The best coat for you

The best coat for you


Cover Story
The best coat for you
 

Choose the perfect coat for your body…

Fur Chubby

Hybrid

Military

Voluminous

Wrap

The Long Military Coat

Designers such as Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier infused the military-inspired coat with luxurious fabrics and opulent touches (Gaultier trimming his officer’s coat with mink; Dolce & Gabbana finishing their cashmere and angora military coat with elaborate beading). But even without these indulgent, glam touches, the military coat is all about embellishment—from bold buttons and big pockets to stand-up collars and epaulettes. Plus, its statement-making length makes it both fashionable and practical. “This season, we’ve designed some long boiled-wool military coats,” says designer Hilary Radley. “They’re perfect for harsh temperatures but still cut an elegant silhouette.”

How to wear it: Pair it with skinny pants or over a velvet dress for evening glamour.

What to avoid: “If the coat has military-inspired hardware, don’t incorporate any other military styles or touches,” advises FLARE fashion director Elizabeth Cabral. “You don’t want a full Napoleonic-costume look.” Leggings, opaque tights, minis, skinny jeans, A-line silhouettes.

 
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The Knee-length Fur Chubby


According to Cabral, “Fur is big this season, and the fur chubby was seen everywhere, including the runways of Lanvin and Alexander McQueen.” The chubby’s dramatic, almost puffed-up shape reflects the season’s love of volume and creates a very personal cocoon of style that’s easy to dress up or down. For those who don’t buy fur or who have budget constraints, a faux-fur chubby is an option. “Vintage stores are a great source,” says Cabral. “They offer budget-conscious options and the chance to reuse a fur garment.”

How to wear it: If you’re bold enough to wear this, it goes with everything from jeans to leggings to evening dresses.

What to avoid: Other fur accessories—let the coat stand on its own.

 
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The Hybrid

The hybrid, seen on many fall runways, including Burberry Prorsum, Prada and Marc Jacobs, combines a stylish mix of fur and fabric. Burberry Prorsum’s take, a quilted leather coat with beaver trim, offers classic style with a twist, while Marc Jacobs goes for all-out drama in his three-tiered coat of plain fabric, metallic gold-print fabric and fur. Cabral adds that, if you can’t find the perfect hybrid, create it yourself by adding bands of fur or metallic fabric to an existing basic coat.

How to wear it: With attitude! It embodies the urban warrior look and is perfect with black.

What to avoid: Anything too casual—this coat looks great dressed up and with heels.

 
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The Voluminous Coat

Pump up the volume! One of the season’s most directional silhouettes is the voluminous one. Its fresh retro-futurama vibe makes an up-to-the-minute statement, but Cabral thinks it’s also got staying power. “Volume is a trend that will last for seasons to come,” she says, “making the voluminous coat a good investment piece.” If your investment budget doesn’t allow for a designer label such as Donna Karan or Balenciaga, don’t despair. “This is an important trend that’s being interpreted by everyone,” adds Cabral. You’ll find versions at your local mall.

How to wear it: It’s perfect with leggings and mini hem lengths.

What to avoid: Other voluminous pieces—you might end up looking like a deflated parachute.

 
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The Robe-Style Wrap Coat

The wrap coat makes a major statement this season and was seen on many runways, including MaxMara and Burberry Prorsum (where it was given a Brit touch in cashmere and wool tartan). Its relaxed silhouette (shawl collar, soft shoulders and loose belt) make it easy to wear and even easier for layering. “The robe style is wonderful because, even though it’s a star this season, you can still wear it for seasons to come,” says Damien Lekatis, vice-president of Hilary Radley.

How to wear it: It’s ideal for the season’s reinterpretation of the grunge look. Wear it with baggy pants and an oversized sweater.

What to avoid:: “Don’t get too sloppy with layering,” says Cabral, “or you could end up looking a little too grungy.”

 
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