Jackets and coats are, of course, a mainstay in every woman’s wardrobe. Even if you live in the warmer areas of the Southwest and the Sunbelt, you’re still going to face some cooler temperatures occasionally. That is why having a year-round selection of coats and jackets that flatter you and your wardrobe is so important.
Do you need help choosing the most flattering outerwear? Read on to learn which coats and jackets work with both your body type and individual style.
What Jackets Should You Wear in the Spring?
Spring coats, in bright hues and cool styles, are a tantalizing breath of fresh air after the long, dreary winter. They also come in handy when it comes to battling the elements, since spring weather can be unpredictable—no matter where you live. That said, you may feel that it can be difficult to find a perfect transitional jacket once the weather warms up.
However, there are plenty of options that are sure to have you covered during this season that can feature frigid temperatures, 70-degree days and anything in-between. Here are some of the most popular coats for spring, ranging from the trendy to the classic:
In addition to wind, spring is widely dreaded for those inevitable April showers. Why not embrace them in style? Try a lightweight, oversized anorak raincoat that is cute enough to sport even on dry days. Or, opt for a translucent, tinted rain slicker that is as stylish as it is practical.
These coats have white stripes that are juxtaposed against cheery spring shades like cherry red and sunshine yellow. And, of course, you can never go wrong with the classic black jacket with white stripes. Celebrities are all-in when it comes to this high school throwback look and you should be, too.
Spring is not always sunny and can be quite windy some days. So, if you are starting to see storm clouds forming overhead, try a color-blocked windbreaker to brace the chill. The sporty look will keep you snug during those minor spurts of wind, and, once the sun reappears, you can simply fold it up and place it inside your backpack or handbag.
Bomber and Flight Jackets
These oversized icons (“Top Gun,” anyone?) are a go-to for keeping warm on a chilly spring evening, or if you are frequenting a place that overcompensates on the air conditioning, like a movie theater. Once you head outside, simply roll up the sleeves and keep cool.
Some ladies may not be fans of the tomboyish style of bombers, but may appreciate the middle ground that some contemporary brands have incorporated into the basic design. Embroidery feminizes the sporty look, as does pairing the coat with, say, a denim miniskirt and bright-hued chunky sandals.
Trench coats are as classic as the 1940s noir films that have inspired the trend. This rain-or-shine outerwear will never be out of fashion, and there is even a two-tone variant on the original that has been sweeping the runways lately.
Over the years, there have actually been numerous twists and updates to the original silhouette, but the trench is timeless, and it has been a springtime mainstay for generations, and it will be for years to come.
Utility jackets have dominated designer collections recently. The outerwear answer to cargo pants is adorned with many oversized pockets to carry smartphones, keys and credit cards. These oversized coats may be belted and come in a plethora of springtime shades. They are even lightweight enough to wear as shirts!
Pair them with a skirt, jeans or shorts while rolling up the sleeves and unbuttoning the top for a carefree, warm weather look.
Can you Wear Leather Jackets in the Spring?
Definitely! The leather jacket may have had its origins as the official outerwear of the rebel, but it’s so commonplace now that it has evolved into a must-have item in your wardrobe. They may not be what your mind automatically thinks of when you picture springtime fashion, but they are the perfect not-too-hot, not-too-cold answer to changing temps.
Stylistically, you just need to tone down the severity of your leather jacket. Think light. Think more feminine and daintier. Pairing a leather jacket with a flowing midi dress or a maxi skirt or other light materials keeps it from appearing heavy, dark and wintry. The contrast allows the outfit to appear airy and carefree.
Here are some other ideas to lighten your leather jacket for spring:
Match it with Pastels
This is a win-win! You can add some edge to an otherwise nonthreatening outfit and, at the same time, soften the edginess of the jacket for spring.
Try one item, such as a mint green peasant blouse, and match it with faded light-colored denim, your leather jacket and matching booties. It will all fit together, though it sounds quite mismatched. As a matter of fact, the contrast is actually what makes the ensemble interesting.
