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Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Good coat gone bad : Balenciaga camel coat

balenciaga camel coat

It’s always disappointing when a good item of clothing goes bad, isn’t it?

We’re talking here about those otherwise perfect items: the ones that SHOULD be on our “Wanted!” list, but which end up in Fashion Police Jail, on a minor misdemeanour. They’re the good clothes gone bad: the ones we’d love if it wasn’t one for one tiny little detail that ruins an otherwise perfect item. We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? There you are, rummaging through the rails in your favourite store, when all of a sudden you see what LOOKS like the perfect dress. Excitedly, you pull it from the rack… only to find that it has a giant cut-out section on the ribs, or it’s completely backless, meaning there’s no bra in the world you could wear with it.

Take this Balenciaga coat, for instance.

It was love at first sight when we saw this coat: in fact, we were all set to add it to our ‘Wanted!” list earlier this week. Well, a camel coat is one of those timeless classics, isn’t it? It’s one of those items that always appears on lists if items “all women” must own, and with good reason, too: we don’t always agree with the items on those lists, but we do love a camel coat, which adds an instant dose of style to almost any outfit.

On first inspection, this one looks perfect: beautifully cut, classic colour, but with the asymmetric buttons giving it a nice little twist. Then we scrolled down, and WHOA! What’s happening at the hem? Because it looks like the last person to wear this coat must’ve leaned against a freshly-painted railing or something, and OMG! Is that PAINT on our £1,995 Balenciaga coat? Because we don’t know about you, but that definitely looks like paint to us – and although in this case it’s supposed to be a design feature, it has exactly the same effect on us as an act of vandalism would: it ruins an otherwise beautiful coat.

Why do they do it?

Why do these good clothes go bad? We’ll probably never know, but it’s likely the designer’s attempt to make them look “edgy”. That word is to blame for a LOT of fashion crimes, we find. Because designers just can’t leave well alone, can they? They can’t content themselves with creating the perfect camel coat: they have to make it “different” and “edgy” – and often that comes at the expense of totally ruining it.

Think about it, though: if you were spending that much money on a coat, would you want a timeless classic, or a coat with a strip of pink paint on the bottom, which guarantees that every time you wear it, you’ll spend the entire day telling concerned friends that no, it’s OK, you didn’t ruin your coat with paint, it’s SUPPOSED to look like it’s been ruined with paint, because that’s the difference between “fashion” and just “clothes”.

Because we know which one we’d choose…

Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

How much would you pay for a beat-up denim jacket?

overpriced denim jacket

[Buy it here]

Can you guess how much this denim jacket costs, Style Sleuths?

No cheating, now: don’t go clicking on the link and pretending you knew all along. Just give us your best guess, taking into account the fact that the style is dated, the denim is busted, and it looks suspiciously like its been cobbled together from a pair of jeans.

Any guesses?

OK, we’ll tell you: this denim jacket will set you back £1,735 British Pounds – or roughly $2,700.

Surprised? We were. But then again, not really, because, you know, FASHUN. Only in the wonderful world of high fashion does something become more expensive the worse it looks. If it looks like something you wouldn’t be able to GIVE away (We’re guessing here, but we suspect most of the charity stores around these parts would turn this down…), then you can pretty much guarantee you wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. It’s like raaaaaiiiiin, on your wedding day…

We definitely don’t think this would pass the eBay test, then, but we’re also wondering if it would pass the “Could You Keep a Straight Face?” test, too. Like the ‘would it sell on eBay?’ test, this one is also fairly simple, and involves asking yourself whether you’d be able to keep a straight face if a friend turned up wearing this, and casually informed you she’d paid £1,735 for it. How would you react? Polite interest? Serious envy? Shock and horror? Howls of laughter? if it’s either of the last two – or any similar reaction – you’ve failed the ‘Could You Keep a Straight Face Test”. On the plus side, the likelihood is that you’ve just correctly identified a Crime of Fashion. On the minus side, you’ve also probably annoyed your friend. In the latter case, we recommend developing a Fashion Crime face: it’s the same as a poker face, but you use it when faced with a fashion crime, and at least you get to keep your friends…

Outerwear, Style On Trial

This coat is totally ‘armless

sleeveless coat

This coat isn’t a crime of fashion: or not in our book, anyway.

