It's winter, even if the weatherman say's it will be a mild
day, it's going to feel a whole lot colder than summer, so what
a woman needs is a fashionable coat. Thus think of a new
coat for autumn winter 2009 as an investment purchase.
Coats are a big fashion for understated dressing. But in
2009/10 that understated archive inspired coat is simply code
for wearing fashion as a form of stealth wealth. Stealth wealth
is easily shown in both the cut of the mantle and the handle
quality of the cloth. These understated statement coats make the
wearers feel wrapped in luxury.
This desirable ladies Crombie coat left is understated luxury - its
retailer heaven - big ticket daywear. The
Crombie Autumn 2009 coat is second to none, this is the ultimate in
understated luxury dressing for the most discerning of ladies.
The ladylike coat is also available in black, and both are made
in a mix of a luxury blend of wool, angora and cashmere. At £525
this is an investment coat. These trend risk-averse coats in luxe fabrics are precisely pitched at target customers such as
well-heeled 35+ customers.
Luxury cream shawl collar belted wrap coat from Crombie.
As a fashion lover, you may be like me and have a small closet
full of coats of varying types. Today if you are in the market
for a new coat it is important to select your coat knowing its
overall purpose. So begin by accepting that the coat is
the first thing an onlooker sees when they cast their glance
over you. It is from your outer top coat people gain
perceptions about you, whatever garments you have thrown on
Premium, refined, high-quality wools mixed with on-trend
silhouettes, create the clothes women want to buy.
Good materials take much longer to wear away at sleeve, collar
and front facing edges. At first glance a piece of cloth might
appear satisfactory, but with wear that cloth will reveal how
tightly packed the weft and warp was in the weave. In low count
cheap cloths spaces will soon appear making the cloth look
threadbare fast. You will soon see visible lines of worn thread
This is not shabby-chic, but shoddy-cheap.
Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware - With fabric and especially with
coat material, you get what you pay for.
What you pay is reflection of the quality of the cloth. Coat
material must be made of good stuff with a high percentage of
very small amount of polyamide (nylon) added to cashmere
and pure new wool fibre mixes can also increase the wearing
qualities of the resultant end material.
Above Left - Understated Elegance - Couture quality fabric in
style 1920s grey coat.
Right - An understated, but very modern approach to the shorter
ladies coat by Antonio Berardi. A power chic grey coat and
grey Shearling thigh boots. See
high street available grey coats below.
A new coat purchase also demands that you investigate
future trends and in particular check for any strong silhouette
directions. In the autumn of 2009 you can see the change in the shoulder line
in both coats and jackets. This grey coat from Antonio Berardi focuses on the newer well
defined shoulder, but the
Balmain line is an even greater focus of fashion interest in
Grey is also one of the big neutrals of
Autumn 2009 winter 2010. The bonus is that buying basic
neutrals, with a good eye to the current silhouette, will stretch
wardrobe budget over several seasons. From an image planning figure
improving point of view, wearing matching colours top and bottom
streamlines the silhouette too. Those
over knee thigh boots
certainly give it the zeitgeist feel.
In 2009 we not only have luxury cloth coats, but also luxe leather
and suede, which adds a new dimension and may even give you an
excuse to add a leather classic to your wardrobe. As ever, when
you pay more you will be rewarded with
better quality in the form of luxury feel lather skin.
Suede and leather pieces can be costlier
than wool Melton, camelhair and cashmere coats, and yet often
leather clothing falls into the casual wear category. If spending a lot
on a suede piece, make sure it suits the lifestyle you lead.
Some may prefer to regard
suede items as occasion pieces.
Suede marks and stains more easily than fabrics, and specialist
suede cleaning can be far more expensive than regular dry
These two leather ladies coats left, are designer wear by Burberry and
The Burberry leather coat, above far left is from the Harvey Nichols
Autumn 2009 Winter 2010 collections and the belt wrap style is ideal
for accommodating plenty of winter layers beneath it.
Near Left - Todd Lynn - Stylish, but fierce
fitted leather coat best teamed with little more than a body con
dress beneath it.
Near Right - Burberry Shearling coats provide not only warmth, but a
casual understated fashion look. Available at Harvey Nichols.
Animalistic and fur looks come around every year. This season
short chubby jacket holds force, but there are
coats too, and also capes and capelets. High street versions of
animal print concentrate more on faux trim pieces especially as
uplifting relief on long tweed coats. See some
animalistic pieces here.
Blanket coats offer a less structured and easy-to-wear look.
The blanket coats from Chloe and Matthew Williamson are in this
relaxed mode. Chloe's blanket coat hit the mark - desirable
wearable women's clothes.
