Whenever we are asked which items to invest in, coats are at the top of the list. One of the most important categories of a woman’s wardrobe, a great coat is something you are guaranteed to wear repeatedly throughout the autumn/winter season. It can make or break an outfit, so it’s well worth saving up for a style that not only looks perfect but fulfils its function perfectly. For example, a premium woollen coat will always be warmer than a synthetic version, and a Burberry trench will last you a lifetime. With this in mind, we wanted to identify the iconic coat styles that solve all weathers and deserve a place in your collection. From faux fur to navy, we’ve handpicked the very best in each category and shown you how to wear them. Consider this your ultimate coat capsule.
“I love a statement coat, but at the same time, I want my outerwear to be classic. Heritage checks tick both boxes and are versatile to boot, complementing both plain pieces and other autumnal prints. Tibi’s Frank mac somehow manages to be both casual and smart – something that the US brand does so well – and is incredibly easy to dress up and down. The recycled wool blend is lightweight, so you don’t overheat wearing it, plus the roomy sleeves allow chunkier layers to sit easily underneath.”
“When it comes to teddy coats, the trick is to go oversized; it’s got to look like a luxurious robe. There’s something about the excess of fabric that looks really cool and instantly feels like you’re wearing a warm hug. Stand Studio excels in this genre of outerwear, and what I love most about the Maria is the delicate chestnut brown that will pair so well with my autumnal wardrobe. It also has functional pockets and a snap fastening. This is the coat that I would throw over simple items – denim, knitted dresses, tailored trousers – to give them wow-factor.”
“Puffer coats really are the warmest you can get, so if you live somewhere cold, it’s an essential. However, finding a style that doesn’t swamp or add bulk is a challenge, so when I discovered Max Mara’s navy Seic coat, I knew I’d struck gold. The padding is insulating yet thin enough that when you cinch it with the chic sash belt, you highlight your waist and create a flattering shape. It has a wrap neckline, which can be worn closed for chest protection or open and loose. The mid-calf length also provides warmth for your legs. But as well as being functional, it’s beautiful. I love the unusual silhouette and minimal design that’s just the right side of plain.”
“I’ve tried on several camel coats over the years, but I come back to Max Mara every time. The Italian label is the undisputed master of the classic style, from picking the perfect shades to cutting the perfect fit. The attention to detail and quality put into every coat means they are true forever pieces. Invest in one now and you will be wearing it for a lifetime. I love the Esturia, which has a straight silhouette and loose fit that can be cinched with the detachable robe belt or worn open. It’s made from double-faced wool, which offers supreme warmth but is still lightweight and comfortable for dashing around town in.”
“This season, there were a lot of capes on the catwalk, so I wanted to try one out. The first thing I discovered was that this is a style you can wear over anything: dresses, skirts, trousers – it does it all. It glides over clothes and is especially useful when wearing a statement sleeve or chunkier knit. I picked Ulla Johnson’s Mabel because it’s reversible, so you get double the wear. On one side it has heritage checks in an autumnal palette that would work with wellies or trainers at the weekend. The other side is a chic and versatile olive green. It is cut to hang beautifully and create an elegant silhouette, and the shoulder seam is perfectly placed, so that wearing a bag doesn’t distort the shape. A cape might not be the first style you think of when buying a new coat, but if you already have the essentials, it’s a versatile addition that will make any outfit more memorable.”
“When it comes to coats that add a bit of edge, I don’t think you can go wrong with high-shine textures, be it vinyl or patent leather. While it might not be the first style you add to your collection, once the other bases are covered, this will inject effortless statement into your wardrobe and is a great way of upping the ante of an otherwise plain outfit. Cult New York label MARGOT92 is firmly on my radar thanks to its exquisite craftsmanship and classic-with-a-twist designs. I love the oversized collar and removable shearling trim, which give me Kate Hudson in Almost Famous vibes – forever my coat muse. It comes up a little large, so I recommend sizing down.”
“I have been looking everywhere for a navy coat and wanted to find the perfect one as it is such a wardrobe ICON. Reiss’s Brook iteration is, hand on heart, the best I’ve found, and a brilliant example of how something simple can be beautiful. Crafted from a double-faced wool blend, it’s warm yet lightweight and feels soft to the touch. I am very impressed with the cut, which fits exactly right across the shoulders, hangs well and would work on every shape. Details are just so: lapels, sash belt, good-sized pockets. It’s slick and smart, but could also be worn casually. A true no-regrets purchase.”
“Nothing adds instant impact to an outfit like a faux-fur coat, and I wear mine repeatedly throughout the autumn/winter season. When buying faux fur, poor quality is obvious, so it really pays to look for a premium style that will last, such as this one from Stand Studio. I particularly love the striking chequerboard print, which is contemporary yet versatile. The longer length makes it feel especially luxurious. I’d wear it over leather trousers during the day or a silky dress in the evening.”
“I firmly believe that every woman should aim to own a Burberry trench in their lifetime. Not only is it ageless and timeless, it’s eternal: start saving now, wear it for the next 60 years then pass it down. Comprising 80 pieces and taking 120 processes to put together, each trench is crafted by specialist tailors. The collar alone is made up of eight sections, 180 stitches and takes a year to learn to make. I’ve worn my own for several W.ICONS shoots (which is testament to how much I love it), but I wanted to highlight this new style. A twist on the Kensington, the signature check has been placed on the lapels and front panel and is a great example of how a classic can be reimagined.”
“It’s true what they say: leopard is a neutral. Pairing effortlessly with an autumnal palette, it adds interest to plain pieces and can be stylishly clashed with myriad prints, from polka dots to florals. But what I love most about a leopard coat is that it immediately adds a sense of edgy glamour to anything I’m wearing. I have one very similar to this that I wear repeatedly for both day and evening. As well as having an enticing price point, Rino and Pelle’s iteration is super-soft and comes with a flattering fit that is oversized but doesn’t add bulk. I particularly like the large lapels, which mean the style can be worn casually as well as with a cocktail dress for party season.”
Sign Up To
THE ICONS UPDATE
"We show you what never goes out of fashion"