Coat classics

Don't shy away from bold colors or swing jackets to keep out the cold

Emily Pendleton models
a navy wool coat made
by Free People Clothing Boutique on December 9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Emily Pendleton models a navy wool coat made by Free People Clothing Boutique on December 9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

You button them up when it's cold, add a scarf when it's windy and thank God you have one when a dramatic Colorado cold front blows through.
Unless you're one of those people who trudge through snowdrifts in flip-flops and a T-shirt, you depend on your winter coat until May. So when you realize your coat has become raggedy and torn, there's pressure to find a functional, fashionable replacement.
Which is when the internal dialogue begins:
What's in this season? Peacoats? Swing jackets? Car coats? Puffers? Trench coats? Should I try houndstooth? Can anyone really pull off lemon yellow or kelly green? And will it stay in fashion?
To start with the last question, coat designs are rarely faddish, so unless you go for something completely outrageous, expect it to remain in style.
Kyle Farmer, fashion-design instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, says designers recycle old styles every year by adding modern twists. Burberry, for example, introduced intricate detail on military-style jackets, and Marc Jacobs married quilted fabrics and boxy swing coats.
"It's come down to a question of styling," Farmer says. "There's no specific trend happening, but the individual can buy into any of these things and make a fashion statement."
But if you're going to buy one jacket to last you the season and beyond, consider that what's hot isn't always what's practical. Swing jackets, with their three-quarter sleeves, often aren't warm enough for Colorado's cold weather.
Regardless, short boxy coats (paired with re-popularized skinny jeans) are a hot item at LuLu, a downtown Colorado Springs, Colo., boutique, says owner Tess Loo. Customers also have been quick to nab puffer jackets, which are filled with down or a down-synthetic, and car coats, which fall to the knee.
If you're looking for prints or bold colors, you can find nearly anything. Although many women are too cautious to drop a few hundred on a bright-blue jacket, Loo says it's worth the risk.
"Colors are always going to be around," she says. "There's always going to be a shade of green, there's always going to be a shade of blue, and it will vary just slightly.
"I think anybody can wear anything," she says. "It's just what you pair it with and how you work it."
That might be true. But before buy your coat, consider the following tips:
Short women appear taller in short jackets and large women appear slimmer in tailored jackets.
Almost every coat style is repeated each year. If you really love peacoats, there is probably a designer who has created an updated version - such as the navy jacket pictured.
Houndstooth is back, and you shouldn't fear it. Although the print is large and bold, "houndstooth is a classic," says Loo.
If you're considering a swing coat, buy long gloves to make up for the short sleeves.
Farmer ranks coat colors on an escalating scale: black is basic; houndstooth and checked prints are basic with a twist. Colored checks amp it up, and solid colors are the boldest. If you're thinking about the latter, consider red - it's classic and always in style, he says.

Updated : 2021-04-17 14:34 GMT+08:00