Closely aligned to this is the boiled wool coat. Boiled
wool, mostly unlined, is often used in freeform Lagenlook style
Architectural touches that play with folding of fabric mean
designers have focused on collars an area made for designer
creativity. Look for coats with wide flat collars, cowls and
collars that trail into waterfall effects and extend to the
hemline like this Rue coat near right.
Far Left - Per Una Autumn 2009 - Origami Coat T62 0108F £120.00.
In store at Marks & Spencer in September sizes: 8-20.
Centre - Max Mara Coat - Harvey Nichols.
Right - Stunning Rue du Mail Coat - Harvey Nichols.
The belted wrap coat will be loved by many women who like to
show off their waistlines and hated by just as many who have no
waist! These neutral base colours in varying camel, biscuit tan,
cappuccino and grey shades are touted as
the understated investment colours of the winter 2009 season.
Right - Classic Camel Belted Wrap Coat - Max Mara - Fall 2009.
These wrap coats are star turns at the Max Mara Collections.
Wearable shades like the darker tans in the double breasted
coats below are a take on the classic British Warm style.
They have a slight
military air and and make a good business
coats have great potential for
knits and arm warmers and open fronts allow the drape of cowl
necks and fine cobweb knit scarves. They look good in camel and
other basic colour ways. Long fur gilets also offer similar
layer dressing opportunities.
Centre Left - Max Mara dark tan coat with epaulets.
Centre Right - From
www.longtallsally.com - Hayworth Coat And Bergman Sweater.
worn by Lisa Butcher. This stylish, double breasted wool mix
coat with contrast hot pink satin lining comes in sizes; 10-20
and in Camel at £150. The super-soft cashmere mix, roll neck
with shell floral etched buttons, sizes; XS-XL. Charcoal is £40.
Far Right - Sleeveless Camel Coat - Michael Kors Catwalk.
If the camel based colours drown your complexion then instead
add just a fashionable touch of camel with a bag, gloves or
suede belt. If you simply loathe camel and never buy it,
consider instead opting for cream, winter white or equally
fashionable grey. As a generalisation blondes, honey
blondes and redheads look good in camel tones, whereas those
with black or silver grey hair look better in greys and creams.
Cream coats are classy and look expensive because they need to
be pristine for best effect. The quality of the material is
important. This beautiful cocoon yoked coat far left is available
from Harvey Nichols.
Above Far Left - Martin Grant Coat at Harvey Nichols. Harvey
Nichols have a wonderful selection of quality ladies coats.
Above Centre Left - Ralph Lauren Catwalk 09.
The chubby coat was a catwalk hit. This cream Mongolian chubby
coat is breathtaking in its simplicity. The honeybear effect
means everyone really will want to hug you.
Centre Right - The soft, cuddly jacket from Betty Barclay and made in
finest cashmere and wool is sure to keep you warm even in the
iciest weather. It has lots of little details, a playful collar
design and feminine styling.
Above Centre Right - Betty Barclay Autumn Winter 2009 - Jacket Style
No: 4344/8146. The coat is 60% virgin wool, 20% cashmere, 20% polyamide
- UK ₤240/IRL €270.
Above Right - A Value Economy choice - Et Vous Hooded Tulip Coat £50 -
Matalan Women AW09.
Cream and winter white will get you noticed, but if you want
to merge with the background select a more urban friendly colour
like grey. Grey can be lively and interesting when its a speckled tweed
fabric as well as cool and expensively severe in dove silver
grey to deepest charcoal. Belted grey coats like
these below are a mainstay of every retailers collection for
Above Left - Martin Grant Grey Belted Cape Sleeve Coat at
Centre Left - BHS Belted Military Coat - £70. Womenswear -
Sophie Gray @ BHS Autumn Winter 09 - Available Sep.
Centre Right - Burberry Coat at Harvey Nichols.
Far Right - Matalan AW09 Funnel Neck Military Coat £40.
Seeking catwalk inspiration for a high street buy? Then look
no further than this wonderful dusky lilac Shearling coat near
Near Right - Bottega Veneta’s Dusky Lilac Shearling Coat. The
bracelet sleeves and a round neck making it the
height of sartorial luxury. Available from Matches
Fashion at £3,690.
Fancy brocades, checks, tweeds and quilted coats give women
plenty of selection. Everyone can choose a coat for the life
they lead. Autumn 2009 is all about wearable fashion for an
Left - Akris Catwalk Coat. If you need to wrap up well where you live to stay warm then
a style of coat like this chubby cocoon A-line and with kangaroo
pockets may be just the piece to fill the fashion gap in your
Paramount to every fashion collection for Autumn 2009 was the
colour family of purple. Purple, violet, puce, purple heart,
aubergine, damson all make for statement coats in striking vivid colours.