Actually, it’s quite nice: we love the colour, like the slim, unfussy shape… nope, no issues with THIS coat. Well, other than the lack of arms, obviously. This coat, you see, is totally armless (GEDDIT). It’s not particularly a sartorial issue, you understand, because as we say, its appearance is perfectly inoffensive. So we guess our main question with this one is whether or not you’d pay £89 for a piece of winter outerwear, which would require you to buy/wear other items in order for it to fulfil its purpose AS outerwear.

This isn’t a new concept, obviously. We submit into evidence the humble body-warmer, which is also sleeveless, and which is generally teamed with a chunky sweater or fleece in order to render it serviceable. Bodywarmers are causal, country-side attire, however. They can get away with it. This coat is more of a “city slicker” shape. It would look odd with a hoodie or super-chunky sweater underneath… we reckon your best bet would be a pair of long leather gloves, which could make for an interesting look, but even the longest ones tend to only reach just above the elbow, so you could be looking at a bit of a cold shoulder. God, we’re so punny today!

What do you think: totally ‘armless, or a bit strange, really?

Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Can’t make up your mind which winter coat to go for?

asymmetric coat in two colours

[Buy it here for $928]

For most of us, winter coats definitely fall into the category of “investment purchase” – and that means choosing one can be tricky.

Because winter coats tend to be one of the more expensive clothing purchases you make all year, and also because you know you’re going to be wearing whichever one you choose every day for weeks, you really don’t want to make an expensive mistake. But what style to choose? Should you go for Dull-But-Sensible black or navy: the workhorse coat, which will go with everything, but never really make you excited to wear it? Or should you go throw caution to the wind, with the Pop-of-Colour coat? Sure, it might clash with some of your wardrobe, but it’ll be a statement all on its own, and it’ll cheer you up ever time you look at at.

Of course, you COULD always get both, but if that seems a little too extravagant for you, rather than buying two separate coats, why not buy ONE coat in two different STYLES? Genius!

This orange and navy mix combines both the Dull-But-Sensible and the Pop-of-Colour Coats described above. It’s just… you only get HALF of each style: so one half of your body will be wearing the long, navy coat, and the other half will be wearing the short, orange version. It’s a compromise, in other words.

Is it a compromise you’d actually settle for, though? Well, considering that you could actually buy two cheaper coats for the price of this single hybrid coat – and wouldn’t end up looking like a victim of The Clothes Ripper in the process – we’re going to guess many of you will answer “no” to that one. Then again, many more of you are “edgy” and “unexpected”, and might just love the chance to prove it, with this unusual, and undoubtedly creative coat. And we have to say, we kinda like the navy strap on the back: does anyone else think it looks like the coat is putting its arm around the model’s waist? Awww!

Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Crime of Fashion? Moschino’s Trench Coat/négligée hybrid

nightdress/ trenchcoat hybrid

[Buy it here for $2,995]

It took us a few seconds to work out exactly what we were looking at here, but then it hit us: you know all those times – those many, many times – when you want to wear a classic trenchcoat, but you ALSO want to wear a silky négligée ? Well, this item is the answer to your prayers: isn’t fashion marvelous?

Now, we have to admit, there have been times in our lives – and quite possibly in yours, too – when we’ve been tempted to throw a coat on over our nightclothes and run out on a quick errand. We’re not saying we’ve given into that impulse – yet  –  you understand: simply that we can understand how that could happen, and we do not judge. The act of wearing your nightclothes OVER your trench, on the other hand? We’ve been thinking about this all day (Well, OK, for as long as it’s taken to write this arrest report), and nope, we really can’t imagine a single scenario in which that would suddenly seem like a good idea.

Let’s just imagine for a second, however, that such a scenario existed. Yes, we know it’s a stretch, but just go with us on this one. Imagine you DID want to wear a nightdress over a trenchcoat, in exactly the manner shown above. Would you:

a) Give Moschino $3,000 to create the item for you

or

b) Pin an existing nightie to an existing trench coat, and create exactly the same effect

We know what we’d do in that scenario, and we’ll give you a clue: it’s not ‘A’.

Just to end this on a semi-positive note, however: this suspect isn’t guilty of QUITE as many crimes of fashion as you might think from the evidence above, because if you were thinking the droopy black hem was part of the coat (and we did too, at first), relax: it’s actually this:

sleeveless cape dress

[Sleeveless cape dress: $2,995]

The entire outfit, then, comes in at just under £6K. We’ll just leave you to mull that over, shall we?

