Now winter is here, the coat is the most important piece in your wardrobe. From the last months of one year to the early chill of the next, a good coat will not only be your protection against the weather, but the fashion statement you make most often. Here are a few hints on how to get it right.
Style conscious or not, most of us would agree that the key function of a winter coat is to keep warm. Living in a climate with a high percentage of rainfall, cloud cover and wind some days all at the same time dictates the necessity of wrapping up and waterproofing yourself.
Thankfully, this year saw the return of the parka to our stores; fur-lined, practical and in the case of 2012 trends, military-style. Think khaki greens, with a slim-fit and a shaped waist, instead of the shapeless jackets of the past. In fact, military is back in a big way, from double-breasted macs to woollen greatcoats in steely blues and belted leather jackets for women. This autumn/winter season has seen the likes of Kate Moss and Alexa Chung stepping out in heavy army-style outerwear, high collars turned against the wind.
Over-sized coats have started to fit right in as a fashion for broad-shouldered duffels and ankle-length coats has swept the high street. Textured lines and 3-d fabric effects like tweed, brocade and fur have been seen everywhere from designers at Debenhams to Michelle Obama. Leather jackets for women have taken on a whole new aspect, as some commentators call this fashion the ‘boyfriend coat’. Emphasis on masculine proportions, a straight cut and large buttons – if your coat looks like you borrowed it from the other half, you’re getting it spot on.
Another surprise return was made by the quilted jacket. A favourite of the 90s and horse-riders everywhere, these coats are both warm and tough-looking, a functional statement with added features like neck buckles and country-gent poppers. You could go for the full-on puffer style jacket, dressing it rock-style with biker boots or play down the rough edges with a floaty, feminine skirt.
In fur, 2012 has its most impractical of trends, but also one of the most popular. From cropped mufflers and sleeveless numbers to shaggy creature-workshop creations and animal prints; fur is once again big news. Rachel Zoe and Anna Wintour aren’t the only names in on the action; this trend speaks volumes in a kind of cross between wearing grown-up luxury and the fun of wearing your granny’s fur from the dressing-up box.
Speaking of old-time glamour, the swing coat is back in force as well. Its appealing bell shape may not be the best for keeping the draughts at bay but this is a key trend, partly due to it being flattering enough to be worn by all body shapes. Wear in startling hues of petrol blue and fashionable mustard to complete the 60s-esque homage.
Whether you’re after a stop-dead statement or functional fad, there’s plenty of choice out there for ladies outerwear this season. Materials as high-quality as wool, as sumptuous as fur and as stylish as leather continue to impress in the coat market and with many trends set to continue into the spring of 2013, invest in a winter warmer now to keep you going, whatever the new year brings.
AUTHOR BIO : Diyana Lobo is a keen fashion blogger and columnist for a host of different style blogs which she likes to think keeps her on her fashion toes and one step ahead of the game. She has her own sideline in hand-made jewellery and loves fancy dress but is a firm believer that staples like woolly trapper hats and leather jackets for women will never leave the fashion limelight.