Selections from the Burberry Prorsum 2013 collection. Photo: AFP
I, for one, couldn't be more thankful that it's getting colder because it means I no longer need to get dressed in front of the fridge with the door open. I hate summer. There, I said it.
I do, however, like winter. And not just because it gives me an excuse to stay indoors all weekend. I like winter because it means I can finally wear something more than just a pair of jocks without breaking into a sweat. Something like a coat or jacket.
One of the must-have winter items is not only the outer shell to your entire outfit, but a quality, well made and fitted coat or jacket is an investment piece that should last you for several years.
Sydney-based stylist Monique Moynihan says aside from the obvious additional warmth factor, they can also enhance your shape.
“One of the benefits of a well-tailored coat or jacket is that they square off the shoulders,” Moynihan says. “This also helps make your back look broader whilst minimising the size of your waist. The important thing is just to make sure you get the right fit for your body, otherwise you end up looking too bulky or baggy.”
How do you choose a coat or jacket that perfectly suits your body shape and style?
Firstly, pick the right length for your height. For those of you who stand on the taller side of genetic legacies, you are in luck. Taller frames suit most coat styles, including the more traditional mackintosh-style, or trench coat. This type of style can vary in length from mid thigh to below the knee. Some great contemporary versions have been released by Australian labels Vanishing Elephant and Arthur Galan, and come in either wool or water-resistant cotton. For those not so keen on trips to the dry-cleaner, Calvin Klein's version requires no more cleaning than a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth.
For the particularly tall, the classic double-breasted style military coats released this season are perfect. They add bulk to the frame and, ending just the below the hips, break up the length of the body nicely. Two good choices are Calibre's Washington Jacket, or Oliver Spencer's Surveillance jacket at Incu.
If you are on the shorter side, try and stick to single-breasted styles that won't engulf your frame. Also, choose a length that finishes just below the hip but no lower than the seat of your pants. Any longer will only make your legs appear shorter. Some good options in this style are currently available from French label, A.P.C. and Australian label Weathered.
If you are looking for a more casual look, the bomber jacket has been hailed as the perfect weekend jacket to add to your winter wardrobe.
“As we approach the cooler months,” says Jenna Dinicola from David Jones, “the bomber jacket is a must-have this season. Worn in navy or military green, the bomber jacket can be worn with layers underneath, making it the perfect every-day jacket.”
The great thing about the bomber jacket is that they look great on everybody, automatically accentuating the shoulders and slimming at the waist. For the perfect weekend staple try Swedish label ACNE, or British brand Paul Smith.
However, when it comes to a truly universal option I personally can't go past the old-school pea coat. Being a person who is neither tall nor short (average is a word I hear often, but I much prefer the term 'sample size') I have found the pea coat to be the easiest and most flattering option for all body shapes and suitable for all occasions.
Either double- or single-breasted, these are a perfect option to wear during the week and through the weekend. They frame the body nicely whilst doing the job intended – which is keeping you toasty warm.
As for brands, you can't really go past Hugo Boss. Made from cashmere or pure wool, these coats feel practically weightless and provide the perfect level of sophistication to wear over your suit, whilst versatile enough to chuck on over the top of a t-shirt and some jeans on the weekend.
What brands or styles of coats do you swear by?