Crimes of Fashion, Outerwear

Crime of Fashion? Lazy Oaf ‘Fur Face’ jacket

Lazy Oaf 'Fur Face' jacket

Lazy Oaf ‘Fur Face’ jacket, $244

In a bid to be fair to this suspect, let us just first of all point out that at least it’s “only” $244, so while it’s still expensive (Especially considering its appearance…), it’s not QUITE as mind-bendingly expensive as some of the fashion criminals we’ve been forced to arrest.

Er, that’s pretty much all we’ve got on the “positives”, to be honest. Because, let’s face it: this is a Muppet jacket. It even has the eyes. Two sets of them, in fact. Actually, if you try to forget that it’s supposed to be an item of clothing, it’s almost endearing: it’s the kind of thing you can imagine your much younger self absolutely LOVING, and spending hours brushing its hair and taking it to tea parties with all of the other soft toys.

It’s when you remember that it’s not actually a soft toy that it becomes problematic. Not only is this not a child’s toy, you see, it’s not even a child’s jacket. No, this is an item of clothing designed for grown ups, and the fact that it closely resembles a massacred Muppet is beside the point, presumably. As with the Moschino ‘Sponge Bob’ collection we put on trial earlier this week, this jacket is presumably supposed to be quirky and hilarious, and as with the Moschino items, we find ourselves wanting to point out that THERE ARE OTHER WAYS, PEOPLE. Seriously, you CAN inject a bit of personality into your outfits without having to give your clothing a face. You can have fun with fashion without having to wear every colour of the rainbow, rendered in shaggy, synthetic fur. (At least it IS synthetic fur, mind you: it would be just too much if some poor creature had to die for this…)

What do you think? Would you wear it, or do you agree that it’s a crime of fashion? And can you shed any light on this growing trend for clothing that looks like cartoon characters?

Celebrity Fashion, Outerwear, Style Stealer

Style Stealer | Frankie Sanford’s (The Saturdays) bright yellow Zara coat

Zara yellow piqué coat

yellow Zara coat, as seen on Frankie from The Saturdays

Zara yellow piqué coat, £79.99

We loved this bright yellow coat when we spotted it on the Zara website a couple of weeks ago, and we love it even more now that we’ve had the opportunity to see it in action, as worn by Frankie of The Saturdays to the Kiss FM studios last week:

(For those of you who’ve never heard of Frankie Sanford or The Saturdays, she’s the one in the bright yellow coat. Obviously.)

This is a lightweight coat, suitable for the current season, and we love the 60s-style stand-up collar, and the causal-but-cool style. We also love the colour: yellow (especially bright yellows like this one) is a shade a lot of people hesitate to wear, fearing it’ll wash them out, or make their complexion look sallow. While it’s true that yellow won’t suit everyone (We don’t think there’s a colour in the world that suits EVERYONE), if you can pull it off, it’s a particularly nice shade for outerwear, providing a huge splash of colour, and allowing you to wear the most boring outfit imaginable underneath, and still look like you’ve made an effort.

Well, we don’t know about “boring”, but we’d say that simple is probably best with a colour like this. We couldn’t get a full-length image of Frankie, unfortunately (you can see one here), but both she and the Zara stylist chose to style this with plain trousers and top. We approve, and would probably style this similarly, perhaps playing up the slightly retro-feel of the shape:

what to wear with zara's yellow coat

capri pants // bardot top // pointed flats // cat-eye sunglasses // statement handbag

what to wear with a bright yellow coat

White shift dress // statement necklace // nude shoes // tote bag // gold watch 

what to wear with Zara's yellow coat

baby blue capri jeans// blue strappy sandals // white tote bag // fluffy sweater

What do you think of this coat? And regardless of how you answered, how would you style it, if it were to magically appear in your closet?

Fashion Trends, Outerwear

The pastel coat trend isn’t dead yet…

pastel coats

Lemon coat: Marks & Spencer

Thought the trend for pastel coats would fade away like winter itself? Think again: cold weather may be on its way out (Let’s hope those don’t turn out to be famous last words…) but those pastel coats are still very much IN, and it looks like they’re going to stay that way throughout the summer, and probably into next autumn and winter, too. That’s bad news for those of you who hate them, of course (or who just wish we’d stop talking about them), but if you’re a fan of all things pastel, it could be very good news indeed.

As you’d expect, the current crop of pastel coloured coats are far more lightweight than their predecessors, and therefore much more suitable for spring weather. We’d like to think they WON’T be quite as suitable for summer weather, but let’s face it: for those of us in the UK, there’s a good chance they probably will be.

