InStyle’s Fashion Director Cindy Weber Cleary has been a fashion editor for the past 20+ years. Needless to say, she’s picked up some tricks along the way. Catch her column here each week for how-to tips and style secrets on her favorite, timeless styles.
Buying a winter coat is a big decision as you will probably wear it more often than almost any other garment in your closet. Therefore, you should think carefully about what you need and buy the best quality that you can afford.
Many women tend to think of their outerwear as what they put on over an outfit to keep warm, but you should really think of a coat as an important statement of your personal style. When you walk into a client meeting, a parent-teacher conference, a charity luncheon, an interview, etc., your coat telegraphs a message about who you are—and you should dress around it (meaning your accessories should complement your coat as well as your outfit).
whistles.com; Stella McCartney coat, $1,593, mytheresa.com; Topshop coat, $240, us.topshop.com.
I Feel Bad About My Neck!)
farfetch.com; J.Crew coat, $350, jcrew.com; Maje coat, $865, net-a-porter.com.
Celine at top) or soft and cozy. Nothing is more feminine than this waist-defining shape. These work well over slim separates or full ones such as an A-line skirt or slouchy trouser. Fuller skirts and pants need a narrow waist to keep the volume under control.
net-a-porter.com; Sandro coat, $845, us.sandro-paris.com; Reiss coat, $595, reiss.com.
Once you have one of these “forever coats,” feel free to try trendier outerwear options. This season there are also gorgeous shearlings, cozy puffers and dramatic statement coats in vivid colors and patterns.
Runway inspiration (at top): Celine