from basic black which is too common. Instead, try navy or grey, winter white or camel, which is this season’s ‘hot’ color. This is also the coat that looks better with accessories like a belt, stole or brooch. Pictured is a gorgeous winter white coat from Gucci. 1/4th of the price and equally fabulous is a Burberry-esque option available at Nordstrom.
- Sherling is very popular again this season (as it is every season), and is great if you are married to a Denver Nugget (or are one yourself). Unless you can afford to spend close to $2,000, I would stay away from it altogether.
- Like most cold weather clothing, coats are expensive. If you are getting anything under $500, you are getting a serious steal.
- Wait for sales. If you live in the Denver or New York metro areas (as most of my readers do), true cold weather gear isn’t necessary until at least December or January. By that time, stores have already received their ‘Resort’ merchandise and are trying to get rid of last season’s stuff. If you can wait another few months, that is your time to buy smart.
- Beware of faux fur, and check the label!! If it’s made in China (and it almost always is, including garments that are otherwise made in the USA), chances are you’ll be wearing dog. I’m not kidding.
- Peacoats are lovely and popular but not functional. When push comes to shove, you’re gonna want a coat that will cover your bum and can be dressed up if the need arises. Pea coats never look good over a more formal outfit.