 

The items on this page are all from the upcoming summer collections, so not all of them are available to buy right now (we’ve linked up the ones that are), but they will be soon, so if you failed to climb aboard the pastel bandwagon this winter, don’t worry, there’s still time. As we said, this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere fast…

pastel coats

Pastel Coats for summer 2014

01. Blue duster coat, £60 : Red Herring at Debenhams (not yet available)

02. Monsoon pink ‘Carina’ mac, £89

03. Yellow coat, £90 – Marks & Spencer collection

04. Lightweight pink coat, £60 – Bank Fashion

05. Pale pink trench, £75 – La Redoute

06. Lightweight twill coat, £75 – ASOS

07. Pink textured coat, £28 – George

You might also like…

Looks we Love: Colourful Pastel Coats

Wanted! Pastel coloured coats

STYLE SOS: How to wear pastel shoes

Style Trial: Pink Coats

Outerwear

Stylish Down Coats and Jackets: do they exist?

As the temperature plummets, the search for stylish down jackets begins…

January is a month when many of us feel like giving up on style altogether. When the temperatures are sub-zero, and the rain never seems to stop, all you want to do is either stay indoors, or bundle up in the warmest coat possible – who cares what it looks like?

If you DO care what that coat looks like, however, it can be easy to feel uninspired by the choices available. The warmest down coats always look more like giant sleeping bags than actual outerwear, and by this point of the year, even those “sleeping bag” styles can be hard to find, because so many brands have replaced them with summer stock which will be completely useless for several more months. What the style-loving cold-climate-dwelling woman to do? Do stylish down coats actually exist? And if so, where do you find them?

We’ll be honest here: while it IS possible to find relatively stylish down coats, “relatively” is the operative word here, and you’d probably want to put the word “stylish” in inverted commas, too. The coats on this page aren’t “stylish” in usual sense of that word, but we have managed to track down some coats which wouldn’t necessity be able to double as a duvet. For instance:

down coats

Miss Selfridge quilted coat, £69

Miss Selfridge describe this simply as a “quilted” coat, so it may not be quite as warm as the traditional down coat, but it should keep you warm in fairly cold temperatures. The bouclé sections on the arms and torso help add a touch of style to what would otherwise be a Michelin Man style marshmallow coat, but the faux-fur trimmed hood and quilted bottom half should help keep you cosy.

stylish down coats

LTB down jackets, £80

A more traditional down jacket, the belt on this one helps slim down the shape, making the silhouette much less bulky than many other jackets in this style.

Finally:

down jackets for winter

Bosideng down jackets, £100

A down jacket that looks like a blazer: what could be better than that? Other than, you know, ACTUAL blazers, obviously.

Do you have a down coat/jacket? Have you spotted any stylish ones? Or do you think that if it’s cold enough for down, it’s too cold to care what you’re wearing?

You might also like:

Five quick winter fashion fixes
How to stay stylish in winter
How to dress up your winter coat

Ask the Fashion Police, Outerwear

The Fashion Police’s Quick Guide to Coats (and how to wear them)

A quick guide to coats and how to wear them

With the Northern hemisphere now firmly in the grip of winter (even although it doesn’t officially start for another couple of weeks), chances are your trusty winter coat is seeing a lot of wear right now.

Coats and other pieces of outerwear almost become outfits in themselves at this time of year, and although that might make you think it doesn’t matter what you wear under them, think again: the wrong coat, with the wrong outfit, can make you look more like a badly-wrapped parcel than the stylish person we know you are. With that in mind, here’s our quick guide to coats, and how to wear them…

What kind of coat to wear with a midi dress/skirt?

what kind of coat to wear with a midi dress

Midi-length skirts and dresses have been popular for a while now, and we gave some advice on how to wear them here. Midis can be a little problematic when it comes to choosing outerwear: long coats generally aren’t quite long enough to cover the skirt, creating an awkward, “double hem” effect, which can look sloppy. In general, we’d say your coat should only be shorter than your dress if your coat is waist or hip length (i.e. it couldn’t possibly be longer than your dress if it tried), so rather than choosing a traditional long coat to wear with a midi dress, we’d suggest a short pea coat, or other hip/waist length style, which will keep the look streamlined. (This is also true of maxi skirts and dresses.)  This is only really true if the skirt in question is a tailored style, though, so moving on…

What if your midi has a full skirt? What coat to wear then?

which coat to wear with a full skirt?

