The top coats on the High Street

Tweed tailoring features clean lines and pared-back detailing for the coming autumn. Marks & Spencer Autograph coat, �99.

As the new winter coats drop in store, Stephanie Smith picks out the key trends and the hottest picks on the High Street.

Buying a new winter coat is an investment moment.

River Island Design Forum x Ashish duvet coat, �180.

It shouldn’t be entered into lightly or rashly. It needs consideration and due care. Coats are often the most expensive items in our wardrobe, and we tend to hold on to them for a long time. A quick rummage through the far end of my closet rail reveals a variety of coats from years – even decades – past. There’s a camel trench coat, two black belted trench coats (why?), a brown tweed check coat, a green tweed check coat, two capes and my all-time favourite, a reversible two-tone belted grey wrap coat from Next. I am definitely well supplied for coats.

And yet ... this is THE season of the coat, not just because autumn/winter is always the season of the coat, but because this actual autumn/winter brings with it a particularly glorious crop of coats. Coats, in fact, for all seasons and all occasions. The variety of styles on offer is quite bewildering, enough to suit all temperatures from transitional easy-breezy to arctic. So, from the catwalks to the High Street for autumn/winter 2017, what’s in store?

Quilting is a major trend, seen at Chanel and Stella McCartney. And duvet coats are massive. The bigger the better is the thinking here – check out the River Island Design Forum x Ashish new gender-neutral collection, which features a fabulous huge zipped duvet cape coat in pink and in black. Each costs £180, they launched last week and they are not going to be around for long, so if you want one, you really are going to have to be quick.

Talking of colour, pink is perfect, from soft shell pink to shocking, but red really is the chief tailoring shade of the season. Shades are rich, in tones of tomato and pillarbox, while oxblood and burgundy offer more restrained options, which certainly have longevity in their favour, as classic autumnal tones. Both Cos and & Other Stories at Victoria Gate in Leeds have beautiful, sleek, mid-length burgundy tailored coats well worth investing in.

Red Herring tweed coat, �75; tee, �12; jeans, �22; bag, 39; boots, �55. All at Debenhams.

Sheepskin and suede feature with revamped must-have retro looks – the brown sheepskin car coat is an example, brilliant thown over a floral floaty midi dress and finished with slouchy knee-high boots.

Faux fur is everywhere, but especially plush faux fur in cream, camel, pink and blue, or in leopard print for a more glam edge. These coats are slightly oversized and give excellent protection from the cold, although their staying power in terms of useful fashion years must be somewhat limited. Still, fun over skinny jeans and room enough for a chunky knits when it’s bitter out.

Tartans and tweeds get a sleek makeover for autumn/winter, with lots of asymmetric and statement tailoring details. A simply tailored three-quarter length tweed coat in a brown or grey tweed check would be a great investment buy – ideal to wear now, but also something that is not going to date.

Likewise, the belted trench coat is always going to be a good buy. This season’s are midi-length and in cream or camel. They look incredible thrown over everything. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to invest in a new one, but try not to succumb to modish design details if you want to think of it as a classic piece.

Beige deconstucted trench coat, �85, Limited Edittion at River Island.

Brocade and printed coats are definitely more of the moment, but there are some beautiful tailored pieces out there, ideal for over your party dress come Christmas, but also a neat chic spin to wear with skinny jeans, boots and a crew or polo knit sweater.

If in doubt, go for statement tailoring every time. A long, wide collared, flared, belted wrap coat in a tailored wool and a gorgeous rich shade works every time.

See more fashion advice and hot picks on

Red boucle coat, �68, at Next.

Burgundy double-breasted coat, �225, selection at Cos, Victoria Gate Leeds.

Coat �199; top, �59; zip skirt �49. All at House of Fraser.

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