Want to be cosy yet smart at work? Try the blanket coat

Back to work this week? Soften the blow with a cosy coat that brings the comfort of the sofa but still looks smart, writes Naomi Attwood

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The cold climes of January are when the lucky throw money at the problem and traipse off somewhere nice and sunny. If you can’t stretch to a bit of long-haul escapism, and returning to the real world has you cowering under the covers, fret not. There is an alternative – and you almost don’t have to get out of bed for it.

The solution is the blanket coat, a fusion of cover-up, dressing-gown and security coverlet toted by Linus in Peanuts. Its contemporary fashion incarnation started on Kate Moss’s back, when she spent last summer mostly swathed in an Hermès blanket.

The winter catwalks were inundated with cosy takes on coats: at Burberry Prorsum, wool and cashmere shawls in muted shades were monogramed with models’ initials; Chloé showed quilted duvet styles and Saint Laurent tartan cape cover-ups. Even ponchos were called into duty, with hooded versions at Isabel Marant, Etro and Roberto Cavalli. Blankets and shawls, although undeniably stylish, are trickiest to pull off on a practical level – wrangling a length of fabric with no anchoring is difficult, while the potential for an Isadora Duncan-style wardrobe malfunction via train or car door is always present.

For those in need of the use of their arms, a blanket-styled coat or cape, fusing flowing fabric with sleeves and fastenings, will work better. Knitted versions can justifiably be worn indoors, and who doesn’t yearn for a cosy all-over knit at this time of year?

The key to getting this look right – and not looking like you’ve woken up on the sofa and forgotten to change – is what you pair yours with. A blanket’s bulky folds need a sleek bottom half for balance – slender jeans or trousers with leather boots will anchor the look nicely. Just avoid the dreaded “slanket”. No one’s ready for a high-fashion incarnation of that.

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