Full skirts have enough volume on their own: the last thing you want to do is layer even MORE fabric over the top, so if your skirt/dress is full, look for a short coat or jacket with a defined waist. Coats and jackets which DON’T have “proper” waists will add bulk, and will literally make you look like a bundle of clothes on legs. The outerwear in the image would probably be best described as “jackets” rather than coats, but if you choose a thick wool fabric and layer appropriately underneath, they should be warm enough for short spells outdoors. With both of these longer-length dresses, or with maxi-length styles, you could, of course, also go for a full-length coat: there aren’t a huge amount of them around right now, and they can be rather heavy to wear, but they’d also work with this length of dress.

Which coat to wear with a skater dress?

what kind of coat to wear with a skater dress

Skater dresses are one of the easiest styles to choose a coat for as almost any coat that’s the same length, or longer than the dress, will work. We prefer flared coats over straight-cut ones: they follow the shape of the dress and if your skirt is wide, it won’t get crushed under the weight of the coat.

Which coat to wear with a mini skirt?

which coat to wear with a mini skirt

With very short skirts or dresses, the key is to choose a coat that’s either longer than the skirt, or significantly shorter than it – i.e. waist or hip length. Problems arise when skirt and coat are roughly the same length, creating that “I’m not wearing anything under this coat,” effect. With that said, a pair of opaque tights can solve that problem fairly easily, making the mini another item which gives you a range of outerwear choices.

Which coat to wear with trousers or jeans?

which coat to wear with jeans

This one could really be a post in itself, because there are so many different styles of jeans and trousers out there, but assuming you’re going with the ubiquitous skinny/slim style, well, you can pretty much go wild with your outerwear. There’s not much that won’t work with a pair of jeans or skinny: we like the boyfriend and cocoon coats which are everywhere right now, but you also can’t beat the good ol’ parka for warmth and weather-proofing!

Of course, it goes without saying that most of us don’t have an unlimited coat closet just bursting with endless options, and it would be silly to suggest that you should buy a different item of outerwear for every possible outfit combination. As always, these suggestions are purely that: suggestions,which we hope will be of some help if you’re wondering which style of coat will work best with your wardrobe, but which are far from being fashion “rules” of any kind. We also have to point out that these aren’t the ONLY styles of coat which would work with the items featured, so if you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them!

The Fashion Police's quick guide to coats and what to wear with them

How to..., Outerwear

How to dress up your winter coat

winter coats

Winter coats: Collectif

Remember Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf, and her amazing selection of outerwear? At this time of year, we often wonder why more people don’t take a leaf out of Blair’s book and turn their trusty winter coats into outfits all on their own, as opposed to simply the warm covering you use to HIDE the outfit underneath. We’re not suggestion you go all-out like Blair, of course, but when you spend so much time in a particular item of clothing, a few small touches can go a long way to making that drab winter coat look a little more glamorous. We’re talking about little things like…

Switching out the buttons

Many coats come with perfectly serviceable, but not particularly interesting, buttons. Switching them for something more stylish is one of those little details that can make a big difference, and it’s also quick and easy to do by yourself. You can find unusual buttons in haberdashery sections of stores, or try a search of your local thrift store: you may well find a cheap cardigan or jacket with some fantastic buttons which you can cut off and use. (Don’t forget to check the clothes that are already in your closet too, particularly any ones you’re thinking of getting rid of!)

Changing or adding a belt

Many coats come with their own belt, often in the same colour and fabric of the coat itself. There’s nothing wrong with those belts, but if you want to give your coat a different, or dressier, look, try ditching the belt it came with and adding one of your own instead, perhaps in a contrasting colour or fabric. This can be a really easy way to keep updating your look, and as a belt is a relatively small (and inexpensive) detail, you can afford to be a little more adventurous with it than you would with the coat itself.

Accessorizing with statement jewellery

We think nothing of adding brooches and necklaces to our regular outfits to make them a little more “fancy”, but very few people seem to take the time to accessorize their outerwear. Wearing a necklace over your coat might be a bit TOO “Blair Waldorf” for some, but if you can pull it off it, it will add instant glamour. Failing that, brooches or corsages are easy and effective ways to add interest to outerwear without looking too try-hard.

Updating your scarf collection

It’s almost too obvious to mention, but scarves don’t JUST keep you warm in winter – they also look good, too. Experiment with different ways to tie your scarf and use it as an accessory, as well as something warm. An oversized bow or creative braid can look much more stylish than simply stuffing your scarf under your coat. Lost for inspiration? Pinterest is your friend…

Got any tips on how to accessorize a coat? We’d love to hear them!

