When it comes to winter apparel shopping, coats rank as one of the bigger-ticket investment purchases that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But, the expectation is that they'll last you for years, not just a single season. That's why we turned to Hollywood power stylist Cristina Ehrlich (her A-list clients include Allison Williams, Amy Adams, and Margot Robbie) who gave us a step-by-step guide on how to shop for the perfect topper that won't leave you with buyer's remorse.
1. Avoid Trends.
"The goal is to buy one coat that will get you a lot of mileage—a practical investment rather than a one-hit wonder. Statement coats you see on the runway, like the big tent-like coats at Celine or printed ones at Mary Katrantzou, are fine, but start with the basics first."
2. Fall for a Neutral Color Palette
"A black or navy coat will always work. But for something that's a little bit more fresh, try a beautiful heather gray, camel, light army green, or cream."
3. Find a Silhouette That Works for All Occasions
"For a practical investment, the best route you can take is a coat that ties around the waist, that's minimal in the front, and has a nice collar. The belt creates shape and it works with everything—a pantsuit, a cocktail dress, and a pencil skirt and blouse. If you don't like the robe coat, then a slim double-breasted one with nice buttons is great too. Fitted coats always look better than oversized ones."
4. Stick with Sleeves That Have a Looser Fit
"I tend to go with coats that aren't too fitted in the arms, in case you want to layer underneath."
5. Keep Length in Mind
"Gravitate toward coats that hit at the knee or just above the knee. Those are the most flattering and they're the most functional. The long ones to the ground are tricky—they're chic—but they aren't functional unless you have access to 24/7 car service."