Tuesday, 18 October 2011

FASHION & STYLE: The winter coat.

For the second or third year in a row (I honestly can't remember) I've been excluded from having to trail around every possible shop in the vain hope of somehow trying to find a partially reasonable excuse for a coat. I did last years winter months varying between two jewel tone numbers, a  purple cape ish design complete with a sort of very nontechnical "tie thing" that I never attempted fasten into a bow. And, a long vintage mint beauty stolen directly from the wardrobe of my nan. With both of these I was delivered a pretty safe cover up for the icy conditions of Britain (except when it rained, like wool school blazers, my green one absolutely stunk.)

I know I was blessed to find two coats I liked equally and could swap depending on occasion. These days its not about the lack of choice, but the sheer volume of possibilities: fabric, shape, texture. These features among many others come into play when solving our coat identity crisis and its hard to know which one to go for. Black of course is classic, but arguably somewhat boring unless paired with clever wardrobe choices that bring an element of something more. How safe is print though? Can you risk a faux animal print number above a certain age? And with a lack of real curves, it is really advisable to buy one that drowns you and removes all hints of a possible waist?

Questions, questions. My rules are pretty much as follows... If your going for practical, keep it classic, choose colours that compliment your skin tone and hair and fit in with the rest of your wardrobe. But if your picking a fabulously quirky number with no real coat substance only pizazz, make sure there's room to layer warmer pieces such as cable knits and deliciously thick scarves. Shape is a crucial factor so do have your body in mind when trying on and be prepared to accessorise, I'm saying on no circumstances are you allowed to do something like Gok and hack it to pieces but depending on your frame it may be worth adding a belt.

A final word though: have fun with your choices. Do not let the coat either overpower you or under sell you. It is there to keep you warm and act as the ultimate outfit clincher, SOMETIMES. But remember. Don't let your coat do all the talking.

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