 

Outerwear, Wanted!

Wanted! Winter coats at Miss Selfridge

Faux fur collar full-skirted coats

Miss Selfridge full-skirted coats, £85

If you’re anything like us, the recent plunge in temperature here in the UK has got us just a little bit obsessed with outerwear. More so than we usually are, even.

The problem with winter coats is that, because they tend to be to pretty expensive, they can end up taking up a huge chunk of your clothing budget, and if you’re dropping that much money on something, you REALLY don’t want to make an expensive mistake. Enter this Miss Selfridge full-skirted coats. Not only are these reasonably affordable at £85 (No, it’s not what you’d call “cheap”, but it’s not easy to find a great coat for a whole lot less), they’re also the kind of thing that will be really easy to wear, all season long. We’re big advocates of brightly coloured coats, as we’ve mentioned, but as fabulous as they are, statement outerwear is probably something you should only consider once you have the basics nailed down – or if it’s a colour you’re really sure you’ll wear with absolutely EVERYTHING.

These coats come in basic black and an autumnal green/brown mix, and while the colours are great winter neutrals, the extravagant faux-fur collars and cuffs really help make them stand out, and give them a bit of a toned-down ‘Doctor Zhivago’ feel, which is always a good thing.

The fit n’ flare shape is a classic (and one of the few styles that looks good on most figures), and the leather (or leather effect, we can’t be sure) waist belts make a nice change from the wool self-tie belts we normally see on this style of coat.

Available in UK sizes 4 – 16, these are available now at Miss Selfridge, who are really impressing us with their outerwear at the moment: if you’re not keen on these ones, and share our appreciation for those brighter colours, their single-breasted coat comes in powder pink, baby blue and bright yellow, and also retails for £85: get it here.

winter coats

Miss Selfridge coats, £85

Outerwear

Random Roundup | Five colourful winter coats

When it comes to winter coats, dark colours tend to dominate. Why is this? We’ve never really understood why people seem to want to match gloomy weather to gloomy colours, but this season we’re pleased to see a number of exceptions to the general rule, with winter coats cropping up in just about every colour imaginable. Here are a few of our current favourites:

winter coats roundup: pink coat from ASOS

ASOS pink Dolly coat, £85

Pink coats are a big trend this winter, so there’s no shortage of them for those of you who love them.  This ASOS Dolly coat is a much brighter pink than some of the winter coats we’ve seen, but the classic shape and (comparatively) affordable price tag makes it our favourite so far.

blue winter coat

Miss Selfridge baby blue coat, £89

For those who prefer their brights a little less, well, bright, this baby blue coat from Miss Selfridge is an easy-to-wear option, with a bit of a 60s-inspired feel, thanks to the faux-fur collar and simple, swing shape.

red coat

BHS red winter coat, £50

BHS isn’t a store we tend to check out very often, but at just £50, this bright red single-breasted coat not only stands out amongst a sea of blacks and greys, it also stands out price-wise, too.

yellow coat

Fever Topsham Coat, £119.99

Fever are selling this coat in a range of different colours, but this yellow version is the one that grabbed our attention, for obvious reasons. In addition to the sunshine colour, this also has a pretty corsage detail at the neck, to help dress it up a little.

Louche Sydney coat

Louche Sydney coat, £130

Louche is another brand which can always be relied on to produce great winter coats, often in brighter-than-average colours. They describe their ‘Sydney’ coat as “blue”: it looks purplish to us, but whatever you want to call it, it’s a gorgeous colour – and a gorgeous coat, too.

Outerwear, Style On Trial

Style Trial | Bright yellow coats

We’ve already talked about pink coats as a fashion trend for this autumn/winter, but pink isn’t the only colour dominating the outerwear world right now: in fact, another, slightly less “safe” colour has also been cropping up on coats and jackets this season: we’re talking yellow, folks. Neon yellow, to be specific. Bright yellow coats are one of the slightly more unusual trends of the year, and we need to know what you think of them. First, however, let’s take a look at the evidence:

Bright Yellow Coats for winter 2013

bright yellow coats

Coats by Topshop // Orla Keily // Zara

Yellow itself isn’t an unusual colour for outwear, of course: in fact, mustard yellow is shade we see fairly often on coats and jackets – it has a nice, autumnal feel to it, and can be a more interesting alternative to the usual, darker winter colours. NEON yellow, however, is a different matter altogether, and the bright yellow coats we’re starting to see in stores are a far cry from that mustard pea coat you might have bought a few seasons ago. Yellow is a difficult colour in general for many people. Even in its less bright forms, it can be a tricky shade to wear, making some complexions looks a little sickly, and that in itself is enough to scare a lot of people off – for very good reason. Then there’s the sheer drama of the colour. Bright yellow is a shade that can’t help but get noticed, regardless of what it appears on: there’s no blending into the crowd in a coat this colour (unless everyone ELSE in the crowd is wearing bright yellow coats, too, obviously…), and if you go for one of the neon shades, you’re going to REALLY stand out. Whether that’s a reason to buy one, or a reason to avoid them is, of course, a matter of opinion. 