Place it with Patterns or Try Textures
Floral. Frilly. Funky. Spring collections have some of the best patterns and textures. Leather juxtaposed with a floral dress or paired with an embroidered, beaded jumpsuit really channels your inner Sarah Connor.
Choose Non-Black Leather
Here are some more style suggestions:
- Match a glamorous, printed, cropped leather jacket with a plain white tunic and black skinny jeans. Finish the outfit off with black, mid-calf boots.
- Try a biker jacket over an olive t-shirt with ripped skinny jeans and Doc Martens for a return to ‘90s grunge.
- Complete your time travel by taking the plunge into late ‘70s punk by pairing the same biker jacket and a little black dress with cutouts. Complete the look with rounded sunglasses!
Designers are even redesigning the typical leather jacket in ways that are much more warm weather friendly. Styles such as quilted, studded, perforated and cropped leather jackets are on trend and work well with spring staples like maxi dresses, capris and sandals.
Which Jackets are Best for Summer?
Ah, summer. This is the season that halter tops, bodycon dresses and Daisy Dukes rule, and a time when you probably haven’t given a thought to purchasing a coat or a jacket in a long while. But, as many of us know, there are areas that get a bit chilly late at night, and you need just a little something to keep toasty. As such, here are some of the best warm weather jacket options:
You can definitely use a cardigan sweater as a light, summertime jacket in a pinch. Maybe you’ll be out for a nighttime stroll on the beach, or having an intense evening conversation by the fire pit. It can get a bit chilly, and a thin knit cardigan can be the just what you need to keep snug.
Throw a hoodie on top of your daytime duds and look instantly cool and refreshingly young. They match nearly any casual outfit, but best offset jeans, joggers or shorts, especially when matched with a sporty pair of sneakers.
While darker denim hues signify that fall is here and winter is approaching, bright white denim is a summery staple. Try a cropped trucker jacket in white denim and pair it with shorts of any color, since it’s a neutral, or mix it with a cute floral frock for a timeless style.
Blazers are a year-round layer, but, as a jacket, they are certainly a warm-weather phenomenon. Choose summertime go-to fabrics, such as linen and silk, and opt for cheerful shades, like sky blue and lavender, to offset colors like navy and black.
Another option is a patterned blazer with matching pants or a coordinating skirt. You can also keep it casual by pairing it with distressed skinny jeans and cute sandals.
There’s a huge variety of blazers available, and not all of them are your typical office, workday fare. There is the cropped blazer that looks fabulous paired with jeans or a skirt, and the lapel-less blazer, which has seen growing popularity recently. The lapel-less style adds class and elegance to any ensemble and works as well at work as it does on the town.
Beginning in 2020, Instagram feeds filled with the shirt jacket, or “shacket,” which was designed especially for the warm weather that comes with summer. These are just the ticket when you just need a little something to keep the wind away.
Breezy and belted, the shacket can be fastened tightly or let loose to breathe. Either way is acceptable and fashion-forward. These oversized and comfy coats are great as outerwear or simply as a layering piece with a t-shirt or a crop top.
What Jackets Should You Wear in the Fall?
Autumn is a great time for pumpkin lattes, hayrides and great fashion. Fancy sweaters, draping scarves and fashionable boots are what usually spring to mind, but coats and jackets are an integral part of what makes fall both trendy and enjoyable. As such, here are some cute and cozy options for the months immediately after Labor Day:
Patent Leather Coats
This is the perfect jacket for a grand day walking around the city. Pair it with a loose top, statement jewelry, patterned leggings and thigh-high boots for a cool urban style.
Though they may not suffice in the colder areas of the country, like the Pacific Northwest or New England, sweater coats can be just what is needed during autumn in the milder areas of the South and Southwest. They are cozy and match so well with dresses, jeans or a leggings and thigh-high boots combo.
