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Thinking About Coats

As we embrace the chillier mornings and crisp afternoons of autumn, if you haven’t already, now is the time to bring out your cold-weather wardrobe staples. Trench coats, bomber jackets, oversized blazers — the best fall jackets keep you protected from the season’s chill while also offering a stylish one-and-done effect. Because let’s face it, a great coat will make any outfit. Here’s a rundown of some outerwear options to consider this season.

First, think critically about how your outerwear can best serve you. It’s important to pick the right material for the weather and to consider what you don’t already have in your closet, be it a leather jacket, a dressy topcoat, or durable cold-weather outerwear. A quality coat is an investment that needs to be able to deliver from a practical standpoint as well as reflect your personal style. And, while trendy statement coats can be fun, if your budget doesn’t stretch to allow for more than one outerwear purchase, it’s best to keep functionality in mind and stick to classic, timeless pieces that will go from fall into winter.

Speaking of classics, the overcoat has been given a modern twist this season, coming in oversized silhouettes. With broad shoulders and ankle-skimming lengths, a completely oversized coat demands to be the center of attention and helps make low-effort outfits have high impact. A double-breasted blazer with strong shoulders and an oversized body can also (over)fit the bill. What I really enjoy about this coat trend is that it lends itself to thrift shopping. A Goodwill or Salvation Army is bound to have racks of men’s coats and blazers to work an oversized overcoat into your outfit repertoire affordably.

Other traditional coat styles to consider are the camel coat, also in a relaxed or slightly oversized fit, and the quintessential trench coat. A camel coat gives extra polish to workwear, just as easily as it makes a sweater and jeans feel chic. A trench pairs best with wardrobe mainstays like black trousers and gray or white turtlenecks. You can find a variety of both coat types for under $100 at for both men and women.

If you’re looking to take more of a walk on the wild side, then opt for an animal-print coat in a timeless silhouette. Most people think of leopard print for outerwear, but zebra print seems to be having a moment. Target has a black and white Animal Print Strong Shoulder Trench from one of their latest designer collaborations that would pair with a little black dress and heels or jeans and boots. Another unexpected option is the two-toned or color-block trench. River Island has some really beautiful options, both with bold color patterns and graphic prints to give any outfit a fashion-forward feel.

For an edgier style, the longline leather trench is unarguably the coolest silhouette for fall. Of course, when I refer to leather, I really mean faux or leatherette. Mango has an Oversize Leather-Effect trench with a shirt-style collar, tie-up belt, and deep pockets that will definitely give your look an “International Man of Mystery” aura. While their Leather-Effect Trench with zipper has a more biker-style vibe to toughen up a crewneck knit and pinstripe trousers.

Another on-the-tougher-side style is bomber jackets, which can be vintage-inspired, sporty, patterned, or rendered in leather or leatherette, making them an ideal trans-seasonal staple. To bring a nostalgic feel to your look, try Hollister’s Varsity Bomber Jacket in green or cream. You can wear this with sweats and a hoodie to keep extra cozy or throw it on over a flannel, jeans, and boots. I’m also loving Summersalt’s Reversible Packable Puffer, which comes in gorgeous shades of lava and hibiscus; plus, since it’s reversible, it’s two jackets in one! Wear the color-blocked side for date night and the solid side for running errands.

No matter your personal style, finding the right outerwear will have you ready to fall over fall. With any luck, you’ll stay cozy and look great as winter comes around. It’ll be here before you know it!