There's a nip in the air, the first frost is threatening to bite and you remember your only winter coat (circa 1984) is falling to pieces. Time to hit the high street and check out what's on offer.

1`Knightsbridge' coat, Aquascutum pounds 575. You may pale at the price tag but once the coat is on it'll begin to seem almost reasonable. Lambswool and angora, dreamily soft with a silky lining, a real luxury. Aquascutum, 100 Regent Street, London, 0171-734 6090 for stockists.

2 Grey military maxi coat, French Connection pounds 200. This long, lean military number is a real floor sweeper. One word of warning, though: this is for string beans only, unless you want to look like Napoleon in his more portly days. Wool, nylon, cashmere mix. French Connection, call 0171-580 2507 for nearest branch.

3Beige twill coat, French Connection, pounds 180. For those who can't decide between long coat or jacket, this coat is the perfect compromise. French Connection, call 0171-580 2507 for nearest branch.

4Long double breasted coat, J. Tailor, pounds 180. Classic cut, slightly tailored coat is a good choice for those on a budget but who want an expensive look. Sizes 10-18. Debenhams, call 0171 408 4444 for nearest branch.

5Military style, maxi coat. Kookai pounds 160. Ultra fashionable, tight fitting maxi coat, with all the trimmings of a genuine military coat - epaulets, four patch pockets and seven buttons down the front. Kookai, call 0171- 937 4411 for stockists.

6Swing coat, Marks and Spencer, pounds 140. Furry collar, generous deep pockets, concealed buttons and wide size range: 8-18, long and extra long. Hangs beautifully, and the wool, angora, nylon mix, makes it soft and warm - you can't go wrong. Marks and Spencer, call 0171-935 4422 for nearest branch.