Coats are a big-deal-buy and without doubt, the hardest-working pieces in your winter wardrobe. They have to weather the elements, stand up to everyday use and obviously, they need to keep you warm. As the most visible part of an outfit, your coat is on show all season, and beyond, which means that style is also a big consideration. How you look and feel, matters. The best kind of coat is one that adds a beautiful finishing touch and boosts your style confidence. Pulling on your outerwear should bring a smile to your face, not a shrug to the shoulders.
The issue, of course, is knowing where to start the search for something which ticks all the boxes. With so many options to choose from, I’ve picked out a few highlights from the high street to help you navigate the shops. While it only scratches the surface of what’s available, I hope the inaugural That’s Not My Age ‘winter coat report’ provides a decent starting point and some style inspiration for the autumn/winter season.
First up, this retro-tastic coat from the new Erica Davies x John Lewis collaboration (£280 – top picture). Visually, it comes up trumps; I’m a fan of the floral jacquard fabric and the lovely autumnal tones. It doesn’t score hugely on warmth, you’ll definitely need a coat liner (or a bigger coat) when we get properly into winter, but it’s well suited to the current transitional temperatures. And a perfect day-to-evening option. I’ve worn it open here, but the statement coat comes with a contrasting belt. Other styles in the collection are also worth a peep; there’s a joyful turquoise blue number trimmed with red Rik Rak, a sunshine yellow cocoon coat and graphic aztec-print open-front option.
More statement styles on my radar, include the lovely brushed wool pink and purple checked coat at Jigsaw and there’s a colourful checked, belted style at Selected Femme. Boden has some punchy options this season and I do like this hot pink number and the bold velvet coat in orange.
The duvet coat
If you need function, warmth and spend much of your time outdoors (I’m still avoiding indoor crowds), the duvet coat has practical appeal. Technical elements like waterproof coatings, lightweight fillings and a roomy fit make them the cosiest of outers, so it’s no wonder they’re popular.
This leopard puffer from the new Anthropologie x Alice Temperley collaboration (£205) would be a practical update on my favourite vintage coat, The Beast. Its leopard spots are perfectly presented and the cosy funnel neck helps to keep the draught out. If you prefer a shorter length, Hobbs has a charcoal and black, animal print version which ends on the hip. And, I’m a fan of the funnel neck, charcoal or wine, Heather Puffer which comes in a petite cut. For a smaller price tag, H&M has a selection of puffers (including a cool hooded parka) in its Conscious Collection (read more about the high street giant’s sustainability initiatives HERE). Promoting a circular economy, Thought Clothing’s cosy cover-ups are made from recycled polyester.
Everyone raves about Uniqlo’s ultra-light down collection of gilets, jackets and coats. These are easy to roll up and pack away and perfect for layering underneath a larger overcoat. I’ve just bought a dark blue compact jacket for underneath my leather biker. There’s also a more puffed-up, hooded-down coat in the mainline collection in several dark neutral shades. If you like more shape and definition at the waist seek out drawstrings and belted designs; there’s a nice, tie-style over at Aligne and a padded coat with a drawstring waist at Arket.
The reliable classic
If you need an easy-to-wear coat which will carry you into a smarter work environment and stay chic on the commute, a pared-back woollen style in a darker colour like black, camel, navy, bottle green or grey is always be a safe bet. Though wanting to look office-ready doesn’t have to exclude colour, and choosing a classic coat in a brilliant shade works a treat.
This Albaray design is one of those useful numbers that works for whatever your day has in store. In a soft, herringbone tweed with a semi-fitted shape, it’ll look good over everything from sharp trouser suits, midi dresses and high boots, to off-duty denim and trainers. The recycled wool-blend fabric is not heavyweight, but this coat is ideal for layering. If you prefer a more classic style, Hush has a similar belted version, this houndstooth, single-breasted style from Mango is an absolute cracker and I am enjoying Sam Edelman’s coat collection. Look for tactile finishes like tweed, brushed wool and brocade to take plainer designs up a notch.
Other versatile players include classic camel coats with MaxMara vibes; Mango has some well-priced options, there’s a luxurious-looking belted wrap coat at Cos and a simple, single-breasted style at H&M. Introduce a burst of beautiful colour with Jigsaw’s green double-faced coat, or blue, slade wool trench. For shorter-length options, Arket is the place to go for this achingly cool, wool-blend chequered jacket (more sizes coming soon, I’m told) and a timeless, boucle wool pea coat. And don’t forget Jaeger is still available via the M&S website; the gorgeous, green pea coat, MaxMara-inspired belted, camel wrap and neatly-tailored navy overcoat all look the business.
If you are buying a new cover-up this autumn, please donate any spare or unwanted coats to Wrap Up charity between October and November. Details of the campaign can be found HERE and the Wrap Up London donation points are listed HERE. As the charity’s slogan goes, ‘Do something warm this winter’.
Even more High Street heroes over here, starting from £65:
This feature was compiled by Helen Johnson.