Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the trenches

This week the first signs of fall approaching have shown themselves and it's got me thinking about one of my favorite things: jackets and coats. I love jackets and coats. I can't get enough of them- raincoats, trenches, peacoats- I love them all. My absolute favorite coat is a gorgeous vintage brocade with a fur collar that I got at a shop downtown last year. But I'll make sure to devote a post to that sometime in the future- trust me, it's that special. In the meantime, I'd like to offer some assistance to those of you out there as outerwear-obsessed as me.

First of all, you need to think of your outerwear as another outfit- that's what makes the cooler months so great. Trust me, this perspective can get you through the most dreary of winter days. Think of it this way: Your indoor clothes are one outfit, your outerwear is the second outfit- you get to look twice as fabulous all winter long!
Next, you need to stock your closet- not all at once, of course. Coats are investment pieces, so don't try to stock your closet full all at once. Today's focus is on the fall coat every woman MUST have: the trench. Trench coats have come a long way over the years and are as varied as the women who wear them. I like to wear a statement coat as opposed to the standard beige or black, however those neutrals are important to have because there are times when the statement coat might not be appropriate. (Funerals are a good example of an inappropriate place for a bright floral number.)
The most important thing with any garment is the fit, so choose a shape that flatters your figure. Length is also something to consider. If you're a little short, go with a shorter coat- no longer than knee-length- so that it doesn't overwhelm you. Once you have a shape that works for you, consider the fabric and then finally the details. Military details are all over the place this season, like on this fabulous trench from Target:
It's a steal at $39.99, but if white isn't your bag, don't fret- it's available in black plaid, too. And if you're like me and you like to wear a brightly colored coat, you're in luck because it's also available in light and bright blue options. I'm personally a fan of garments with particularly feminine details. This Betsey Johnson trench has a beautiful ruffle detail at the portrait collar and the cuffs as well as a bubble hem which is oh-so-chic these days:
It's available at Overstock for $74.99, which is admittedly nearly twice the cost of the Target trench above. However, it's Betsey Johnson! Depending on your budget, you may think it quite a splurge and you'd be right, especially considering the trendy details- even in black. Fortunately, Overstock also has this fabulous red trench by Laundry with the trendy military details done up in a very classic manner:At $57.99, this coat is a steal. Military details come and go, but these buttons are done in such a classic style, you'll have this coat forever. And red is always in fashion. If you have it for five years (and trust me, you will), it basically costs you about $10 a year. Seems like a reasonable amount to me! Of course, you may want to plan on spending a little more for a winter weight trench in a nice wool. Personally, I like classic, but I prefer standing out and the easiest way to accomplish that is to wear a bold print. Plaid, floral, paisley- whatever suits my mood- I'm happy to don it. And you should be, too!

Finally, there is a coat I simply have to share with all of you. I typically try to keep my recommendations on the low financial end, but every now and then you need to see the high end if for no other reason than to be inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship. So to wrap up this post, I'd like to leave you with a trench by the folks who made the trench coat what it is today: Burberry. If money were no object, I'd have this coat in my closet tomorrow. It's available at Bluefly for a mere $1,036.00, a decent savings off the retail price of $1295.00. It may be a bit pricey (understatement), but it sure is pretty (understatement). I love everything about this coat- the color, the cut, the toggle closures, the stand-up collar, the length, the belt- everything.
I may not be able to afford it, but I can appreciate it- and so can you! Good luck searching for the perfect trench. If you are looking for something specific, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to recommend some places to look. Bye for now!

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