It's safe to say we're officially ready for our AW wardrobes and the first thing on our wish-list is a winter coat...
Despite the sunshine today there is a noticeable shift in the temperatures outside; it's officially chilly. This fact was further confirmed upon seeing Marie Kelly, Fashion Director here at IMAGE, grinning from ear to ear wrapped up in a fabulous over-sized cardigan.
Much like Marie (who was even spotted braving a turtleneck two weeks ago), I have been eagerly anticipating the start of the colder season. We must be cold souls, desperate to cocoon ourselves in layers of wool and cashmere, and checking the weather forecast daily hoping for anything under 10 degrees.
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Although it isn't quite cold enough to pull out the heavy hitters (I am already eyeing up my black wool coat from Cos and counting down the days until I can wear it again), it is a good time to start looking for some fresh outerwear. A winter coat - along with boots and a new handbag - tends to be among the most expensive purchases we make throughout the year, so it's not something to rush into it.
From years of working in retail I know that the best coats sell out fast. Many women buy them in early September, when the first pieces of outerwear land in-store. By the time we hit mid-October, lots of styles will have sold out.
So don't think it's too early to begin the search. A winter coat is something you'll be wearing from October till March (or let's face it, probably May), so even if you don't start wearing it immediately, you'll get more than your 30 wears by spring.
What do you own already?
Look at the coats you already own. Everyone needs a simple coat in a relatively neutral colour; something classic that can be worn with everything. The best colours are black, grey, camel or navy as they will not date and are easily styled.
If you already have your basic, everyday coat and it doesn't need updating, think about investing in something different, like a bright colour or a print that you love. Two years ago I treated myself to a pillar-box red cashmere coat from Maje and I have never regretted it. I wear it as often as I can and it instantly cheers me up.
The cut and fit
Much like choosing a colour, you also want to think about the cut and fit. It's good to have something quite tailored and smart in your coat arsenal. It's also quite nice to have something a little more slouchy, like a wrap style. These are ideal for weekends over jumpers, jeans and trainers.
When looking at the fit, always consider what you will be wearing underneath; I've convinced a shopper to size up in a coat many a time. If you're shopping now and it isn't that cold, you'll more than likely be wearing something light, but by the time you go to wear your new coat, you'll be hoping to layer it over cosy knits and chunky jumpers, so you want to make sure you have room. My advice? When trying on in-store, grab a thick jumper off the rails to try on underneath so you have a better idea of exactly what size you need.
Whatever your budget, try to stick to good quality fabrics. This isn't a purchase most people make every year. Instead we tend to wear our coats for a number of seasons. So try your best to save up and invest in something good quality. Cos and & Other Stories do an amazing selection of wool coats every year. Mark & Spencer and Maje can also be relied on for great quality cashmere blends.
Masculine coat, €99.95 at Zara
Classic long coat, €195 at Cos
Dina brushed double coat, €795.00 at Joseph
Slouchy & comfortable
Wool blend belted long coat, €199 at & Other Stories
Limited Edition wool/alpaca coat, €399 at Massimo Duitti
Lia coat, €140 at Weekday
Colour & print
Houndstooth A-Line belted coat, €199 at & Other Stories
Buttoned masculine coat, €99.95 at Zara
Heading image Jason Lloyd Evans
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