Almost all the coats you might need. I say ‘almost’ as there are bound to be some that you were looking for that I haven’t featured but, frankly, if we went through EVERY single coat style there is then we’d be here until next spring when we won’t even be needing a coat. I have deliberately left out teddy coats, faux fur coats and puffer coats and jackets because it’s not quite cold enough for them just yet. We can revisit those next month.
In the same way as we looked at boots last week, before you get carried away with buying a new coat, have a little look at your wardrobe. See what you have, see what you wear, and work out what it is you might need to fill a gap. Saying that, I’m a sucker for a good coat. They really can make a difference to your whole look. I’m very reluctant to get rid of my old coats too, much to my youngest son’s chagrin as most of my coats reside in his wardrobe. It doesn’t help that a few of them are my ‘big football coats’ (that are worn to keep warm in the North Stand at Brentford FC in the winter months) as they take up rather a lot of room. He’s 15, what does he need a whole wardrobe for, anyway?
Let’s have a look at some of my favourite types of coat and what to wear with them. As ever, I will add alternatives at varying price points under the main outfit layout.
I guess this could be construed as a jacket and therefore not a coat at all, but I wanted to feature this donkey jacket from Kin at John Lewis because it was (and still is) a favourite of mine since I bought it back in 2019. I’m very happy they have brought it back because it’s a really nice, useful, warm and casual-style coat. It comes up oversized which is great if, like me, you want to wear your chunky knits underneath, but maybe size down if you’re of a slighter frame.
LONG & OVERSIZED COATS
I get a lot of questions about what kind of outerwear works with midi and maxi dresses. For me, I either go for a blazer style that hits on the hips or, preferably, a long or oversized coat that falls to below the knee or shin length. What you DON’T want to do, if you can help it, is wear a thigh- or knee-length coat with a longer length dress. That tends to cut up the silhouette and just looks a bit ‘off’. Most websites worth their salt will tell you the height of the model and the length of the clothes when shopping online so you can work out where the hemline would fall on you.
My personal favourite long coat is the maxi city coat from Jigsaw. I have it in brown from 2020 and it works with a lot of my more autumnal-coloured dresses. This year they have it in camel and burgundy. But if it’s a long, black coat you’re after, this one from Boden also looks like a winner.
The timeless, single-breasted and slightly oversized overcoat style is one that will work with pretty much everything. Shop wisely and it will last for ages. I STILL have a black overcoat that I bought in Rome the day I got engaged. That was 20 YEARS AGO. To be honest, it’s a little snug now as I was somewhat slimmer in my late 20s than I am now, but if I wear it with a fine knit jumper and skinny jeans I can just about get away with it. That said, I would always advise buying your coats bigger rather than smaller. Remember that in the winter your layers will be bulkier and no one wants to feel restricted.
ERICA DAVIES FOR JOHN LEWIS COATS
I had to give a mention to this collaboration as I saw it in all its glory, in the flesh, earlier this week and I loved it. It’s all well and good to have simple, muted-tone coats, but sometimes you just want something a bit brighter, more eye catching and just different. This collection ticks all those boxes – it’s got bold prints, jacquard weaves, sumptuous velvet and clever details. Bravo to Erica and kudos to John Lewis for doing something different. It was very hard to pick a favourite but I went with this blue coat with orange ric rac detailing as I think it will work so well with an otherwise very simple outfit.
If your style is less bold and more understated classic, a quintessential camel coat would work for your wardrobe. Maxmara make the best in the business but are rather expensive to say the least. This one from Oasis and this one from M&S are at the more affordable end of the camel coat spectrum and look very similar. Camel looks great with a simple white shirt and navy trousers, but also just as good with an all-back outfit.
QUILTED COATS / PARKAS
If you’re more of a casual, outdoors type, the quilted/parka coat is possibly the one for you. More outdoors inspiration on this blog from a couple of weeks ago. I definitely have a ‘thing’ for a good, green quilted coat or jacket. I did recently cull my collection. Down from six to three, which I know is probably still two too many, but they are all ‘slightly’ different so I feel kind of justified. Plus they’re still very much a trend for this year and I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.
Finally (are you still with me?), the checked coat. If you’re someone not prone to the more girly, floral end of the spectrum when it comes to outfits, but still want some kind of pattern in your look, then checks are probably more your bag. Yes, you can print clash but I still find that a tricky thing to pull off without looking a bit Aunt Sally. It’s easier to wear your checks with block colours and use fabric textures as a way of mixing things up a bit.
Next week I will be looking at autumn dresses. There will be a lot of small brands to check out as well as some of my high street favourites.