Gets the Coat
The beauty of buying your outerwear in August.
By Megan Hayes
Summer is over—as far as my closet is concerned, that is. No more adding colorful, breezy dresses to cart, no more loading up on off-the-shoulder tops, and time has definitely expired on growing my beach bag collection. Sure, it may seem sad to close the door on those warm-weather purchases (hailing from California I love little more than adding to my roster of swimsuits). However I find the thought of missing out on the new season’s fantastic coats far sadder. More than a pair of boots or a sumptuous knit, a coat is what registers your style for the season. It’s the key piece. And lately, it’s become even more so.
For years coats have been considered that functional essential required of women who lived in cooler climes. It kept you warm, went with everything and only required updating if it started to wear. You needed no more than two (one for day, another for evening), and yours likely came in black, camel or navy. How times have changed. Today, in the same way it seems ridiculous to own a single pair of jeans its standard practice for any woman of style to have at least five coats she rotates between.
More than a pair of boots or a sumptuous knit, a coat is what registers your style for the season. It’s the key piece.
“Nowadays coats can be a statement piece on their own,” says Delpozo designer Josep Font, someone who has become known for creating those that rival the dress as the hero piece. In a season known for its classic, sensible clothing, Font’s Pre-Fall lineup offers a blue floral jacquard cape (complete with ruffled sleeves and a metallic sheen) and an anything-but-ordinary trench cast in plaid and complete with crepe sleeves. This isn’t outerwear for wallflowers. And he isn’t the only one aware of the power of a fabulous coat. More often than not, Miroslava Duma is snapped wearing one, while Giovanna Battaglia’s outerwear hits include a floral Rochas caban, a yellow striped Max Mara anorak and a micro check Prada coatdress that’s cinched at the waist. In each case, rather than simply catering to the temperature, these coats contextualized a look, adding dimension, styling and personality that a single-item outfit simply can’t—there’s room to play. In the same way the allure of sporting a stack of bangles has past and it’s now about earrings, the coat has become the current must-have. So what makes a great one?
“Materials, quality, and the perfect silhouette,” says Rochas designer Alessandro dell’Aqua. And he would know. For his Pre-Fall collection alone he designed over twenty different styles and offers a wide selection within each season—even for Spring. “The coat is one of the strongest pieces of a look and always a star piece in my collections.” Accordingly, it should be the star of your closet.
If the case has been made that a collection of fabulous coats is a must, why should you start thinking about yours in early August? As any smart shopper knows, the good ones go fast. If you’ve ever returned from summer (one spent focusing on “buy now, wear now”) to find the season’s amazing styles sold out in your size, you’ve likely learned your lesson. For those that haven’t yet suffered through that, taking my suggestion should save you from ever having to.
Regardless of season, trends or changes in style, there are certain labels known for their coats. At Burberry you’ll always find a classic officer’s jacket, a timeless cape and of course, their iconic trench. From Rochas, a wrap or chic caban. And from Delpozo something that defies convention.
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