It’s the most important item you’ll buy this winter. But choosing your perfect winter coat is no small task. Your winter coat should be warm, stylish and versatile enough to wear to the pub or the office. And ideally, it will last longer than just one season.
Before you hit the shops, make sure you have read our five rules for finding your perfect winter coat.
1. Check the composition
For winter, you need something that will last at least a few months in some of the year’s harshest weather conditions. This means you need to look for a coat that is made from insulating fabrics such as wool or cashmere. Choose a style that has a little extra space inside so that you can layer up your sweaters and knitwear. And make sure any buttons/zips are not just decorative – you don’t want to be clinging to your lapels when the winter winds hit.
2. See if it’s adaptable
Ideally, your winter coat should be suitable for a number of different occasions. Does it suit a mizzly morning? A freezing afternoon? Or a lashing night out? And does it accessorise well with your current wardrobe? Look for a coat that can be dressed up or down with the right accessories.
3. Think about your silhouette
Like everything in fashion, the silhouette is everything. If you are tall and slim, add curves with a belted coat. If you are curvy, choose a slimming single-breasted coat in a dark colour. Shorter ladies should look for mid-length coats; while tall women can experiment with unusual shapes like the cocoon coat. Whatever you choose, make sure it works with your figure, and not against it.
4. Take it for a road-test
It’s easy to take a coat for a spin in a store, but to get a realistic view, you need to take it outside. Luckily, just about every store has a generous returns policy, so you can buy and return if it doesn’t feel right. Remember, you’ll be wearing your winter coat almost every day. Some fabrics can feel scratchy, tight or warm when you’re moving around, but catch them early and you’ll have time to find a new coat.
5. Think about the details
Everyone wants something different from their winter coat. You might want deep pockets to keep your hands warm; a hood that keeps the rain off; or a fur trim that gives you a daily shot of glamour. Think about the one detail that you can’t live without, and narrow down your search accordingly. Then all you have to do is choose the coat that makes you look good, and you’ll be ready for the snow!