Outerwear is not only intended to keep you warm. I mean, yes that’s the primary purpose but it can be fashionable as well as functional. Remember that sequence in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda tosses fabulous coat after fabulous coat on Andrea’s desk as she walks in every morning? I mean HELLO! Outerwear is an important part of the wardrobe.
At the start of 2018, I decided I needed to upgrade my outerwear wardrobe and so I did. I have accumulated a few coats and jackets now, including items for transitioning between seasons. I have included some colour here too. Take note: they don’t all have to be black.
Black puffer coat: Soia & Kyo (Nordstrom, Sherway Gardens)
Light grey wool wrap coat: Zara
Purple mini puffer: Uni-qlo (Yorkdale)
Black wool knee length vest: Zara
Black vegan leather bomber jacket: Ci Sono Clothing (Winners)
Puffer coat: for the really cold snowy months. Mine has a removable hood, which is helpful for wet days (esp if you’re a commuter). It’s difficult to make this kind of coat figure flattering, given that it’s bulky by nature. As such, proper fit is so important. Rule of thumb: it should probably feel even a bit snug. For length, I suggest something that covers your bum at a minimum, up to knee length.
Wool coat or vest: good for transition months. These can be layered over knit sweaters or leather jackets for added warmth. Accessorizing can be really fun with this kind of coat too. Choose a neutral colour, like grey or caramel, and pair it with a colourful scarf and leather gloves. Also good for fancier occasions compared to the puffer coat, for obvious reasons. I suggest mid-thigh to knee length or longer for a bit more formality.
Bomber jacket or driving jacket: by definition, this jacket is short, about hip length. Good to wear with pants, especially jeans. I have a couple in this category, including a light weight puffer in a deep burgundy-purple colour and a faux leather cropped jacket.
Jean jacket: an absolute staple! I don’t know a single woman that doesn’t have at least one denim jacket. In fact, I have two: one in blue denim and one in coloured denim. Denim jackets can be worn with nearly anything, and it’s an interesting contrast to pair a denim jacket with a dressier frock that you might wear to work.
Floral print: bomber jackets in light weight fabrics with floral prints have been all the rage as of late. This piece may be a little trendy, meaning it won’t be around for long, so try to find something a little more affordable. Alternative: instead of floral, do a solid colour, which will have more longevity.
Trench coat: another must-have! Trenches are great for “April showers” and for dressier occasions. I recommend mid-thigh to knee length. For those who are not fans of long coats, some brands make shorter cuts that fall just past the hip. Alternative: button down shift style coat, maybe in a print. Button-downs tend to be dressier than zippers.
Capes & ponchos: I love capes and ponchos! They can really add interest to an outfit especially if accessorized well. Over the years, I have collected a few. The great thing about them, too, is that they don’t really go out of style. Capes and ponchos are wonderful for transitioning between seasons because they can be layered, and their elegance makes them ideal for special occasions.
Wraps & pashminas: These are great for layering and accessorizing, and can be found in gorgeous fabrics and prints. I have an ever-growing collection in multiple colours and prints. Great when enjoying drinks on a patio on a cooler spring/summer evening, cozying up next to a camp fire, and toting along on vacation.
Have you noticed the common thread here? Accessories!!! Jazz up your coats and jackets with fun fashionable accessories. You can’t replace your outerwear each year (obvi – too expensive) but mixing and matching with new affordable accessories is easy.