Style by Claire Lopez

Coats to lust after

Do not be fooled … we may be experiencing a bit of an Indian Summer but that does not mean you should be lulled into a false sense of security and delay your coat purchase for the season. Retailers follow an insane buying calendar which means that coats are in stores in August before we have really had a chance to warm up but now, at the start of October, you do need to get your skates on because otherwise all the goodies will have gone.

If you need something for mid-season and can’t quite let go of summer, then I would go for a casual, lightweight, Parker style like this one from Mango £59.99. Although you may not wear this for many more weeks this year, it will definitely come into it’s own again in the Spring and Summer.


The Parker is a style that has been around for seasons and seasons but isn’t going anywhere fast and all the retailers have these at various price points. This is the coat for you if you don’t work in an office or for casual weekend wear. Zara is probably one of the best places to head for this and they have so many to choose from including this Short Quilted Parker £79.99.


Now on to the key coat trends for the season, starting with ‘The Grey Coat’. Grey is definitely one of the key colours of the season and there are lots of different options out there from classic Crombie styles to cocoon silhouettes. All of which have a timeless feel about them and which will work no-matter what you pair them with. So investment they may be but cost per wear will be very low indeed.

The Olivia coat from Hush £170 is a good price point and is a nice mix of formal and informal.


Mango has a Lapel Wool Coat £139 which also comes in ecru and you can wear belted or open. Wear belted and you would be doing another fashion trend. The large lapels are ‘in’ too. Possibly not for the large of breast though.


I saw this Grey Melange Knit Jigsaw coat £298 in an advert a few weeks ago and it has really stuck in my mind ever since – much prefer the styling in the advert where the coat was worn with tapered black trousers and a black roll neck – nb how to wear the 70s roll neck in a contemporary way. I think for the smaller in stature, this coat would be a touch on the long side though unfortunately. When you buy a coat make sure you look at the proportions against your body. Cover your bum but don’t necessarily drown yourself in one. For me a mid thigh length is probably best. If you are taller you can get away with longer lengths.


On to the Crombie. I have a camel one from Cos that is several years old but it always feels right whenever I put it on and I know it will be in my wardrobe until it wears out or the moths get it.

Hush has this Michelle Coat £190 which comes in camel, navy and black. I would probably always counsel against a plain black coat as having all that black against your skin, particularly in the winter when we are all at our most pasty, will not bring out the best in your complexion. A navy or camel would be great.


The Cocoon coat is a great style because it is slightly less formal than a Crombie but still feels timeless. I would not feel too overdressed wearing this with jeans, but equally it would not be out of place in a smart City setting. Again grey features heavily here too.

This Whistles Dara Cocoon Coat £230 is gorgeous. It does have a back belt detail which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.


John Lewis has this Ruby Cocoon Knit Coat £165 which is very lovely. Doesn’t look hugely cocoon-like to me but very nice nonetheless.


There are a lot of boiled wool cocoon styles around too and these are also very versatile. Jigsaw has a lot of lovely coats this season including this Grey Urban Boucle Knit Coat £190.


The next few trends are, in my opinion, exactly that, trends for this season and maybe the next, but they don’t have the staying power or versatility of the above. Here they are anyway, in any case:

The cape – probably one of my least favourite coat styles as it isn’t very practical. Last A/W these were around too and I resurrected an old Topshop one I had, but I just wasn’t warm enough. Possibly because I was hanging around on a rugby pitch for two hours and the only thing that would have kept me snug was one of those vastly expensive, you need to sell a kidney, Moncler furry ski jackets. Or a sleeping bag. Zara again is a good bet for this and has a lot of choice including this Hand made Cape £89.99.


The long-line gilet or sleeveless coat was around last winter and has firmly taken root this season to establish itself as a key item not to be missing from any fashionista’s wardrobe. I feel the cold too much to jump on this bandwagon but do like the look. This Selvi sleeveless coat from Reiss £275 will look great dressed up for work or down with denim. Layer cosy knitwear underneath as it starts to gets chilly.


Alternatively, this style from Eileen Fisher is very sophisticated and you could style it up with a leather jacket underneath – another big fashion look. High Collar Wool Vest $388.


So far, so minimalist. But A/W doesn’t have to be that way and you could opt for tweed to jazz up your outwear. I get that the fashion look is to clash with other prints and patterns…but really I am not sure this will make you look like Miuccia Prada – possibly a bit more bag lady. Tweed is inherently a more casual look so less versatile and less easy to pair with everything in your wardrobe but these from Massimo Dutti are very nice and neutral enough to be easy to combine with various outfits: Fancy Textured Coat £195.


Not strictly tweed but they also have this Fancy Weave Coat £165. I take it back – an easy patterned coat like this would be great and not necessarily a one trick wonder.


If I was going to go for a pattern, it would be this Leopard print Nala coat from All Saints £398. It wouldn’t be my blog if there wasn’t a bit of animal print slipped in. Plus we have the Lion King playing practically on repeat in our house. So buying a coat dedicated to my daughter’s favourite lioness would be right! Maybe not quite at that price though. I would be some of the way to South Africa for that amount to see Nala in the flesh.


Right then, I have left the best until last – possibly! Fur and it’s more wearable cousin, shearling. You have to be careful with faux fur because it adds bulk to even the most waif-like and just makes you look like a teddy bear. For most of us this is not something we can pull off all that easily. If you are going to go fur then I think it needs to be done in an evening wear way like this Colby Faux Fur from Whistles £220. I have a flat fur black jacket which is ages old but it works well for evening but this season’s furs are big and bold.


Alternatively, Mango has this Black Fur Coat £119.99.


Shearling – just beware you don’t look like Del Boy in these and I think you probably need to go super expensive on this for it to work. Although Tesco does have a Faux Fur Waterfall coat at £39. In the flesh though…?


So that is my coat edit for the season, undoubtedly there are other trends like pastels which has been around since last A/W. For me, a coat is an investment and so I would always go for something that is going to stand the test of time. Maybe that is the sensible Virgo in me. But why not buy something that will make you happy? Whatever that may be – bright colour, pattern or fur. After all, you and everyone else, will be seeing yourself in it for the next few months to come.






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