Discover the 11 Secrets to choosing a Perfect Winter Coat
I’m finding that it’s getting to that time of year when I instinctively reach for a winter coat when I’m heading out the door. It’s probably the most worn item in our winter wardrobes. As such an important piece it’s a significant purchase we all want to get right.
A winter coat is the essential part of looking perfectly put together (and some mornings potentially hiding a less well put together outfit underneath!) – think of it as the final touch…and the first impression too. Get it right and you can simply throw it on over any outfit for instant style so you feel good and are ready to go out.
Every Autumn sees the emergence of a new coat style, but, as a personal stylist and personal shopper, I want to help you find your perfect coat style that will look great on you season after season – making it a very smart buy. Ever had a winter coat that you absolutely loved wearing? If you have, then read on to discover what it was that made it such a great coat for you. If you haven’t, then you will discover what style will suit your colouring, body shape and personality best.
Read on for the key to finding your ideal winter coat (yes, and it applies to men too!):
Standard Collar – great for masking a sloping shoulder
Wide Lapels and Shawl Collars – will broaden the shoulders and draw the eye up to the face (away from any area you may wish to disguise)
Epaulettes – not only give a nod to the military look but enhance narrow shoulders
Puffed Shoulder Detail – will subtly enhance narrow shoulders
Exaggerated Shoulder Detail – definitely one to be avoided if you have particularly broad shoulders, keep it neat and minimal
Contrasting Sleeve fabric to the body of the coat – a trend that first hit the high street last Autumn/Winter and is great for narrowing broad shoulders as it visually breaks the shoulder line
3/4 Length Sleeves (intended to be worn with long sleeved knitwear or long gloves – or like the example below the under layer sleeve is part of the coat) – actively shorten the appearance of long arms
Bell Sleeves – enhance a narrow hip-line
Cuff detailing – breaks the line of the arms and shortens their appearance
Double Breasted – often an integral part of the military style this can enhance a small chest or bust
Single breasted – this clean cut is particularly good for people with larger chests
Asymmetrical Fastening – offers a nice twist to more classic styles
Hip Pockets – great for balancing out wide shoulders
Breast Pockets – particularly good detail for men who are especially slender and small in the chest
Particularly long legs? A three quarter style will work particularly well on you
Relatively short? Generally avoid styles below knee length as these will likely swamp you
Broad across the shoulders? A hip length winter coat will work well
Conscious of having large thighs? Opt for a coat that does falls below your thighs
A-Line – universally flattering on pretty much all body shapes
Drop Waist – ideal for those who are particularly narrow across the hips
Cocoon – great for masking a curvy lower half but also balancing for someone with broad shoulders
Pea Coat – generally a very versatile style that covers a multitude of shapes – so the colour is the key element to get right
If you wish to enhance your small frame and create shape, thick bulky fabric will really work e.g. down feather quilted coats will achieve this particularly well.
When seeking a more streamlined shape, be sure to choose a finer heavy fabrics which will drape over your body without the bulk. A neatly cinched waist will always reveal a slimmer silhouette
Virtues of a plain neutral colour
If this is to be your only winter coat and an investment piece, then I recommend choosing a neutral colour as this will literally go with any other colour in your wardrobe and is also not very memorable making it extremely versatile.
Examples for cool skin tones: Black; Charcoal Grey; Navy; Taupe; Stone
Examples for warm skins tones: Chocolate Brown; Warm Navy; Camel
Virtues of a colourful neutral
As versatile as a plain neutral but more interesting and stylish
Examples: Aubergine; Purple; Plum; Olive; Teal
Virtues of a true accent colour
If you already have a neutral coloured winter coat and/or you seek to make a real statement then an accent shade will ultimately give you the ‘wow’ factor. You can tone down particularly bright shades with a simple design and more neutral or tonally similar accessories
Examples: Pillar Box Red; Electric Blue; Turquoise; Pink; Burnt Orange; Coral
Virtues of a print
If you seek something different, opt for one with a patterned fabric – you can tone down the overall look with simple plain styles, or if you’re more brave clash with another print for a more creative look
Classic coats – for those who favour simple, clean lines and timeless styles
Classic with a twist – generally still simple but has a little details, maybe a nod to a current trend that make it more interesting and stylish
Cute/ Quirky style – maybe an oversized bow, big buttons, the cape or a drop waist suggest a more playful personality
Womanly – a belted or nipped-in waist will beautifully accentuate a feminine shape or a feminine colour like pink will turn an androgynous coat feminine
Elegant – go collarless or try a funnel neckline, plus 3/4 length sleeves always give a more ladylike feel to coats
Tomboyish – with a more androgynous style such as the pea coat you will likely be drawn to men’s tailoring and more mannish fabrics e.g. pinstripe, plain flannel and clean minimal lines
Dramatic – if you seek an eye-catching, statement coat then a bold design in an accent shade will grab our attention
11. Need a helping hand?
If you need help finding the perfect winter coat for you, why not book a Women’s Personal Shopping session or Men’s Personal Shopping session?If you’d like to discover what colours will ensure you look great on a cold grey day and/or what styles will suit and flatter your shape then you may also be interested in my personal styling services – Colour Analysis & Style Analysis – for women, or Style Analysis for Men.
Enjoyed this post? If you have, it would be lovely if you could click the Facebook and Twitter buttons below!