Armed and ready: Coat £59, marksandspencer.com
Armed and ready: Coat £59, marksandspencer.com

Style File: Nothing up your sleeve

Free your arms and give sleeves the chop with this season’s new take on outerwear, says Emma Akbareian

Emma Akbareian
Thursday 20 February 2014 01:00
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Sleeves are generally considered an essential part of a coat, especially with the nippy weather we’ve been experiencing of late. The new season, however, calls for a readjustment of thinking with designers forgoing armwear in favour of more streamlined cover-ups.

A sleeveless coat may not be a new addition to your wardrobe; it might have actually made a number of appearances over the years in various guises. Quilted gilets, for example, have always been particularly popular with university attendees (think Jack Wills) and countryside dwellers. Then there’s the fur type, most likely seen on Sloane Rangers.

Spring/summer is concerned with an infinitely more stylish version; Victoria Beckham showed a classic take on the trend with long, tailored styles in a monochrome palette. At Dries Van Noten, they came with embroidery, ruffles and floral designs for an altogether more opulent appearance.

The easiest way to try the trend is to pick the former, minimalist interpretation as inspiration. Clean lines and a simple colour palette are the trick to mastering the look. Opt for a longer length style, falling around mid-thigh, for the most flattering, silhouette-streamlined shape.

Lighter-weight versions are ideal for workwear and make a less-obvious alternative to a blazer or tux jacket. A tailored style in a classic colour will instantly smarten and update an ordinary shirt and trouser combo.

If the no sleeve-thing is still proving an issue consider that there are weather-related advantages of investing in a sleeveless coat – especially in contemplation of the unpredictable nature of English climate – layer up for colder weather and strip down to brave bare arms when it gets warmer.

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