In fashion history terms, at the start of this decade neither the knee length winter coat, nor the full length winter coat was a force in fashion. But slowly the woman's winter coat,
like the dress, has returned as a stylish winter fashion option. By the mid
noughties many attractive styles emerged.
In Autumn 2006 you are spoilt for choice between short mini-coats, cape like jackets, Balenciaga style volume coats or
full length maxi coats. The trends for coats this winter 2006/7 are towards sixties A-line, empire line, or a combination of these elements. They can have swing with volume, or be wrapped and belted.
Whatever a woman's shape there is a coat to suit her figure.
You can see the Sixties influence in these stylish women's winter coats. This mini-coat style below crops up again and again, you will see it
across all the high street shops in the winter of 2006. Being mini and basically thigh
length, this style is also perfect for car use, making it a fashion
On the chest of the coat, the retro fashion style displays between four and eight large buttons, which are arranged in double breasted alignment. This winter coat is often yoked or empire cut and the coat hemline sweeps into typical
sixties A-line swing.
From left to right this selection is typical of sixties women's
fashion coats on the high street for autumn 2006. These mini winter coats
are by Matalan, French Connection, Debenhams
sizes, Evans shows some updated, but classic women's winter
coat styles. These two examples to the left are both from Evans.
Styled as tie-belt trench coats notice how wide the collars are and that both coats
are above the knee line. Such coats prove perfect for layered
looks and go well with contrast opaque tights or leggings.
Red coat £65/€99 Ivory coat £75/€114,
Belt £12/€18 Beret £8/€12.
Each coat has all the elements of the fashionable women's winter coat of autumn 2006. Evans stock clothing from size 16 to 32 and also have some check versions
The belted tablecloth check plaid coat right in dusty greens is
The wide lapels give it a retro seventies styling.
Checks, monochrome black and white, charcoal, grey and off white schemes,
make mixing and matching easy. Look out for every variety of check
from puppy, dog's-tooth, hound's-tooth and shepherd's check.
feature that is a certain trend for winter coats is
sleeves that are three quarter or cut at, or just below the elbow.
This sleeve fashion trend has been seen in jackets for several seasons, but is
only really reaching mass produced women's winter coats this autumn 2006.
This classic coat left from Wallis is part of their new 'W' range. This is a
Limited Edition, a unique collection of thirty statement pieces, launching
September 2006. Exclusively available in their top 10 stores and from the
website. Wallis will only produce between 100 and 300 of each style. What makes it bang up-to-date
for autumn 2006 are the oversized, contrast, large saucer
buttons and the just-below-elbow sleeves.
A Limited Edition, camel big button coat £80/€120 with chartreuse silk
satin smock top £40/€60 from the 'W' range. Black wide leg trousers £45/€65, teal long leather
gloves £22/€33. Accessories from a selection at Wallis.
Mid decade, we find ourselves spoilt for choice when it comes to women's coat
lengths. We can choose maxi or mini or not even go for a coat, but
choose a cape or cloak instead.
This season winter coats are great value for money with many mini coats here starting as low as £65. I think of such coats
shown above as fast fashion coats, destined probably just for one winter, after which the item will be worn to death.
If you want a coat that will see you through several seasons, then the high
street offers plenty of women's winter coat versions from £150 to £300.
the latter price range you can expect to find coats with a good percentage of cashmere and wool.
Always opt for an investment coat in either high quality pure new virgin
wool or cashmere, or a mix of cashmere and pure wool with perhaps a very
small amount of nylon (5% polyamide) to help with wear. Typical
investment coats are well over £500+, along the lines of a classic style
such as those by Max Mara and similar brands like Aquascutum.
If you are able to afford a coat in finer fabrics consider one made from
vicuna or alpaca fabric. If you can afford a more expensive coat and are able to find a maxi coat by Gucci left, or this Alberta Ferretti grey maxi
coat right, then lucky you. I think a maxi coat, like any of these, is a
good choice for at least one of your winter coats. For the coldest of
winter days when the wind is cutting, it will wrap around you like a blanket
keeping you cosy and warm.
