How To Rock: The Coat

– By Stacy Igel –

As some of you may have noticed, winter is officially here. If you’re like us, however, you may still be shocked to walk outside into it’s shocking temperatures – because yore still clinging to fall’s chic and limitless jacket options.  Well, ladies, just because the mercury dips, doesn’t mean you have to shiver in the name of fashion. 

 Not all outerwear is created equal, and if you’ve ever dressed up for an evening out, only to then toss on your everyday puffy coat, then you know what we’re talking about (not a good look).  When it comes to outerwear, fit and proportion are everything –  whether it’s a $5000 designer label, or a $50 vintage find, without a good tailor (and paired with the wrong outfit), all you’ll be left with is a big zero. 

There are actually tons of options for your winter-wear; an amazing coat can upgrade a less than stellar outfit. At the same time, the wrong coat can ruin a best-dressed list worthy look. To make things simple, we’ve separated them into two general categories: Lady-like and Menswear-inspired. Here are some tips so you can rock the right coat with the right outfit

 The Boy’s Club 

Menswear-inspired looks are nothing new in the world of women’s wear; from boyfriend jeans to the boyfriend blazer, it seems we’re hooked on borrowing style from the mens section. When it comes to outerwear, the same rules apply: make sure it doesn’t look like you actually borrowed it from the mens section. Menswear-inspired is not code for baggy. The oversized proportions of these coats means their fit is especially important.

When it comes to wearing your borrowed-from-the-boys overcoat, we love the contrast of a feminine outfit. Blazer-style ones that hit mid-thigh look fab with super skinny bottoms, sheer, girly blouses, and of course, show-stopping heels. For military, or more oversize-proportioned toppers that hit at the knee, pair with a killer dress or chic pencil skirt – bonus points for pairing with a silk or chiffon dress; the movement of the dress peaking out when you walk is so chic. Feminine accessories, like a floral scarf or lady-like bag are also great ways to add a touch of contrast.

Who’s That Lady

Ultra-feminine coats aren’t just reserved for special occasions; they can be surprisingly versatile. The key is in the fabric. While everyone needs at least one absolutely beautiful, evening-wear appropriate coat, lady-like outerwear can be day-time appropriate when done in more functional fabrics like tweed, wool, or cashmere.

Girly, swing-style coats are the perfect choice for tough, rock-star leather leggings or skinny jeans. Wide-leg and flared pants or jeans are just right for nipped at the waist styles, and work with both hip and knee-length ones. Keep in mind though, the nip in the waist is the key there; it defines the waist, and prevents the look from appearing sloppy. Just like menswear inspired coats contrast perfectly when paired with feminine accessories, a lady-like coat worn with touches borrowed from the boys is equally chic. A gentlemanly fedora or briefcase-style bag can hit just the right note.

Finally, the question that gets asked over and over: the appropriate coat length for skirts and dresses. The answer: it depends. For A-line silhouettes, the hem of the coat should hit at, or just below, the hem of the skirt or dress. For slim-fitting silhouettes like pencil or mini skirts, choose outerwear that hits below the hem, and for floor-length silhouettes like evening gowns, choose a cropped style that hits at your natural waist-line.

1. Maison Scotch Tailored Coat 

2. Victoria Beckham Wool Military Coat

3. Reed Karkoff Long A-line Coat

4. Kenzo Wool-blend Coat

5. Boy by Band of Outsiders Two Button Coat

6. Topshop Premium Military Coat

7. Azzedine Alaïa Calf Hair Coat

8. Red Valentino Embellished Coat

9. Dolce & Gabbana Wool Coat With Cape

10. Miu Miu Embellished Collar Coat

11. Jil Sander Mauritius Coat

12. Moschino Cheap and Chic Flared Peacoat

13. Ermanno Scervino Jacket

14. Alexander McQueen Jacquard Coat

15. Red Valentino Flared Hem Coat

Stacy Igel is the founder and creative director of the young contemporary brand, Boy Meets Girl®.  She is also the host of Behind the Seams™ with Stacy Igel on, where she is the site’s Chief Fashion Editor and Stylist.  Stacy is a frequent lecturer on subjects including social media, branding and entrepreneurship in fashion, and she is deeply committed to a number of charities, including the Young Survival Coalition and BullyBust. You can follow her on Twitter @stacyigel or at her blog

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About the Author

Stacy Igel is the founder and creative director of the young contemporary brand, Boy Meets Girl®. She is also the host of Behind the Seams™ with Stacy Igel as seen on & Stacy is a frequent lecturer on subjects including social media, branding and entrepreneurship in fashion, and she is deeply committed to a number of charities, including the Young Survival Coalition and BullyBust. You can follow her on Twitter @stacyigel or at her blog.