So, what IS your opinion on bright yellow coats? Do you see them as a refreshing change from all of the safer outerwear options, or would you feel too much like a workman in one, regardless of the shape?

Outerwear

Miss Selfridge bow detail coat

bow detail coat from Miss Selfridge

Bow detail coat, £79

Have you broken out the winter coat yet?

We generally try to hold out until October before getting into the “proper” winter gear (Not because we consider that to be a fashion “rule”, we hasten to add: purely because we love summer, hate winter, and want to avoid the layering for as long as we possibly can. After all, we’ll soon have months and months in which to wear coats and boots to our heart’s content: why rush it?), but even we’re starting to think we may not be able to hold out much longer, given the current freezing temperatures here in the UK. Which makes us start thinking about coats, naturally.

This little bow-pocket coat is from Miss Selfridge, and is one of the lower-priced pieces of outerwear we’ve seen so far, at just £79. It comes in two colours –  red and beige – and has a classic cut made just a little bit prettier by the bows on each pocket. Those bows will make this one far too cutesy for some of you (We reckon the red version has a bit of a “Little Red Riding Hood” vibe to it, but that might just be us…) , and it may not be the warmest coat you’ll ever own (As the price tag probably suggests, this is a polyester blend, not wool), but if it’s “cute” you’re after, it could make a nice autumn/early spring piece, and at least it’s a bit more fun than some of the coats around right now – and less expensive than most of them, too.

If you do fancy buying one of these, Miss Selfridge is currently offering free delivery on orders over £50, which this would qualify for. Just enter the code FREE50 at checkout to claim your discount.

Buy it here

Outerwear, Style On Trial

Style Trial | Pink coats

pink coats: fashion trend for winter 2013

We’ve already talked about pink as a colour trend in general for winter 2013, but there’s one area in which all of that pink is really going to dominate: outerwear.

For some, the pink coats will come as a welcome relief from all of the grey, black and navy that retailers usually try bombard us with as the weather gets colder. Why do fashion designers think that when the weather’s gloomy, we’re going to want our clothes to be gloomy, too? We will never know. What we DO know, however, is that they’ve recently had a change of heart: last winter saw an infusion of pastel coloured coats into the outerwear market, and this season the trend continues, but with just the one shade – baby pink.

The good news here is that baby/powder pink is much more wearable than it’s sister shades, ‘Pepto Pink’ and ‘Barbie Pink’, and while those colours will be represented this winter too, many of the coats on offer are pale enough to force us to screw up our eyes, squint at the screen and wonder, “Is that pink… or is it just beige?” The paler the pink, the easier it is to wear it, and to pass it off as just another neutral, but at the same time, there’s no denying that the BRIGHTER the pink, the more fun it’ll be to wear, too. If you like pink, that is.

And if you DON’T like pink? Well, chances are you’re getting some serious Elle Woods vibes from all of this, and muttering about how you wouldn’t be caught dead in such a stereotypically “girlie” colour. Happily, of course, you don’t actually HAVE to: there will be plenty of other colours for your coats, so you’ll still be able to find something to suit you, we’re sure.

Here’s a small selection of pink coats: don’t forget to tell us what you think of them!

Zara pink coat

Zara, £179

Ted Baker pink coat

Ted Baker, £299

pink coat by Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha, $1,465

Rochas pink coat

Rochas, $1870

Club Monaco

Club Monaco, $329

pink wool coat

Stills, £530

pink coat by Red Valnetino

Red Valentino, £544

Zara, $139

Zara, $139

Outerwear, Wanted!

Wanted Wednesday | H&M Trenchcoat

H&M trenchcoat

H&M trenchcoat, £69.99

At this time of year, as summer fades to fall (or starts to, anyway) trench coats are as ubiquitous as pumpkin spiced lattes and fashion bloggers gushing about how autumn is their favourite season. Why are we showing you this one, then? It’s not as if you need any help tracking down a trench coat right now, is it?