Because you will wear a heavy maxi coat less than a regular winter coat,
only donning it on really cold 'Russian Steppes' days, it will last several
winters. Every woman should have at least one maxi coat. It's
also perfect over evening wear when you have skirt lengths of indeterminate
to think what you want from your coat. If you are buying the winter
weight coat as a
purchase to combat winter weather, then you may need to forgo some fashion
elements. But your choice does not have to look like you are
about to set off mountaineering with padded bits and pieces and safety
From a functional point of view - to keep you seriously warm in inclement
weather, a woman's winter coat serves the purpose best if: It is double breasted High
collared Has long close fitting at wrist or cuffed sleeves Is buttoned at
least to mid thigh.
For out of doors wear, a centre front area which is double breasted, will
then have four layers of fabric (including coat front button facings).
If you keep
the torso warm, chances are you will stay warm all over.
When you shop for your coat, wear the type of clothes beneath it you
might wear on a typical winter day. If you need to wear a suit to work
and have the bulk of a jacket to consider then wear a jacket when you shop,
then you can check that the coat size you buy, will truly accommodate
the shoulders of the jacket layer.
Always fully button up the coat when you try it on at purchase. You
may think you will never wear it buttoned up, but you will regret poor fit
on a day when the wind is cutting and the air is icy with snowflakes.
If you use public transport for most of your journeys, think seriously if
off white or other fashion pastels are for you when you choose the colour.
Classic colours include camel, grey, charcoal, navy, chocolate brown, black
and taupe. Light fine tweeds like Donegal are always acceptable if
The best coat choices and sizes are always available at the start of a
season and the bonus is you get maximum wear from your coat all season.
This maxi coat is a good women's winter coat at £99 that will keep out the
cold and wind. It's from Long Tall Sally and is every bit as fashion
forward as the designer coats shown earlier.
Long Tall Sally specialise in clothes for the woman who is at least 5'9". There you will find women's coats and jackets perfect for a longer length
in both arms and body. NEXT UK also have limited range of garments in
NEXT also do a similar range in petite lengths.
Other specialist petite ranges are at Principles, Dorothy
Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and Petite Affair all
online supplier of petite fashions.
Footnote: Mid-September 2006. Now here is a
coat I have just bought, but I do not regard this as an investment coat.
It is a fast fashion coat that I intend to wear as a specific look with
either black opaque tights, leggings or boots. Beneath it I plan to
wear a black knee length trapeze pinafore dress, plus a fine knit polo neck
cashmere sweater in emerald green, black, or red. I have my eye on a
little red handbag I saw in Russell and Bromley that would compliment it
I tried on quite few of the fast fashion,
black and white, hound's-tooth coats, which I discussed on the
checks, plaids and tartans page. The one that suited me best and
had an attractive quality to the fabric was this knee length coat shown just
below and from Wallis (also available online).
feeling is that this coat and the similar jacket will sell out quickly. My local store was
already out of some sizes. Not only is it well cut on the shoulder line and
collar stand, but also it has delightful bell shaped sleeves that hang beautifully.
At just £85 and with 50% wool it is incredible value. Despite being a
classic check, individuals including myself, often tire easily of such
strong patterning. So this is a great price for a fabric which may
have limited life due to the colour and memorable nature of the pattern.
I suggest you try a size down for this coat as it is cut
generously. It looks so sixties on, yet somehow manages to look very
classic and on-trend too. The best aspect of this purchase was that whilst
some of these dog's-tooth checks can add 20 pounds to your silhouette, this
coat manages to stay neat and is craftily tailored for a good line. More than one
bold check coat/jacket that I tried on made me
feel elephantine. So just keep trying on hound's-tooth and dog's-tooth
check fabric styles until you find a check fabric and style that does
not bulk you too much.
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