By Nikki Oji, Fashion Editor
Autumn is a time of great change. Foodstuffs are harvested and stored for the barren months ahead. Leaves morph, chameleon-like, from verdant greens to every shade of gold, shedding a carpet of crunchiness on our pavements and pathways. And nights draw longer and darker, heralding the end of summer.
Initially, we cling to summer, beg her for mercy and a return to warm, jacket-free days and hot, quilt-free nights. But alas, she’s gone… The inevitability of chilly months in cosy coverups beckons.
With this acceptance comes the digging out of long-ago stashed stores of firm autumn favourites. And, just as the arctic fox replaces brown fur for white in winter, so too will we display our new plumage.
I refer here, of course, to that big investment purchase of the season, or perhaps even, the year – The New Coat! It’s the one piece that’s got to work harder than a snow plough in January – seeing us through every occasion over the coming months in style – so it’s never too early to start your search. See below for my top tips on buying a winter coat.
I’ve selected this beautiful, wool reversible wrap coat from Massimo Dutti to showcase its versatility and hard-working credentials. Here are 3 ways to style it.
While not everyone goes to work in a suit, the trouser suit trend has been around for a while and, if anything, is only gaining strength. So channel your inner Girl Boss and layer your smart coat on top of your tailoring. Tying the fabric belt towards the back creates slimming vertical lines and a sharp silhouette.
There’s no denying that once October rolls around, our thoughts unavoidably turn to Christmas. Whether that makes you yearn for a whirlwind of sparkling parties, or a haven for hibernation, the chances are you’ll have to show your face at least once at a seasonal event – and it’ll probably be the office party.
There’s no reason to freeze your way though it; this clever coat can be worn grey-sided to work, then magically reversed and worn black-side-out, over your party dress. Minimal additional styling required – simply add heels, tassel earrings and a clutch and you’re office-party ready in a flash!
Out of Office
Autumn is a wonderful time to get out into nature and breathe in the fresh air. Whether it’s seaside-salty, or country-crisp, a long weekend walk can do wonders for the overworked and the hunched-over (or indeed the hung-over)! So grab your wellies, trainers or hiking boots, throw on a chunky knit and jeans under your coat, and make for the great outdoors in style. Just be sure to have a hot toddy awaiting your return to the fireside.
Top Tips For Selecting A Winter Coat
- Colour: Although bold, bright, statement coats are fun, if you’re only making one purchase, then your coat ought to complement your wardrobe’s predominant colour palette. That’s to say, if you mainly wear cool tones – like blues, greys, pinks and purples – then you should think about a coat in a dark grey or black that’ll work with these colours. If, however, you favour reds, browns and greens, a chocolate brown or classic camel may suit your wardrobe better.
- Fabric: Wool, wool, wool! I’m a huge fan of this sustainable, natural fibre. Not only is it the cosiest option, but if you select a coat with a high enough wool content, it will last and last. Wool may not be the best choice for a snow storm or for horizontal rain, but for those cold days, when the wind would cut you in two, wool is what you really want.
- Cut: If you don’t really feel the cold too much, a narrow-fitting, tailored option may do the trick for you. Throw a polo neck underneath and you’re good to go. If, like me however, you tend to feel the cold, enjoy layering and want the option of wearing chunky knits beneath your coat, then opt for a generously cut, button-free wrap coat that can be tied at the back for sleeker lines or cinched at the waist like a pretty Christmas cracker…