If you have yet to invest in a new winter coat, it’s hardly surprising.
Except for the recent cold snap, it has been remarkably, unseasonably mild for much of the season, with a Christmas and New Year more like early spring.
When the big chill finally did arrive last week, some of us were unprepared. My thick socks and chunky knits were still folded away in boxes hidden who knows where. I’ve found the socks, but have no idea where my huge Gap sweater has got to. By the time it comes to light, it will be summer. I just hope it’s somewhere free from moths.
And now it’s time to look towards the lighter coats of spring, which might sound premature but actually, it’s not such a bad thing. Even if we do find ourselves at freezing point again within the next few months, much new season outerwear is roomy by design, which means knits and thermals can layer with ease beneath generous lines. Oversized is definitely a key theme for the new year. Here’s what to look out for when it comes to dressing for outdoors...
The new trench: For spring 2017, the trench coat is oversized and long of line and proportion, with an overall minimalist and fluid feel, but at the same time featuring tweaks and details that add quality and statement touches. Look out for drawstring and toggles, for example, and bear in mind that “trench coat” is used loosely this season to describe macs and coats in a variety of fabrics, not just waxed cotton or gaberdine. You’ll find light tweeds and suede, for a start, and also printed versions, for a fresh take on a classic style.
The oversize bomber: Like last year’s bomber, but bigger, as if you have borrowed it from Hagrid. Look out for cropped sleeves, which make layering easy and allow you to show off bright knitwear.
The slouchy coat: Dropped shoulders and raglan sleeves (where the sleeve fabric extends up to the collar, allowing free movement) are characteristics to look out for, plus a roomy, boxy silhouette, which again allows for plenty of layering. Take care not to choose a length that is too long for you, especially if you are on the short side, as you will look swamped,
The coatigan: A popular transitional piece, this season given a sleek and chic makeover with more of a tailored feel, which smartens up the look and makes it ideal for wearing over shift and wrap dresses. Look for wide cropped sleeves and pared-back, edge-to-edge design. It’s particularly effective if you try colour-blocking, say with a navy dress under an orange toned coatigan.
The wrap coat: In any seasonal shade you like, although camel is a classic neutral that will always look sophisticated and clean. With their wide same-fabric tie belts and broad collars, wrap coats are flattering. This season, go for knee-length or a little longer, and wear with everything, open and closed.
The frock coat: An interesting and quaintly old-fashioned cut, with a long full skirt, flowing back as you walk, plus a more neatly tailored top half, perhaps with back smocking, as with the Hobbs coat featured here. Striking and very new season.
Finally, just a quick note to pass on the news that Leeds Fashion Festival will be taking place on October 7-8 at Leeds First Direct Arena.
There will be a stage and a catwalk for fashion, hair and beauty shows throughout both days, plus areas and events featuring High Street, independent and designer stores, a heritage section, fashion through the ages, a clothes-swapping event, a ‘man cave’ and emerging new talent.
The organisers are now looking for models and new designers to take part, alongside established brands, professionals and all the retail outlets. For more information, email [email protected]