stylish coat – at the very core of any fashion girl's cold-weather wardrobe – has the ability to smarten you up, lift outfits and, most importantly, keep you warm during cool climes.
Coat shopping is a fine sartorial tightrope to tread. You want it to look trendy but stay relevant for more than a year; to look expensive but not bankrupt you entirely, and be the perfect finishing touch to outfits without outshining what’s underneath.
It’s not an easy endeavour, that’s for sure, but – if you know where to look – your winter coat promises to be a piece you will wear all the way from now until February and for years to come.
The good news is that, this season, designers and high street stores have upped their outerwear game – offering a multitude of standout pieces that strike the perfect balance between timely and timeless. But, which one will you choose?
While those looking to imbue their closet with a heavy dose of drama should look no further than the ankle-skimming maxi-coat trend, fans of old-school silhouettes will be pleased to hear that the trench is back in a big way for autumn/winter 2019 (AW19), albeit with a novel twist.
When it comes to cold-weather dressing, shearling is always a winner for those that aim to spend this winter cocooned in their coat. And, if you want to add a touch of old school glamour into the mix, consider the cape which makes for the perfect accompaniment to after-dark ensembles.
Plummeting temperatures are no excuse for letting your sartorial standards slip. So, to help kick off your new season shopping trip, we’ve rounded up our pick of the five best coat trends to be seen in this autumn/winter.
The over-the-top trench
The trench coat is often at the top of every fashion fan’s list when it comes to trans-seasonal dressing but, for AW19, the humble design has been given a makeover.
A style that was developed in the late 19th century for soldiers, trench coats are traditionally made of waterproof cotton, twill or garbardine.
For AW19, designers have delivered the traditional style in all manner of shapes, sizes and shades. At JW Anderson, the trench came supersized with balloon sleeves and navy gingham trim, while Balenciaga and Valentino opted for leather and hi-shine versions that not only looking cool but also provide an extra touch of warmth.
The trench has been adopted by a host of stylish women over the years, from Audrey Hepburn and Meghan Markle, but now alternative versions of the classic coat have proved a hit with fashion influencers too.
From Monikh Dale to Megan Ellaby and Alexis Foreman, some of Instagram’s most stylish women have been giving us a lesson in how to stay stylish throughout the cooler months.
Whether you opt for a classic creme brulee colour or one finished with swashbuckling straps and a vinyl finish, this is an investment that will never go out of style, whatever the weather.
The maxi coat
Brands such as Max Mara, Balenciaga and Kristina Fidelskaya have taken coats to new lengths this season with floor-skimming designs that add bundles of drama but are definitely a potential trip hazard.
Maxi coats were the height of style during the 1970s, when they came crafted in suede and finished with shearling cuffs and collars and now the XXL style is making a sartorial comeback.
This trend might be all about length but the key to executing it well in real life is to ensure that the silhouette remains long and lean.
While the trend’s versatility means it can be tapped into with a variety of styles, including the puffer, wearers must ensure the line of the coat falls flat to the body with plenty of material to hunker beneath.
For those on the short side, this might not be the most practical of styles as your coat can end up dragging on the floor, or worse, you could look like you're dressing up in your mum's clothes. However, when paired with a pair of chunky heels or boots, it will become the ultimate winter night out attire.
The chocolate brown coat
Following summer’s preoccupation with beige, shades of rich brown are big news this season.
The autumnal hue dominated the catwalks for AW19, with brands including Fendi, Rejina Pyo and Jonathan Cohen creating coats in the often-overlooked shade.
Dark and deliciously tempting, chocolate is officially the new black especially as far as outerwear is concerned.
On social media, influencers including Brittany Bathgate, Julia Lundin and Vera van Erp have all been spotted wearing variations of the trend from tailored rain jackets and oversized coats to croc-effect vinyl trenches.
The best bit about this trend is that, contrary to popular belief, it works with a whole range of colours including all-black ensembles, burgundy, bright blue and khaki green.
The shearling coat
They come around every year, and every year the style set falls for them without question.
Warm, fluffy jackets are a great option for protecting yourself against the winter chill, and this season they come in a variety of styles.
For AW19, shearling returned to the runway with a more energetic and sporty feel with chunky aviator versions at Celine and styles fit for the urban explorers at Isabel Marant.
By no means a new phenomenon, faux sheepskin continues to reign the high street with stores such as Topshop, Zara and H&M all delivering fresh and animal-friendly takes on the popular choice.
If you’re concerned that Teddy Bear styles won’t flatter your frame, we suggest taking your style cue from the 1970s-inspired versions at Chloé that boasted shearling trimmed collars and cuffs.
The classic cape
A style beloved by superheroes and street-style stars alike, the cape has officially returned to the fashion fold and looks set to become one of this season’s must-have wardrobe showpieces.
Instead of emitting a sweet schoolgirl vibe, designers delivered a more considered take on the cape for AW19.
Over at Celine there were rock ‘n’ roll cape-trench hybrids, while Valentino offered canary yellow styles and asymmetric shapes ruled the runway at Max Mara.
Cementing its spot as one of the most talked-about coat designs of the season, this might just be the outerwear shape you never knew you needed.
Pair it with a roll neck cashmere knit, fitted jeans and some knee-highs.
Whether you choose one that’s sharp and tailored or a cosy blanket-like iteration, for ultimate style points wear yours with a slim-fit roll neck knit and tailored trousers to even out the proportions.
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