Living in Tasmania, I have learned that keeping warm is all about the layers. Sure, you can throw on the puffer jacket and be done with it – but some of us prefer something a little more colourful and a lot less – well – puffy. Don’t get me wrong, I have the required Tasmanian uniform of the black puffer, I even have a puffer vest to layer under it – and when I need to fight off a particularly bitter wind – I’ll wear them, but I don’t feel stylish when I do.
In winter, I could be wearing pyjamas underneath my coat for all that anyone else could see. Even indoors, I rarely shake the need to remove my coat. In the last couple of years, I have started to invest a bit more in coat choices. I like something with a bit of wool; a bit of shape and a bit of colour. If all you are going to see of my winter outfits is my coat, then I have decided to make them beautiful ones.
There are many trends worth considering, if you are shopping for a new coat:
The coat with a tie waist – reminiscent of a dressing gown, but cut to give a lovely silhouette.
The faux fur – providing texture and colour (just don’t stand to close to an open flame).
The camel (in many variations of camel) – that is flattering to many skin tones (not mine).
The checked coat – square or houndstooth prints.
The leather or faux leather coat – serious Underworld vibes on this one, but a lovely silhouette all the same.
Personally, I have a preferred colour palette – colours I know sit well with my skin. A blush pink, navy or bright blue and cinnamon – are where I look first. I’m not one for a matt black coat – it drains my colour, leather is fine, but my black wool blend rarely gets a look in because it makes me feel ‘blah’. White is okay and I do love a bright red. I’m currently developing a taste for green, but I am very particular about greens, yellows and purples – so I shy away from those colours when investment shopping.
The great thing about coats is that they kind of sit in a ‘no-mans-land’. People tend to accept them because of their ‘outer wear’ status, regardless of how outlandish they might be. A coat is an opportunity to create drama, but also an item that can be easily removed indoors to reduce that drama in an instant.
Print coats are fabulous, but take a strong personality to walk, head held high, with a very obvious print. Lovely checks and leopard are good places to start if you are venturing into a statement coat for the first time. My personal preference, where wearing a fabulous coat is to find boots that match – but that is a different post for another time. If adventure is where you are at, take a look at the coats below – one of them is bound to get your blood pumping!
While striving for style, always keep a firm eye on the fact that a coat should keep you warm. Look for fabrics that are of the best quality that you can afford. Stitching should be neat. A coat may or may not have a lining, and really, that doesn’t matter either way (it will be fractionally warmer with one). Also remember, you can change the belt, the buttons and sometimes the collar. To some extent, a coat is customisable – if you have the imagination and the skills to make it your own.