Monday, 24 September 2012

Essential Transitional Jackets and Coats: How to Stay Warm and Look Hot into AW

Every year, my mum reassures me that coats are the most important investment purchases you can make, as, for a significant proportion of the year, they're the first, and often only, thing most people see you in (at least in London!). This is surely a valid reason to collect as many as possible, to fit all possible outfits, occasions and whims. I've long ceased to be able to hang my own collection on hooks by the door - they inhabit their own "outerwear" wardrobe, which is now more crowded than either my "dresses, playsuits and jumpsuits" or "evening" wardrobes, and quickly growing to rival "tops" and "bottoms".

Here, I'm going to concentrate on the jackets and lightweight coats which will keep out those autumn chills which seem to have suddenly encroached on us. In a later post I'll be looking at faux fur and winter heavyweights.

The Blazer
The Retro Style
The Biker
The Military
The Cape
The Statement Bomber
The Statement Denim
The Statement Mac

The Blazer

Your first line of defence against those pesky trans-seasonal weather changes. Classic black keeps your look elegant and pared-back - try a boyfriend style for a casual, androgynous feel or a nipped-in peplum style for an ultra-feminine twist (scroll down to The Rara Ruffle in this post to see mine).

Blazer: Primark (AW12); Top: Primark (Past Season); Trousers: River Island (Past Season); Wedges: Peacocks (Past Season)

To add vibrance to a neutral, classic ensemble, try a colour pop blazer, or channel the heritage trend with tweed - I've chosen one with a structured hourglass silhouette and asymmetric hem to inject femininity.

Blazer: Primark (Past Season); Jeans: Miss Selfridge (Past Season); T-Shirt: H&M (Past Season); Scarf: Primark (Past Season); Boots: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)

The Retro Style

The Classic Swing
The perfect way to add a vintage twist to a transitional outfit - this looks just as good thrown over a formal ensemble as jeans, or, indeed, dogtooth shorts. It's also a great shape for anyone concerned about their waistline.

I couldn't decide whether to lend these shorts a cute sixties-inspired monochrome look with the swing jacket, or a heritage feel, brought up to date with a subtle tweed-dogtooth print clash, courtesy of the blazer.

Swing Coat: Primark (Past Season)
Blazer: As Above
Shorts: River Island (SS12)
Shoes: Peacocks (Past Season)

The Woollen Peplum
The thick material makes this jacket perfect for keeping you snug throughout the colder months, whilst the structure and length stop it from swamping your figure or your outfit. It looks great with skinnies and midi skirts.

Jacket: New Look (Past Season)
Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season)
Top: H&M (Past Season)
Scarf: Primark (Past Season)
Tights: Primark
Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)

The Boucle
Sprinkled liberally throughout my other posts (like this one, this one and this one), a Chanel style boucle jacket adds a hit of restrained vintage elegance to almost any ensemble - a cropped version like mine is great for showing off a high-waisted skirt or peplum top.

The Biker

At the last count, I had five biker jackets - a classic cropped style in black (great for adding a hint of rock chick whilst still showing off your waistline/outfit), a black military style (featured in this post), a brand new metallic bronze version in a classic style, and two concealed-fastening, ruffle-necked, petal-waisted versions, in black and cream, below. The biker is unbeatable for adding a tough edge to a look, but colour and detail can really take it into another league.

Jacket: Primark (Past Season); Skirt: Jane Norman (Past Season); Blouse: Primark (Past Season); Boots: Primark (Past Season)

A black biker makes a striking contrast against feminine fabrics and shapes, but feminine detailing softens and brings the look together.

Jacket: Primark (Past Season); Trousers: Primark (SS12); Blouse: Primark (Past Season); Shoes: Peacocks (Past Season)

A pale neutral softens the look further, and looks great with tailored shapes, bright colours and other neutrals.

