The Winter Coat Check

Snap. Snap. Cold Snap


January 2020   
By Sharon Mosley

Snap. Snap. Cold snap ... and we’re reaching for the coat closet. If you didn’t receive a new coat for Christmas, you may want to snap your fingers and magically transform the chill chasers in your closet. With a new fashion cold front blasting its way into the season, it’s time to warm up to some new outerwear trends and heat up your wardrobe.

Snuggle up to Teddy. One of the biggest trends for the cold weather is the teddy coat. This fuzzy faux fur coat is named after—yes, you guessed it—that childhood favorite, the teddy bear. Comfort is the name of this coat, which comes in all kinds of retro ‘70s styles, from short, cropped pixie styles to full-length maxis.

Take it to the tailor.
Menswear-inspired coats are classics that will last in your wardrobe for years. If you only buy one coat this fall, make it a tailored version of this basic, reinterpreted in checks, plaids and tweeds. Or invest in the all-time icon of style: the chesterfield camel coat.

Stay cozy in a robe.
Belted coats are wrapping up the season in relaxed silhouettes that put the finishing touch on whatever you wear underneath. In a neutral color like navy, camel or gray, this is another outerwear piece that never goes out of style. In cashmere, you’ll think you can just crawl back in bed!

Get in the trenches.
The trench coat is taking on a new lease on this 100-year-plus legend. Originally created for British and French soldiers in World War I who were literally in the trenches of warfare, this outerwear staple has developed into a fashion statement that has evolved into the perfect transitional piece, updated with studded collars, satin epaulettes and even floral prints.

Weather the cold in leather.
Leather coats are the ultimate in chic cover-ups this fall and winter. Go matte or go shiny. Today’s soft and supple leathers are a far cry from the old days of stiff and rigid material. There are lots of options in leather outerwear: bombers, motorcycle jackets, blazers, trenches and more. This is an item you’ll want to try on in a store rather than buy online; the touch factor is critical. Whether faux or real leather, quality is key.

Visit the cape. Many of us fell in love with ponchos several years ago. For those who live in mild climates, the poncho was a blessing in disguise. Now, the cape has taken its place as an untraditional alternative to a heavier coat. The armless wonder is easy to toss on over dresses, pantsuits, sweaters and jeans. Fur-trimmed, it’s an elegant finishing touch to holiday outfits.

Keep it casual. When all you want is an everyday coat that’s perfect for everything from running errands to hitting the ski slopes, then the puffer coat is one of your best options for warding off winter chills. In bright colors, it’s a mood lifter this year. There are also plenty of other casual choices: duffle coats, car coats, peacoats and roomy cocoon coats.

One last roar. Of course, it must be included on this list. You may not be wild about animal prints, but the designers who dream up all the newest coat trends are. Animal prints, from leopard to zebra, are one of designers’ favorite patterns for outerwear. Animal prints have indeed become a classic, so don’t be afraid to include this trend on your shopping list.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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