By Prudence Wade
If the cooling weather is starting to get you down, one thing might make you feel a bit better: it’s now well and truly coat season.
In the world of fashion, this is arguably the best time of year. The right type of outerwear can bring drama and glamour to any outfit – it’s not just something you chuck on before leaving the house, but is a key part of your outfit and overall style.
A coat is a garment you’re likely to spend a bit more time, effort and perhaps money on, so there’s a reason many of us are keen to make a statement with our outerwear – whether it’s experimenting with bright colours (no, coats don’t have to just be black and navy), or interesting materials (faux leather is a particular favourite this season).
Some clear coat trends have jumped off the autumn/winter catwalks this year, but luckily they’re all relatively timeless – so if you do decide to take the plunge and get yourself a new coat this season, it will likely last you years. This very much fits in with the new ethos in the industry, steering us further towards buying less and buying better, and away from wasteful fast-fashion.
If you’re wanting to up your coat game, look no further than these key trends of the season…
Coats aren’t always considered the most flattering items of clothing – after all, they’re often chunky and a bit shapeless for maximum warmth. However, one of this season’s major looks is all about bringing a more defined silhouette, with the help of a belt.
Fashion houses like Jil Sander and Miu Miu went down the classic route with their belted styles, opting for long, sleek coats with leather belts and gleaming buckles. The high street has soon copied and belted styles are everywhere, to help nip in your waist when you cover up outdoors. You don’t necessarily have to buy a new coat for this look, either – give an existing one an AW20 update by looping a belt around it.
At Prada’s AW20 show, everything was belted – and we mean everything, from fur coats to Eighties-style blazers. One of our favourite styles was the belted puffer jacket, giving a modern and elegant update to the athletic-style coat.
As we move deeper into autumn, there’s no two ways about it: it’s leather weather. Miu Miu, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Ferragamo, Saint Laurent, Roksanda, Bottega Veneta, Prada – basically every label you can think of sent some kind of leather jacket down the runway.
This season, the style tends to err towards straight-cut coats, with many trailing down to your knees. Just think of it as the enduring appeal of the Matrix coat – but with a more environmentally-friendly spin, as many of the high-street versions use faux leather.
When it comes to detailing, the world really is your oyster here. You can pick shiny or matte leather, choose a fur collar like the one at Burberry, or combine with another trend and belt your leather coat.
Every season, one particular colour takes precedence over all others, and this year it’s all about red.
Coats are an investment, so people are understandably reticent to buy anything that isn’t a timeless, go-with-everything neutral colour, like black or brown. However, the catwalks this season made a strong case for bright red coats – and because it’s a bold colour, it will actually go with anything (trust us – it’s called extreme clashing and it works). Wear the colour in any style you like – puffer, trench, bomber, peacoat – and you’ll be bang on trend.
We’re in a new era of puffer jackets, folks. While the style itself hasn’t necessarily changed that much, the way we’re wearing it has. Beforehand, you were likely to chuck on your puffer over your activewear, as you headed to the gym or out for a walk, but the AW20 catwalks made a case for a more formal context.
Models at MaxMara, Chanel, Prada and more wore big, cosy puffers on top of fancy outfits like tailored trousers or skirts, showing there is a place for a puffer beyond the merely practical.
Few things feel more autumnal than a check pattern, and it’s swept fashion this season. Check was seen at Burberry – well, naturally – but the fashion giant was joined by the likes of Alexander McQueen and Celine this time too.
The key for a good check print coat is all about tailoring, so it’s wise to lean into the heritage vibe, with a perfectly-cut jacket. It might be particularly cool this season, but it will never go out of style.