As we move closer and closer to the first official day of winter (December 22, 2011) now is the time to purchase that much needed winter coat, if you haven’t done so already. For some this is the least important shopping trip, as it’s all about function over style. For others, like myself, who have a closet full of coats and look forward to finding a new stylish piece for the collection. In either case you CAN have a coat that is warm without looking like Frosty the Snow Man. Here’s a look at classic coats that everyone should own, as well as this season’s top picks…and remember there are plenty of people in your local neighborhood without a coat this season, so make room for your new fabulous piece by donating an older one!
- Wool Pea Coat- Take a cue from our Navy and do not let winter pass you by without owning one of these. This is the most versatile piece for those dry, chilly days & nights. Pair it with anything and you won’t go wrong…and remember it’s all about fit! While we get our inspiration from the Navy, leave the I. Goldberg type to the fellas. Ladies steer clear of boxy cuts and opt for a more tailored look.
- Wool Trench – Already a must have for spring; the heavier version of this staple is the perfect piece to layer over a more sophisticated outfit. Whether it’s your Sunday best, a little black dress, a suit, or a party dress this is the proper to keep warm in business/cocktail wear. Nothing looks worse than a sophisticated outfit draped in a Triple Fat Goose!
- Leather Jacket – This is a carryover from fall’s slightly milder weather, but you should still get a great wear out of your jacket through November. Great on those last few sunny 60 degree days. Whether you opt for a motorcycle style or the more tailored blazer cut, layer this over a sweater and you’re good to go. Just add a scarf and gloves when the temp drops. *Tip: no need to match color when wearing leather. If your jacket is black it’s okay to wear the caramel riding boots (and vice versa). Beware of “matchy-matchy” looks.
- Puffer Jacket – The weekend jacket of choice for many, this will never go out of style! These lightweight jackets still manage to keep the chill off and come in a wide variety of colors, so go ahead—get a red one, a white one, or any color for that matter! Nothing is easier to throw on when running errands, shopping, or heading to the gym during the winter months. Maintenance is hassle free which makes this style a great investment.
- Parka – On those snowy winter days what could be better than a great Parka and a cup of hot chocolate? This style, which usually comes belted, features a fur trimmed hood and lots of pockets and is the quintessential mix of fashion & function. The key to a great Parka is the fit and the length (Petite women be conscious of length when buying a Parka, the coat should stop above the knee).
- Floor length Down Coat – Let’s face it, when there’s 3 feet of snow on the ground, and a Nor’easter on the way, who cares about being best dressed? However, with the right down coat and great winter accessories you can still manage to pull it off! Start with a great fitting down coat that falls to the ankle. Next add a great pair of insulated leather gloves. Add a knit hat and scarf (doesn’t have to be a set). Then top it off with a pair of fur ear muffs or if your daring cinch your coat with a belt!
Trendy Coats Winter ‘11
- Bright Colors – Everywhere you look, no matter what the style, there will be a bright color on the racks for winter 2011. Tangerine orange seems to be the bright color of choice this season, followed by cobalt blue and grass green. This look will definitely be easy to find right now.
- Geometric – Coats with an unusual shape (rounded sleeves, tapered hem, and structured collar) are very on trend right now. This style may be best for those of you with a pretty good selection of staple pieces who want to add some flare to your collection. This trend is often paired with the bright color of this season; however, you should still be able to find neutral tones as well.
- Swing Coats – Swing coats are a blast from the past, much like everything in fashion this year. This 1940’s staple consists of any coat/jacket that hangs down from the shoulders and swings out away from the hips. This trend reared its head last fall, but has exploded this season. The most common mistake when choosing a swing coat can be opting for one that’s too big. DON’T LET THE “SWING” FOOL YOU! Just because the lower portion should flare out doesn’t mean the entire coat should be loose fitting.
- Military- This look is a trend that reappears from time to time, probably because it looks great on anyone. You can choose from a wide variety of options for this trend: waist length pea-coat types, midi-length, and maxi length. The longer the length the more likely you are to see this style belted at the waist. *Tip: be careful not to look like a character in costume with this style. Although the hardware detail on the breastplate, shoulder, and cuff of these coats are what makes them fun don’t try and imitate a Marine.
- Fur – Whether its faux fur or the real thing do yourself a favor and ADD THIS PIECE to your wardrobe this season! Many of you may be wary about venturing into the deep, but if you are too shy, try getting your feet wet with a fur vest (very hot right now) for starters. Some may also associate fur with their grandmother’s full length coat, but this season you have a wide range of animal fur to choose from: shear-ling, lamb fur, fox, and mink all in shorter more modern shapes. Last but not least those of you dead set against real animal fur, but still anxious to try this trend fear not, all of the popular fur looks can easily be found in a faux version!