The January sales offers the perfect opportunity to buy a coat for all reasons. Fashion editor Stephanie Smith picks out the best in store now.
The pilgrimage to find a new coat in the January sales is still a tradition for many, especially us northerners, who consider coats a constant necessity as well as an instant statement style-maker.
It’s often a family tradition, too. My mother tells me that her grandmother would take her and her mother shopping every year to the January sales and they would return at the end of a long day with a new coat each. The ones bought the previous January can’t have worn out, but a new coat was an annual requirement, a matter of pride, a stylish way of stepping out into the New Year with a confident and updated sashay.
Coats are among the most expensive pieces in a wardrobe so it makes sense to look out for bargains, but always with an eye for quality and for what is going to carry forward to the new season, and often much further ahead.
If you invest in a coat that you love, that suits you, in a classic style, in a colour that flatters you and works with everything, you will want to keep it for years. It pays, then, to find one that will endure. Cheap coats are good for a season, but usually no longer. These are garments, after all, that receive punishment like no other. We are constantly taking them on and off, throwing them in corners and over stair posts, shrugging them onto the backs of our chairs in pubs and restaurants, rolling them up and shoving them into bags or over our arm (or even, horror, tied around our waist) when we start to feel hot. Coats, if nothing else, have to be durable.
You’d think that anything really current, colours that are carrying through to the next season and even growing in popularity over the coming few months, would be hard to find in the sales, but it’s amazing how often this is not the case. And so it is that we see pink coats currently in sale from autumn/winter, soon to be replaced on the rails by almost identical pink coats coming in for spring. You might as well snap the sales bargains up now for a fraction of the price of the spring offerings. Look out a softish pink that suits your skin tone – a deep blush tone is both striking and not too sugary – and for classic shapes, as in semi-fitted double-breasted, single-breasted and crombie styles, as well as slightly oversized edge-to-edge ones. There are quite a few pink coats about in a rough, nobbly, teddy fur fabric (there’s one for £49.50 – not in sale – that’s one of Holly Willoughby’s picks at Marks & Spencer. It’s already been sold out in many sizes, but they seem to have restocked now).
When it comes to classic wool coats, obviously black, camel and navy will always be a good choice, if you can find them, but red is also worth considering. There have been a lot of red tailored pieces about for winter and a red coat, in particular, will always come in handy, year after year. Yellow continues for spring too, but I for one tend to approach furry yellow coats with caution, because no one really wants to look like Big Bird from Sesame Street.
Many of us are now on the lookout for weather-proof coats, to support and encourage our new-found desire to head for the hills and adopt a fresh and energetic way of life in the great outdoors. It’s not always easy. There are some cheap high street padded and parka style jackets around, but the quality needs to be there if you’re going to be hiking up hills in the driving rain. It pays to head for outerwear specialists. The Barbour Ferryside waterproof breathable parka is currently in the sale at £216, down from £269, while this waterproof coat from Cordings is a bargain, with many weatherproof features contained within its flattering shape.
The good news is, if you’re looking for a new keeper coat in the sales, they are out there, ready and waiting. But you’ll have to be quick.
Find the best Yorkshire fashion and beauty buys and tips on https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion