I think we can safely say the autumn has arrived. I’m relieved as all this betwixting and betweening was a real effort each morning. Not really cold enough for a coat and yet a little too crisp for just a jacket – virtually impossible to get right. I know I wasn’t alone in holding off on the full blown overcoat until this week. So yes, I’m happy that it’s November and it actually feels like it now.
This also means I can finally talk about the wealth of coats currently hanging neglected in the shops. There really is something for everyone and I have looked at heaps in an attempt to pick out the best. Although the oversized or cocoon look is still very in this winter, it isn’t difficult to find more fitted styles and those that are a little more feminine in cut. I really don’t need another coat (does anyone?) but there are several I fancy and this will probably mean ultimately I won’t buy one through not being able to make a decision. I also don’t have the space to store it; yesterday I noticed the hook I’ve been hanging my existing coats on has started to droop and come away from the door so it’s probably best they don’t breed. And anyway having ordered three pairs of boots I was torn between last week (told myself I would send two pairs back but whether this happens or not remains to be seen), I need to reign it in a bit.
So if you’re in a quandry about which coat style to go for, here are a few pointers:
1. Coats can be expensive and while you will undoubtedly get a lot of use out of it in the UK, if you want a real investment piece then go classic. Keep in mind that a patterned coat (there are a lot about) will date quickly. Dark colours will stand the test of time as will simple cuts – the military look always works.
2. If you have curves, avoid double breasted styles and go for a neck that can be worn open (you can add a scarf) and a waist that is nipped in slightly, wraparound styles are ideal as they’re adjustable.
3. If you are more of a string bean then lucky you, you can embrace this season’s cocoon trend without looking like the infamous hungry caterpillar.
4. Pear shaped bodies will be flattered by an empire line. These are not quite so easy to find this autumn but they are there so keep looking. TK Maxx stocks last season as well as current collections so it’s a good place to start your search.
5. If warmth is your main criteria then you can’t go wrong with a puffer jacket or a parka. I bought my parka in River Island fourteen years ago and it hasn’t dated a bit. I’d still be wearing it if my mum hadn’t swiped it. She doesn’t have the straining hook issue that I have, dammit.
6. To get the best bang for your buck then a coat that suits all occasions and all lengths of skirt and trouser is what you want. You don’t get much more versatile than a reversible coat and although it’s a bit more pricey, well, you’re getting two for the price of one aren’t you? This one would be lovely belted too so in fact that’s three coats for the price of one.
7. Personally, I love the ladylike trend and it just won’t go away. There is plenty of choice for girly types with a penchant for a neat look in ice-cream shades. Not terribly practical, but oh so pretty.
8. Finally, if you can’t resist a coat that yells “2014!” from the rooftops and is ever so slightly 70’s street walker (alright, more than slightly) then it’s got to be one of the mottled faux fur pieces out there. Go on, I dare you…