The best, best thing about the start of Autumn and Winter is (apart from the soups and stews, the beautiful scenery and the knitwear) thinking about getting the big, warm coats out of the back of the cupboard, where they were shoved a few months ago. I’ve already got two really decent numbers, a teal wool swing coat bought for a bargain £6 from the Rowans Hospice charity shop, and a forties-esque tweed version with the best faux fur collar. (I’ve also got this massive full length insulated duvet-style thing that my Mum bought me last year – brilliantly warm, and definitely the best for those freezing trips to the park.) I like to think there’s no such thing as too many coats (or dresses, or blouses, or accessories….), but at the same time I’m trying to limit my consumption levels, and also my spending. So I’ve done the internet version of window shopping instead, and come up with my five favourite winter coats this year. Drum roll please:
1. Wool Cape, £145, American Apparel
When it comes to coats, I always think they should be a bit of a statement – bright colours, prints, little details, the works (although probably not all in one go….) I’ve got a bit of a thing for quirky clothes, (although recently I seem to have lost my way when it comes to style – I spend most of my time in skinny jeans, converse, a t-shirt and a cardigan, AKA the Young Mum Uniform) and this usually extends to outerwear as well, which is one of the reasons I’ve put this American Apparel cape on the top spot. Capes have the ability to look modern and retro, depending on how you wear them, and there’s something a little bit great about a coat that you can comfortably fit a baby sling under. On top of all that, American Apparel are one of the brands I’m comfortable buying from, as they’re ethical and environmentally aware – I love that you can look around their factory here (you can even see what people have for their lunch!), and you can also read more about the company here.
2. Komodo Manchu Fair Trade Coat, £145, fashion-conscience.com
Another thing I look for in a coat is volume – there’s not much better than a good bit of knitwear, a huge coat and some skinny jeans when it’s freezing out. This one from Fashion Conscience is grand; the print is great, the shape is ace, and it’s fairly traded. A lot of people stick to the high street because they think that ethical clothing is either too expensive, or made of hemp, but this coat is a prime example of what you can find online – and you can’t ignore the fact that it’s no more expensive than a coat from some of the pricier high street shops, and a darn sight cheaper than most designer brands. Hurrah!
3. ‘Miriam’ Double Breasted Fur Collar Coat, £115, Dahlia London
If ever there was a coat that would look tip-top with coloured tights and clogs, then this is it. The retro cut, the massive faux fur collar and the bright colour tick all the boxes, and to top it all off, the lining is covered in a Russian Doll print. I love how it looks like it’s a little bit vintage as well – anything that could be straight out of the sixties or seventies makes my heart beat that teeny bit faster.
4. Pleat Swing Front Coat, £70, ASOS.com
It’s got a funnel neckline and a swing shape – and more importantly, it’s teal. TEAL. If you’re a frequent reader, you’ll know that my three great colour loves are blue, mustard and…. teal. Enough said.
5. Fringed Leather Jacket, £130, ASOS.com
OK, so it’s not exactly what you might call a winter coat, but you could certainly wear it during the autumn, and out to dinner in the evenings. Completely impractical for a mother-of-two, number five is my fantasy buy – in my head (like many of us approaching thirty, I reckon!) I’m still twenty-two and dressing inappropriately!