Summer And Winter Coats: The Trench And The Floor-Grazer
The summer coat is one of the more difficult items to get right. While in winter, something big and warm is often enough, summer coats need to be able to tackle those awkward warm evenings followed by cool nights. Summer coats for women should be functional yet stylish, so finding the correct one can be tricky.
Paris Fashion Week was again pushing the trench coat. A true fashion classic, a good trench can deal with a cool night wind or a sudden rain shower while looking chic. With this being summer, brighter colours are the order of the day, so look for fresh greens and vivid blues to really make a statement. However, if you opt for tans and creams, you can offset this with a colourful dress in summer and still have a trench suitable for the autumn or winter.
Speaking of winter, while spending money on a big, warm winter coat when it's 20-odd degrees outside may seem like an odd thing to do when most people's budgets are pretty stretched at the moment, cost is the prime reason to shop for your winter wardrobe staples now. Shopping out of season can result in some great bargains, particularly on last year's clearance stock.
For autumn-winter 2012, many big design houses have been seeing just how low they can go. Floor-grazing overcoats were seen on the catwalks by Rodarte, Hermes, Michael Kors and Giorgio Armani, among others. Although well fitted at the top to define the silhouette, billowing bottoms will be a key theme for the winter, it seems. The long coat also gives you the option to brave the elements in a short dress or mini, such as those at JD Williams, helping to avoid the awkward compromise between being warm enough outside and cool enough in a nightclub.
Other winter options to look out for include more casual knitted numbers, such as ponchos and cardigan coats, which make great layering devices when the temperature drops. Also keep an eye for blanket coats; Jean Paul Gaultier's latest twist on this winter warmer is the leather lapel.
You don't necessarily have to pair for the leading brands, however. Have a look at what the top designers are doing with their coat lines for both summer and winter, and apply those principles to the offerings available at discount clothing websites - especially the clearance sections!