Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Get Your Coat on....

The point of having a coat could be argued is to keep you warm in cold weather. We all know that at its basic level this is true, but since when has one coat fulfilled all style needs. I've listed 10 coat and jacket items that will fulfil your basic wardrobe needs. You have probably got most of these already but when money is tight this checklist will help you to make a decision on what to get.

A proper coat - the one to spend the money on! A good looking coat that makes you feel glamorous and stylish when you put it on. Worth spending your money on this item. Look at coats from Acne, Maje or on the Outnet to make that investment. You can even try TK Maxx, I once saw a great Valentino coat in there down from an extortionate price to £299. Of course I didn't have the readies when I needed them but I'm saving for a decent winter's coat as I last bought one over 4 years ago and it is looking very tired.

Alexander McQueen cashmere blend coat discounted from £1,215.87 down to £425.55
It's a keeper!

The trench coat - do I really need to give any explanation on this one. I must confess I haven't got one but I must. I kick myself over the +J one in black last September in Uniqlo and recently Zara have had some great ones too. I know for most the holy grail in a trench is Burberry but I think get one that fits you well and it will be a winner.

A leather jacket - it adds an edge to many looks and the biker style leather jacket has a tighter cut and less bulk of the style of old - wear with skinny jeans, skinny flares, over a dress, with a skirt or trousers and it doesn't have to be black. I've selected this one from New Look although I bought mine from Select last year on the recommendation from Mrs Fab and it has been money well spent.

Pea coat or jacket coat - the pea coat is a jacket coat based on the navy jacket of old. Much favoured by Jackie Onassis it retains a certain Waspish connotation. However it is a jolly useful throw on for all manner of waspish activities. Think country walks, weekend grocery shopping, a football or rugby match with a date/bf/husband. Just add sunglasses. Or work it like Jane Birkin with Serge.
Dress or duster coat - my personal weakness and guess what I found the one that would bring my much joy on the bl**dy Outnet. I can look...I've got my £50 sale one bought from Wallis many moons ago. I had it altered to fit better and there is nothing nicer than a dressy coat for evenings.
Vera Wang Brocade evening coat
now only (cough) £561.75 on the Outnet

Ignore my flights of fancy you get the idea. I would look something that fits this bill at car boot sales, charity shops and discount outlets such as Bicester.

Tuxedo jacket - ditto ref trench coat. This one needs no explanation. I bought one in H&M over 5 years ago and it is still going strong. Works well over short tunic or body con dresses, with jeans and all many of trousers.

Parka - festivals, bank holidays at Brighton if you go to them then you need a parka. Asos and Topshop have a great selection and without breaking the bank. The winter warmer ones are a life saver too. Speak to Mrs Fab...

Blazer - more of a season transition piece and a personal choice. They've made a big come back with recent 80s retrospectives and Celine's latest offering the more female almost tuxedo number has inspired a few high street retailers. Be careful this is a fashion nightmare. One moment it is current the next... keep it on the budget side if you really really want/need one and wear it a lot. If a blazer is not you thing then have a glam Jacket to wear in the same way as a tux but for day/evening/ weekend. I have fallen in love with a cream double breasted jacket in Zara but it is a seasonal item so am being v.good.

A cape - charming, a nice to have. Not the most popular style wise so keep an eye out for them in sales, and vintage shops if you fancy a punt. They add a different element to a look. Think Jane Birkin again or Anna Dello Russo - it is all about the drama!


The indulgence coat - once in a while all the thought of being good, staying within budget gets thrown out of the window when you see that coat that says 'film star', 'rock chic', 'fashion editor'. It might be leopard or fur or colourful- you don't need it but you can't ever sleep again without it. Sleep on it if it is a store item, buy now if car boot or second hand shop find.

What I haven't selected a denim jacket! Well just drop the cape or blazer and insert denim jacket. Adapt the list for your own taste.


  1. Love all your choices and the great advice given, we did well with that leather jacket didn't we? It is the only thing I have ever bought from select and if I hadn't have seen it on someone else, felt how soft it was, I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole!
    On my list for next winter will be a Pea Coat, I need one of those!

  2. As someone who purchases a coat/jacket each season I understand the full importance of this external layer which is crucial to your wardrobe. Its what people see you in first

  3. Mhmmmm... I'm with U! :) Great choices!

  4. The Alexander McQueen is definitely a keeper. Great find! I'm still saving for a Rick Owens leather jacket... Maybe this year?

  5. I Love that Anna del R cape! When I was 4 my Mum made me a tartan cape. It was lined in silk. The tartan all lined up. God I loved it. Must reread India K's thrift tonight- she and you are my inspiration style wise. I am hardcore making do and mending. Excellent relevant post. Timely too during these tough times xx PS can you do a post on how it is ok for women in their 30s to 80s to embrace trends and fashion? Got a snarky comment on my Jade is the new black post saying I was too middle aged to wear jade polish and to leave trends to the under 25 set. WTF??? 3os are Middle aged? Women in their 60s can't action trends??? I know you will have a view.

  6. Gorgeous options, darling!
    Especially loving the leather jacket!


  7. FF - there will be a post to address these heinous remark!

  8. Such a great list! I have most styles here - I'm a bit obsessed with jackets over coats, so I have a fair few blazers, a leather and a denim jacket, a military style jacket, a trench coat and a leopard print faux fur jacket... but not proper coat! Must invest in one for this winter.

  9. I love the Alexander McQueen coat. It is a keeper. I am usually thrifty when it comes to buying clothes but I believe one should invest in a good coat because it actually keeps you warm and it can be worn for many years.

  10. I CANNOT live without my leather jacket!! I love to combine it with lace so there is the contrast of the delicate, feminine lace with the masculine leather!:)

    follow me on my blog:

  11. LOVE this post. It's one of my favourite Make Do Style posts of all time!
    I really think I need a cape and a good pea coat for winter. I didn't have a trench until this year actually, snapped up a fab CK one in TK Maxx for £80.


  12. oh god, you couldn't be more right about a dressy coat, so remiss in my wardrobe! Nothing ruins a great evening look than a day coat.

  13. beautiful picks!

    ah coats, i can attest, a woman can never have enough coats! also, where i live, in san francisco, you need them all year around.

  14. You've got me wanting a cape. So dramatic.

  15. What a fantastic post, so informative. I remember my Mother saying that a good coat is more than a half of a good image.

    Thank you so much for being dropping by my blog even with my lack of comments, I'm feeling a bit better, so I'm hopping to start coming more often.

    Thank you darling.
    Love and blessings

  16. Great post, Kate! I love your choices.

  17. Coats are soooooo important as they are usually the first thing people see! I love a good cape, i have a Reiss knit one but am thinking of always going for colour after the reaction my orange mac gets!

  18. Très jolies photos de gainsbourg et birkin toujours indissociables merci pour le rappel.



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