We’re showing you this one, because it’s a little bit special: so much so, in fact, that we were really surprised to find out it was from good ol’ H&M. With its deep yoke and full skirt, this has the look of a much more expensive brand, and while it’s certainly true that the price is a little higher than we’d generally expect from H&M, we’re going to cross all of our fingers and toes, and hope that the quality justifies the price tag. The fact that this is sold out online in beige (it’s still available in some sizes in black, however) gives us reason to believe that hope might not be in vain, but if you’d like to find out for yourself, you can either have a look for it in store, or simply do what we normally do in these situations: bookmark the page, and go back and check it every so often – you might just get lucky.

You also might just look like a female Sherlock Holmes in it if you’re not careful, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide.

wanted-wednesday

Outerwear

Closet Heroes: The Jersey Blazer

A closet hero is an item of clothing which, once purchased, quickly becomes indispensable to its owner. Here at TFP, we don’t believe that there are particular items which “every woman” should own: we’re all too different to need or want exactly the same clothes. We do, however, believe that most people have their own closet heroes, and in this regular column, we’ll be sharing some of ours: and hopefully some of yours, too….

Today we’re kicking off with one of our favourite items at this time of year: the jersey blazer.

jersey blazer

All blazers: Zara

Actually, we reckon there’s a convincing case to be made for ALL blazers to be considered as closet heroes, regardless of what they’re made of. Why? Well…

1. They’re classic.

2. But they come in so many different colours and prints that they can also look very contemporary, even “trendy”.

3. They have the ability to instantly smarten up almost any outfit, whether it be a pair of scruffy boyfriend jeans or a dress.

4. But they can also work just as well worn casually: long gone are the days when a blazer was considered a formal, slightly stuffy form of dress.

5. They’re affordable: or at least, they can be, depending on where you buy them. Sure, you can drop a few hundred pounds on a sharply tailored blazer if you really want to, but you can normally also find a pretty good selection at places like Zara (which almost always has a wide range in stock: in fact, blazers are one of the things the brand is best known for) or Topshop.

All of this, as we say, applies to most blazers. We, however, have a particular soft spot for jersey blazers, because, in addition to all of the above points, they’re just so comfortable and easy to wear. The soft fabric tends to stand up well to whatever you want to put it through: it doesn’t crease too easily, and it doesn’t go shiny at the elbows – or not nearly as quickly as some other fabrics, anyway. Because of this, jersey blazers are ideal for things like plane journeys (they’ll smarten up your outfit for the airport, but roll up into your hand luggage once you’re on board), or those days when you’re aiming for a smart/casual look, and want to look pulled together, but not overdone.

All of these reasons make jersey blazers a Fashion Police closet hero. Tell us, though: what are YOUR closet heroes? What’s the one item you find totally indispensable?

Outerwear

High Street Shopping: Topshop A-line 60s swing coat

mustard swing coat

We’ve been showing you a lot of coats lately, but given that those of us in the Northern hemisphere have reached that time of year when it’s impossible to leave home without one, we hope you’ll forgive us.

This coat is from Topshop, and combines a simple shape with a stand-out colour. Mustard is one of those shades that gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes. It definitely doesn’t work on everyone, but if it works on you, it can be surprisingly versatile, and will also provide a splash of pretend sunshine on days when the real sun won’t oblige. We can’t say no to that…

[Buy it]
Outerwear

High Street Shopping Pick of the Day: Oasis tweed padded jacket

Oasis tweed padded jacket

Staying stylish in the winter is no easy task, and if you’re anything like us, you might start out with the best of intentions, but quickly revert back to good old “comfort clothes” and anything at all that’ll keep you warm, regardless of what it looks like.

We’ve already shown you some cheap winter coats, plus some more expensive pastel-coloured ones, all of which will make great weapons in the style war against winter, but if you’re looking for a more casual option, we also really like this tweed padded jacket from Oasis, which is that all-too-rare thing: a padded jacket that actually looks stylish. Imagine!

We think this is a nice alternative to the traditional down jackets, which are definitely warm, but can make their wearers look like they’re walking around in a sleeping bag. This one, by contrast, has all of the warmth of a padded jacket, but it took us a few seconds to realise it actually was one, because at first glance it looks just like a tweed motorcycle jacket: score!

Will it be warm enough to stand up to even the coldest days? Only one way to find out…

[Buy it]