Fashion: Thrill amid the chills

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From high glamour to street-wise cool, there’s a coat to suit all moods this autumn/winter. Stephanie Smith picks out favourites.

Autumn is always all about outerwear, there’s no denying that, but this year is special, because there’s more, more, more to choose from, and all of it extra lust-worthy and super-covetable.

I don’t want winter to end. So many coats, so, little time. In fact, such is the range and diversity of outer layer options on offer this season, you’ll it’s hard to make a selection. If you’re like me, you’ll probably have your eye on several different styles of coat (and cape, poncho, wrap – but more about those later in the season), intending each for different moods, weathers and occasion.

First, there are the dressy coats (the Duchess of Cambridge has done much to champion these fit-and-flare “is it a coat, is it a dress?” styles for special occasions). Look out for brocades, jacquards and boucle fabrics in tailored cuts and soft shades of blue and pink.

The Sixties is a major influence this autumn/winter and so there are some rather cute and neat A-line belted styles, often to mid thigh, plus knee-length slim coats in silky and shiny, grained fabrics (some with embellishment on the skirt), perfect for special occasions and winter weddings and then recycled to “posh up” your skinny jeans and fine-knit jumper for lunch out in town.

There is also a strong utility feel for autumn/winter, which is coming through in outerwear with army great coats (Preen), wool military style jackets (Fendi) and with parka styles, especially fur trim and hooded and especially in rich, muted, earthy tones of grey, taupe and olive. These are coats for both town and country, deeply practical, able to fit over layers of knits on very cold days yet always cool and sleek looking (and top on my list).

Then there are the sheepskin coats, slightly like the car coat of the 1970s but far more stylish and luxurious, with wide fleecy collars and fluffy trim. For a shorter style, check out the sheepskin and shearling aviator jackets for this season, also in tan, black, and maybe mink and cream.

Meanwhile, the shaggy look is bringing an injection of sophisticated fun with gorgeously fluffy coats in chalk, grey, pink, teal and soft blue. Coats for all occasions, if you have the confidence.

We’re going to need considerably bigger wardrobes.

19 August 2017......  Sarah Yates in period costume at the vintage fair at Lotherton Hall.  Picture Tony Johnson.

Vintage fair at Lotherton Hall draws colourful crowd for weekend of events