That’s right, friends, it’s the middle of December and that means wintry-themed posts are the order of the day! I got a whole slew of requests for coat advice and although you may think it’s a bit late in the season to be coat shopping, I firmly believe that now – post-Thanksgiving and post Black Friday – is the IDEAL time to pony up for a new coat. Everything is on sale and the bitterest part of winter hasn’t even hit yet. I’m not tardy, I’m timely!
Instead of breaking it down by body type, I’m going to keep it short and sweet by selecting three of my favorite coat styles that work for nearly every figure and height. Shall we get started?
Some shaped-down buying advice:
- Buy real down. Those geese know what they’re doing and you won’t be nearly as warm in something puffy but feather-free. (Apologies to the allergic, but it’s true.)
- Buy knee- or thigh-level or what’s the point? Plus better proportions are created.
- Make sure the coat fits fairly snugly. Down works because it traps your body heat, and if the wind is sailing up your coat via the bottom hem, it defeats the purpose.
I have the North Face Metropolis parka pictured above and have worn it for five years straight. It’s machine washable, my version is a lovely merlot red, and it was unbearably expensive. If I were going to buy a new one, I’d snap up one of these Land’s End lovelies for pennies on the dollar:
I know I said no body type stuff, but I’m going to renege: Apple-shaped women, experiment with this style. It might emphasize your midsection more than you like, but if the belt falls at the right spot on your torso it could look amazing.
Some belted-wool buying advice:
- Bring a scarf. Many of these coats have open necklines and you’re gonna want to see how they read when there’s a giant muffler peeking out.
- Again, knee-length is best. Warm and flattering. If you opt for something longer it will look pretty formal, which is fine … just be aware.
- Consider the pocket situation: Will you be wearing gloves? Probably. Do you look like you’ve got 10-week-old kittens stowing away in your pockets when there are gloves shoved in them? Do you care? I have several coats that have Stowaway Kitten-itis, and I just pop my gloves into my handbag. But this drives some women BATSO.
Here are some darling belted coats from Macy’s. I’ll take one of each, please!
Calvin Klein Wing Collar Belted Wool Coat
This style will ONLY work for those living in warmer climes, since a flared hem means automatic butt-breeze. But just as A-line skirts are universally flattering, coats with an A-line silhouette work for many, many figure types. And they look adorable short and elegant long!
Some A-line buying advice:
- A wider lapel will balance the hem flare, so if you’re looking to create an hourglass, pick a coat with a nice, broad collar.
- Make sure the fabric has at least a little bit of drape. An A-line that sticks out like a paperdoll garment will just look cheap and awkward.
- Single-breasted is best. Paired with a mondo collar and mondo hem, a single vertical line will create flattering balance.
Here are some adorable picks from Nordstrom. Since this cut is for milder winters, you could opt for leather or faux fur … but I’ve stuck to classic wool for my picks. I feel it’s more versatile.
If you’re curious about how to tell when a coat fits correctly, check out Angie’s fantastic post from back in November. She really covers it all right there.
Did you buy a new winter coat this year? What style was it? Any further tips for coat flattery, or nigh-universal flattering styles to suggest? What are your coat-buying criteria?