Wool Pea Coats
While it may seem too early to don a wool coat in the fall, there are definitely cold moments in the days that lead up to Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Try them in the typical neutral shades, such as black, camel and gray, and you’ll have a chic solution to match nearly everything in your wardrobe.
The denim or “jean” jacket is a wardrobe must-have. As a year-round staple, you should have one—if not many—in your closet. Autumn is certainly the best time to rock this jacket, as the rugged fabric is sure to keep you warm without overheating you. And, if the temperature rises, you can easily tie it around your waist or drape it over your shoulders.
To put a contemporary spin on a classic, designers are invoking longline and oversized silhouettes, along with puffy sleeves and added belts. Cropped denim jackets are popular, too—and match perfectly with on-trend high-waisted jeans.
A little light quilting is the cat’s meow when temps get a bit nippier. As a fall favorite, puffy jackets are extremely warm and toasty.
They are also extraordinarily fashionable, coming in several cheerful colors and many different lengths to suit your tastes.
How do I Choose a Winter Coat?
Aside from being warm and fashionable, a great winter coat must be flattering. Remember there are many coats that incorporate trends that are not necessarily right for every body type. Fit is a crucial element with winter coats, and tailoring can be costly. So, be sure to keep your particular body shape in mind before you go coat shopping.
If you are apple-shaped, you are widest around your middle, along with thinner legs and arms.
Since you may not have as defined a waist as other body types, you will probably want to draw eyes away from that particular area. A-line coats allow your waist to look slimmer and your thighs to appear sleeker.
Also, baggier fits, like cocoon coats, are a good way to go since they will accentuate your legs over your middle. Either way, if the hemline brushes the tops of your thighs, you will create an illusion of a svelte figure.
If you have an hourglass figure, your hips and busts are equal in size with a waist that is smaller than both.
An hourglass shape is desirable for many reasons. It was the standard of beauty in Hollywood’s golden age, and that, of course, is due to its lovely curves. As such, you will want to get a tailored coat that hugs your hips and bust. It will look great and it will prevent you from looking larger than you are. A bulky coat will skim your waist and you will look like you’re drowning in it.
Of course, the accessory of the season for coats is the belt, and choosing a coat with a sash can help flaunt your small waist, regardless of which fit you choose.
Like pear shapes, you don’t want a hemline that rises above the hips. You want to narrow them out, allowing the body to appear a bit straighter and more proportioned.
If you fit into a C-cup or larger, you would probably consider yourself large-chested.
Having larger busts means almost all clothing items in your size are completely out of proportion, and winter coats are no different. Finding the happy medium between a generous-enough fit and an overflow of fabric can be the difference between being just comfortable enough or having too boxy of a fit.
Instead, try flowing, belted designs to take the focus off your chest and redirect it to your legs and waist.
If you are pear-shaped, your hips are wider than your waist and busts.
To camouflage your hips, look for a coat that elongates your thighs and calves, like those with knee-length hemlines. Fur collar or open lapel coats can also simultaneously exaggerate your shoulders. These styles will give you an hourglass-like figure, by de-emphasizing your hips.
For example, trenches and double-breasted coats, with more volume and design on top, will align your chest and hips to balance out your figure.
Petite ladies should avoid bulky coats. These are typically not designed with those tiny ladies in mind. Shorter shapes, like cropped wool jackets and mid-thigh pea coats are the best choices for smaller women that do not want to appear overwhelmed with too much material. The last thing you want is to look like a little girl playing dress-up with Mommy's clothes.
Conversely, duster coats, though long, can really flatter a petite body. They must come in a slimmer cut, for the reasons listed above, but they flatter shorter women by creating long, clean lines that provide an optical illusion of longer legs, and, therefore, more height. Another way to do this is to incorporate a belt or sash. Defining your waist will also make your legs appear longer.
So, if you are petite, you can go long or you can go short, but never choose a coat with a mid-hip hemline. You would be cropping your legs visually, and it will make you appear even shorter.
Rectangular figures are most likely on the taller side. This typically means they are lean, with busts, waists and hips all about the same size.
