Prep for winter with these style trends, coat care tips
In the winter, one of the first things people notice about you is your coat.
It’s a portion of your outfit that you wear every day, and many have four to five in rotation — or less if you're talking about heavy winter gear.
It goes without saying that your coat should be warm. You should never sacrifice warmth for style. But there are definitely coats out there that are both functional and chic, and when all coats are a large investment, you might as well choose one that gives you the whole package.
And we certainly don't treat said coats with the respect provided to our other clothes. They wind up muddy or crumpled in a corner. When's the last time you actually had a coat cleaned? I’m as much a culprit as anyone, and I'll be the first to admit it's been over two years.
In the coat realm, there are some closet staples that you still need, as well as some new styles to consider. Plus, I’ve included my best coat care tips below.
New coat trends
Two options reigned supreme on the red carpet this year: duster coats and faux fur.
A duster coat is basically just an extra-long overcoat. It’s handy in southeast Michigan, where the weather is brutal and you want every inch of your body covered. Designers showed them in classic colors like black and gray, but they also went rogue with bright hues like peach.
Faux fur also popped up on every shape of outerwear, from bomber jackets to overcoats. Neither of these options is as warm as puffy coats, so you'll want to choose options that are thickly lined. Faux fur is best in traditional colors, but after years of wearing neutral overcoats, you may want to shake things up.
Right now, I’m basically wearing my trench coat every day. A classic tan trench is number one on my list of coats everyone should own. October is a little past peak season for buying a trench coat, even if you're still wearing it like crazy, so there may be a few sales out there right now.
Although the popularity of brands like The North Face and Patagonia is a little absurd in that most people do not suddenly find themselves on a mountain adventure, the coats are admittedly very warm and well suited for activities like football games. My fleece jacket is usually my go-to for weekends.
Then there's the puffy coat, which has recently made some strides in not making you look like a marshmallow. Belts, in general, can help with this problem and this is also useful advice when you're wearing a fur jacket.
Caring for coats
In a perfect world, you would have gotten your coat dry-cleaned at the end of the season in order to properly store it. I didn't do that, so I'm guessing the majority of you didn’t either, but it's a good habit to get into. The longer stains sit there, the tougher they are to get out. It's also a good practice to carry Shout wipes or other stain remover with you for quick removal of small spots. Be sure to test it on the inside of your coat to make sure there's no discoloration.
To avoid disaster, reserve certain coats for certain occasions. Anytime you're going to have to put a jacket somewhere other than a coatrack or expose it to smoke, grease or other strong smells, wear something that is washable (i.e., not your brand new wool parka with the fur hood).
Finally, wear the right coat for the weather. Light snow is fine on wool or leather (although the leather would ideally be treated), but you don't want to wear these fabrics in heavy snow or rain because they can get damaged.