These three ladies coats show how much variety is in store for you, and
how shorter coat styles are so popular.
Left - Matalan Womenswear AW09 Papaya Structured Collar Coat
Centre - Marks & Spencer Autumn Winter 2009 - Purple Hooded
Cape Coat With Belt £65. In store Nov 2009.
Right - John Lewis - JL Purple Belted Coat - AW2009.
Although capes have been
around for a few seasons, now they have more variation and a nod to
a wider range of
cloaks and capes in costume history. The cape above centre
is interesting in combining two looks of a belted coat to give
form, shape and figure definition and the wider shoulder sleeve
emphasis that a cape provides.
The various easy cocoon shape coats shown here are good
styles for dressmakers to copy as the fit need not be quite as
figure skimming perfect as with a sharply tailored jacket.
This pattern by McCall's shown right captures all the
elements of an easy coat shape to make in a credit crunch
McCall's Pattern Number M5939 Image courtesy of
Sizes 8-16 Misses and Women 18Wto 24W. The diagram fit of this
coat looks generous so I would choose a smaller size and the
double breasted version will allow a little leeway for
Please note we do not sell this pattern. You can get this
sewing pattern from good UK pattern retailers like Jaycotts online.
Do note that American Sizing is generally more generous than
Tweeds, checks and houndstooths patterns look good in the simple
cocoon silhouette too because it shows the fabric pattern to full
effect, without destroying the integrity of weave grid. These
cocoon coat pieces are wearable, fit many body shapes despite figure flaws.
This makes them commercially viable and very sellable as they
have both a smart and casual aesthetic easily accommodating
layers of winter knitwear.
Above Left - Hobbs Autumn Winter 2009 Wool Hilton Checked Coat
Above Centre - Preen Check Cocoon Coat £99 - Very AW09
Above Right - Wallis Autumn Winter 09 - Dogtooth Check Coat,
Glen checks and oversized plaids like these give three-quarter length woollen coats
a youthful, modern touch.
in every size to super houndstooths was a look explored on many a
catwalk. The most memorable was possibly from Alexander McQueen
and this coat (below near left) from Preen.
Preen showed not only houndstooths check coats but also
dresses using these bold checks. Funnel necks gave them a
This classic is I feel best in black and winter white. It looks best when
the white is an ivory white. Dogtooth
and houndstooths checks and even puppy tooth checks seem to span many seasons and recur in new
The two models centre and right, wear high street coats at an
affordable price point.
Centre - Tesco F&F Dogtooth Coat £45, F&F Red Dress £16, Autumn
Winter 09 Womenswear.
Right - Wallis Autumn Winter 09 - Oversized Houndstooths Coat,
£85/€98, Black PU trousers, £45/€52.
Other dogtooth colour options this Autumn 2009/Winter 2010
include grey teamed with black or red or royal blue with black
Finally coats also have hardware decoration and one feature
that has cropped up on many winter coats is the
either as a front closure or a decorative embellishment.
Eventually the rich purple tones meet red on the colour chart
for 2009. This red coat is playful and youthful a contrast to
some of the more sober understated looks in store now. This is a
fun fast fashion piece a buyer will wear to death. The red coat
is from Matalan.
Right - Matalan Be Beau red fit and flare coat for Autumn 2009.
It costs just £50.
Michelle Obama Belt (Mobamabelt)
'MOBAMABELT' The new trend for wearing a
belt outside your coat is what Michelle Obama frequently does
with her coats to bring mixed outfits together. Thicker midriff waists are better supported
with deeper 10cm belts. Small ribcage gals can take narrow
belts. Make sure the look and position of the belt suits
On this page I have concentrated on the women's coat styles for
autumn 2009. My advice is to think of buying a coat as a
fashion investment; for this season in particular look for a
well defined shoulder. Other styles to try include wrap
belted coats, camel coats, chubby fur coats and cocoon coats. Another
trend for all garments in the winter of 2009 is decorative
embellishment. If buying a new coat would be too
expensive, then maybe sewing your own coat with the help of a
McCall's pattern could solve a financial problem while
developing a valuable skill.
Copyright of images courtesy of Prshots, IFTF, Swarovski, BHS, Gil Bret,
Marks & Spencer, Hobbs, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Dior, Betty Barclay, Wallis, Matalan,
Matches, BHS, McCall's, Crombie, Long Tall Sally. My thanks to
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