I realize that someone in Houston writing about the “must have” overcoat is like someone in Alaska writing about the “must have” bikini, but the reality is that I LOVE coats. And I have lived in places like Tennessee, Arkansas and Kansas where coats are actually used more than twice a season.
Granted, I wasn’t the budding fashionista that I now am
Regardless of where you live, there are a few simple tips that can help inform your decision when buying a staple winter coat.
1. Consider where you live. Do not get a double lined 100% wool number if you’re living in Florida. There truly are lovely lighter weight winter coats for those of us living in more temperate climates. Similarly, there are beautiful winter coats that don’t look like the Goodyear tire man.
2. Be willing to spend a little money. This is an item where it does pay to spend more. Buying an overcoat at Nordstrom versus Old Navy does make a difference if you want a classic professional look that lasts for multiple seasons.
3. Consider your wardrobe. This may seem contradictory, but if you tend to wear a lot of color in your wardrobe, go for a more neutral coat in camel, black, grey or even a dark green. That allows there to be less clashing of the color wheel with your underlying garments. However, if you tend to wear more neutral colors, go a little nuts with color. Find a red or green or blue that reads timeless, not trendy, and go for that bright pop.
4. Stick with classic lines. Certain coats will always be in style. Single breasted, midlength overcoats with classic sensibilities will be wearable for a decade or more.
Here are a few lovely examples out this season – and note, these are wear-to-work coats, not have-a-snowball-fight coats:
So these are some great neutral options – black, charcoal, camel, all really nice neutrals if you are starting with a bold underpalette. All of these are from Bloomingdale’s (I LOVE Bloomingdale’s for outerwear, they’re NY based and know their coats and they have a sale going on right now!), except for the second one which is from Talbot’s.
Oh goodness girls, I LOVE an ivory coat. I had one for ages. It’s terrible if you live where there’s snow or ice because they dirty easily. So while they may not last as long because they grow dingy, they are lovely for evenings out or warmer winter climates. The first one is from Kate Spade, the second is Bloomingdale’s, and the last one is Ann Taylor.
Here are some great colored options. I actually think I’m going to order that teal/hunter coat because it is super reasonable and there’s a sale going (it’s Bloomingdale’s as are all these coats except the first one which is Talbot’s). If you are looking for a place to make a statement and it’s not your work wardrobe, your outerwear may be the place to do it.
What color is your go-to winter coat? Where do you shop to find the best deal.