If you happen to be on the taller side of the spectrum, you are fortunate because hemlines are of no consequence to you. You should try duster and cocoon silhouettes, which shorter ladies and other body shapes may not be able to pull off.
Just remember, since you don’t have much definition, you may opt to don a belted or tailored coat which will differentiate your waist from your bust and hips. And princess or swing-styled coats give you the look of curves in places where you may lack them.
Triangle figures have broad shoulders, along with smaller waists and hips. These ladies tend to have more of an athletic build.
If you fall into this category, you must realize that balancing your lower areas, such as your slight hips with your much more prominent torso, is the key to looking your best. Boxy coats will broaden your shoulders, and you really should reassign that volume to your thigh area.
A-line coats best serve your body type if the bottom half is more flared, or you could even try a swing silhouette, since both will give you the appearance of wider hips. Just remember, larger lapels and ornate collars should be avoided because they both add volume to your neck and shoulder areas.
What is the Best Color for a Winter Coat?
When it comes to winter, your winter coat is the key to building up your cold-weather wardrobe. One of the most important factors is the color of your coat.
So, what is the best shade? There really isn’t a perfect be-all and end-all answer. It mostly depends on what you are looking for, what looks best on you and what works with your existing wardrobe. Here are a few options to consider:
What if you are willing to experiment with color? Your cheerful, colorful coat can lift your spirits throughout the dreary winter season. Some designers even believe that if a piece does not bring you instant joy when you wear it, you should toss it out!
That may be extreme, but many people believe that colors can lift your mood exponentially. So, be sure to shop for the perfect coat the first time, and you will certainly bring some joy into your typical, dull winter workday.
You shouldn’t fear adding color, even if the thought alone breaks you out of your comfort zone. Just start slowly by not actually wearing your colorful outwear every day. Switch off with neutrals and work up your courage.
Many times, women avoid colors because they are afraid of looking like teenage girls, but this misconception is far from realistic. There are many simple ways to style a colorful coat in order to exude sophistication.
For example, an elegant idea is the monochromatic look. Pairing, for instance, a forest green coat with an evergreen sheath dress and matching pumps will look fantastic.
Conversely, bright red coats, and outerwear in other overwhelmingly bold colors, work best with black and gray. As statement pieces, bold coats should not compete for attention with other loud outfit components.
Some of the hottest colors include various shades of purple and lavender, burgundy, sky, deep and royal blue, as well as hot pink, which can actually double as a neutral. But, if you really want to stand out, you can try a sunshiny canary yellow, or a burnt orange, which is already the unofficial hue of mid-autumn.
Neutrals are a departure from basic black that allow a little bit of color, without committing to bolder tones that may make you uncomfortable. If you want to flirt with brighter hues, add pops if color, such as boots or a scarf in standout shades or funky patterns.
Brown, gray and navy are some of the most common winter coat neutral hues. Gray matches nearly everything, so it is a prime choice. Meanwhile, brown doesn’t really work with any shades of blue, and navy looks horrendous when paired with purple or burgundy.
Olive green has been gaining popularity as a neutral recently. It is beautiful in itself, but also makes a great gateway between black and the sage green that has been seen everywhere in 2020.
Camel is another trendy neutral that matches nearly everything. It’s a colorful alternative to black and gray that adds sophistication to any outfit—as long as the shade works well with your skin tone. When paired with red, camel tones really pop.
Then there is white. A wintry mainstay due to its snowy appearance, white is timeless and coordinates well with everything. You just have to wash it often because it will pick up dirt that would otherwise be invisible on darker-colored coats. You also have to be especially careful not to spill your morning coffee on yourself!
Coordinating with your Clothes
Matching your Skin Tone
In conclusion, there are so many varieties of outerwear available that what you should choose to wear all depends on your body type, existing wardrobe, complexion and personal style. Conduct a self-examination and take all these factors into consideration before purchasing your go-to coat each season. If you do this, you should find a flattering statement coat that tells the world all it needs to know about you!