The Military

Yes, military is here to stay! Personally, I prefer the elegant lines and Edwardian drama of pre-21st century inspired pieces, rather than standard issue khaki and camo. A tailcoat-inspired jacket adds drama and grace to a casual ensemble, as well as rendering a beautiful silhouette.

Jacket: Primark (Past Season)
T-Shirt: Primark (Past Season)
Jeans: Miss Selfridge (Past Season)
Shoes: Topshop (Past Season)

Throw in a bit of rock chick riotousness with a (p)leather style (featured in this post) - great for revving up a sleek vintage-inspired look.

The Cape

Cape: Primark (Past Season); Jeans: Primark (Past Season); T-Shirt: H&M (Past Season); Necklace: Primark (Past Season); Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season); Gloves: Primark (Past Season)

Don't worry, I only have one of these, although it does have a hint of military, for bonus points! Another great way of adding vintage drama to your AW outfits. I love this style in classic camel, but cream, black and rich berry shades also look stunning. Choose a belted style like mine if you want to highlight your waist, or a swing style, like this one from the latest Dorothy Perkins collection, below, if you're more apple-shaped.

I think a slim lower-half silhouette works best with a cape, to balance out the volume on top - try skinny jeans or leather trousers, or tweed peg legs to reference the heritage trend.

One word of warning though - the wind can really whistle up those sleeves - long sleeved tops and/or long gloves are essential in frosty climes.

Cape: As Above; Trousers: Primark (SS12); Top: New Look (Past Season); Shoes: New Look (Past Season)

The Statement Bomber

Great for adding a kooky sports luxe/vintage twist to both casual and not-so-casual outfits - for added impact, clash the print or colour with other separates (see my head-to-toe leopard look here), or contrast against leather.

Jacket: Primark (SS12)
Skirt: Topshop (Past Season)
Boots: Primark (Past Season)

A Jacquard version like the one in this post from Primark's AW12 collection lets you take on the Baroque trend at the same time.

The Statement Denim

Denim jackets are great for helping you over the bridge from pretty summer dresses to boots and scarves. Additional detailing, like distressing, cropped length or statement shoulders, adds impact and looks great with midis, mixis or maxis, boots and slouchy knits for autumn.

Jacket: Peacocks (Past Season)
Dress: Love at Topshop (Past Season)
Shoes: Primark (Past Season)

The Statement Mac

Coat: New Look (Past Season); Dress: Primark (Past Season); Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)

Yes, the trench coat is a timeless classic, but there are so many ways to make it more fun - I'm a sucker for ruffles and statement neck and sleeve detailing (see this post and this post) to add drama and femininity, and bright colours to enliven neutrals or block with other brights.

Coat: New Look (Past Season); Jumper: Bay (Past Season); Shorts: Primark (Past Season); Tights: Primark; Scarf: Primark (Past Season); Shoes: Dorothy Perkins (Past Season)

For a so-this-season statement, how about this gorgeous Baroque mac, £60 from Tu at Sainsbury's? Simply stunning!

Sleeveless versions are also great for this kind of transitional time - keep your arms bare, show off a statement shouldered top, or colour block your arms and legs!

Coat: Primark (Past Season); Dress: Primark (Past Season); Necklace: Primark (Past Season); Tights: Primark; Boots: Primark (Past Season)

The classic belted, A-line, mid-thigh cut looks chic with jeans and trousers, concealing a shorter skirt, or revealing a few inches of A-line midi or pencil skirt peeking from under the hem (as in this post and this post), but I'd usually show off a longer or asymmetric hemlime with a shorter jacket, or conceal more of it under a full-length coat.

More from my coat cupboard shortly, once the faux fur has been released from its summer vacuum packing, but tomorrow, I tackle (p)leather...

See more posts featuring jackets and coats here

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1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! the easiest craft over.i have no word and have no choice except to follow you. Season black good jacket is also fantastic to wear, feels good and comfortable. Thanks for sharing it!