When it comes to looking stylish, there’s a lot to be said for a good coat.
We’ve just spent most of October in France. And while the weather was quite warm when we first landed and during our time in the South, it has cooled down markedly now that we are heading for home. As the temperatures have fallen, every comment worthy outfit we’ve seen featured a fabulous coat. And this was true for both the women and the men!
If there was ever a wardrobe piece worth investing in, it would have to be the coat. When the chill starts to touch the air, coats are especially important for both travelling and for home.
Coats are always the first piece of clothing people will see – and sometimes they are the only thing you will be seen wearing.
While cropped leather jackets were definitely the go early in our trip, as things cooled down the following coats came into play:
- Classic trench coats in dark colours. I saw the most stunning navy trench coat while we were in Bordeaux. It looked so lovely. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I was travelling with a carry-on sized bag only, I would have hunted one down and bought it immediately.
- Puffer jackets (the slim ones that aren’t too puffy, if you know what I mean). I saw this style of coat regularly while we were in Annecy, often in paler colours like champagne and cream.
- Longer line, relatively lightweight wool coats. Black, grey, navy and camel – all the neutrals were in play both in France and in London. Small patterns also seemed popular in wool coats.
So, if you are going to make the investment into a new coat, what should be on the ‘must have’ list? Here are the top three things I look for when investing in a coat.
When it comes to coats, comfort might not be the first thing you think of, but it should be. You need to be comfortable in your outerwear – I promise you that you’ll never reach for the uncomfortable coat. Make sure that there is enough room in the top of the sleeve and through the waist to accommodate the clothes you will be wearing under your coat. Also consider the fastenings and the length and positioning of any belt that might adorn your coat. They might be little things but if the buttons are awkward or the belt is too short to look good then, again, that coat will be languishing in your wardrobe.
When investing in a coat, you want to be confident that you are purchasing a quality item. And it pays to remember, that while a higher price can point to quality, it doesn’t always guarantee it. As a minimum, understand the fabric of the coat and how it can be cleaned. Remember to consider the lining – and whether or not it might shrink. Check the stitching and the seams – are they straight and generous? Are the buttons securely fastened?
I’ve never for a second regretted investing in my black Burberry trench, or my much loved (read: somewhat battered) open fronted, cropped leather jacket. Both items have served me well for a number of years. They complement everything, adapt well from daytime to evening, dress up the simplest outfits and make travelling stylishly easy. When looking to invest in a new coat, consider whether you’ll be happy to wear it for years.
Are you thinking of investing in a coat? Perhaps you’ve already done so. Or maybe you’d like some more advice on investment dressing in general? Regardless, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.
P.S. As an aside, on this trip I travelled with my beloved black leather jacket that I mentioned earlier in this post and this timeless number in the pale grey, which I found via a recommendation on Save. Spend. Splurge.
I’d been considering a wool coat for a very long time – ever since I’d travelled through a German winter with a very fashionable friend from London. I fell in love with her long, red woollen coat but, with the Australian climate being what it is, it had taken me a fair while to get around to investing in one. But even in a relatively warm climate like Melbourne, a wardrobe of coats doesn’t go astray. So far, I’ve been thrilled with this particular investment.
And Aussie investors should remember that the northern hemisphere sales will be coming to an internet retailer near you very soon. Due to the cooler climates in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. they have a much wider range of coats to choose from, often at excellent prices, even after you deal with the exchange rate.