FINDING MY NEW WINTER COAT : PART 1


I often say this, but I should have been born in LA, or any destination that has sunny weather the majority of the year. Cold weather and I just don’t get on. My ears hurt when the air is chilled, my lips seem to get chapped as soon as the leaves start to turn, and my skin resembles corn beef as soon as the temperature drops below 15 degrees. I’m genuinely about 90% grumpier during Autumn and Winter. 


Before I fall into rant mode and fully depress myself (and you), let’s talk about the positives. We can utilise all those accessories 


Although I have visited Centrale a number of times, I still found it useful to use the PLUS app available on iTuneshttp://apple.co/1OVqiLf) or Google Play ( http://bit.ly/1J1lqpS to work out where I wanted to shop. By clicking on the fashion tab I was given a list of shops within the store, which revealed my main destination to hit were House of Fraser, Debenhams and Zara. 

So let’s get shopping shall we?


White Trend

Knowing my clumsy ways, and my inability to have a meal without spillage, it would be very irresponsible to purchase a coat of the white variety. Prior to today’s shopping trip I felt fairly strong willed regarding my decision to ignore this particular trend. Having tried a few examples at Centrale Croydon today, I’m feeling less confident at my ability to ignore it’s appeal. 


If you manage to sidestep the risks of looking like a over theatrical Snow Queen character, a butcher, or mad scientist, then white can deliver all sorts of wondrous aesthetics. The AW15 catwalks white hot numbers, from Donna Karan’s chic shearling number, to Fendi’s refined princess coat and Louis Vuitton’s show-topping snowy furs. Quite wisely many of the high street brands I visited have opted for slightly less stark options, veering towards milk, cream and off white. 




At Dorothy Perkins in Debenhams they had an allover cream furry coat, which turned any wearer into an adorable sheep and made you feel like you were getting a warm hug. 




Red Herring offered up a very luxe looking off white Shearling jacket, which had a fur lining so soft I insisted my camera man gave it a lengthy stroke. 




Nine by Savannah Miller (at Debenhams) deliver a an effortless approach to style. A simple, boxy coat given edge via a trim of leather. 




At H&M things to a classic turn with a wool funnel coat. A very chic and wearable silhouette that will return season after season. 




My favourite white coat came from the ever reliable Zara, who have been my go-to destination for outerwear for the last few season. This coat managed to seek out the perfect balance between fitted and mannish. It has that high fashion oversized fit, but still manages to flatter the female body. I loved the contrasting buttons and the roomy pockets. I’ve been fooled into purchasing coats with those trick pockets too many times!


Military Trend


The good thing about partaking in the Military trend is that you can view a purchase as an investment (and therefore feel less guilty about spending a bit more). It is a permanent fixture of the A/W catwalks, and for good reason. A quality military coat, with it’s strong tailoring and feature buttons, looks smart enough to wear with evening or work wear, but looks just as fabulous worn with alongside your off duty style of jeans and your favourite leather boots. 


My mother is always overly supportive when I veer towards the military trend for my winter coat purchase, knowing that she’ll probably want to ‘borrow’ it on regular occasions. And that’s the thing about this trend, it really does compliment all ages. 




In H&M there was a classic Reefer jacket in it’s trademark Navy. A timeless shape but the buttons didn’t quite pop enough for me. If possible I like my Military coats to be accessorised by metallic buttons. 


Star by Julian McDonald gave us the ‘wow’ moment of the day with an elegant long black military coat covered with rows of shining silver buttons. It was impossible not to swish the length of material as you admired yourself in the mirror. A dramatic and sophisticated option….If only if I had the occasions to warrant adding it to my wardrobe. 

Full Length


When I think of full length coats, I think of Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, walking in the rain, with the bottom of her dress muddied, about to get snogged by Mr Darcy. Anything that gets me closer to being like Keira Knightly….and closer to kissing Mr Darcy for that matter, has a definite appeal!! That said, if you aren’t particularly tall, like me, you may struggle with this trend. To ensure it isn’t dragging on the floor, it may be vital to wear heels, which isn’t possible for everyone. I wasn’t blessed with ability to walk in heels and still look like a feminine and upright human, so I’m sad to say…I’m out. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun trying some on. 


I think many of the high street stores have cottoned on to the fact that a mid calf length is a bit more practical, with numerous options wisely resting a fair few inches above floor level.  




Red is usually a bit to bold for me, but I developed a bit of a crush on this rouge cardigan coat. I love the effortless feel of the shape and the way it draped over the body. 



Another coat that was way out of my comfort zone was this vivid purple knee length coat from Star at Julian McDonald. I was tempted to make a purchase because it made such a stunning statement, and jewel tones always work wonderfully in the colder months. I also liked the addition of the belt, which can useful to reduce bulk and lack of female silhouette that can occur when layering in cold weather. 


Tweed


From everywhere from Chanel to Topshop Unique, we saw designers rethink the heritage fabric. So don’t worry, you don’t have to look like an extra from a Made In Chelsea clay pigeon shooting scene.


The great thing about a fine close knit tweed design is that it is neutral enough to pop over prints. They also work surprisingly well over girly dresses, teamed with flat boots, brogues or loafers, with cuteness overload achieved when adding a cosy beanie. It’s that charming mix-matched, part bohemian/part geek look that is frightfully endearing. I can’t help but recall Carey Mulligan’s wardrobe in Never Let Me Go. 


If you want to channel  Katherine Hepburn androgyny then a full length coat hanging over trousers and a shirt will do the trick. Depending on the cut of the coat itself the addition of fur can gift a coat with added cuteness or luxe glamour. If you love the concept of bringing a traditional fabric a revamp then vibrant or abstract takes on the weave will pack a punch. 




Henry Holland at Debenhams was one of my favourite tweed finds of the day. The graphic is slightly oversized, but the fabric is still fairly traditional. What made it feel current was it’s relaxed and slouchy manner. I love the optional addition of the the  maroon and black colour. 




Red Herring had numerous Tweed options on display, proving how big a trend it is due to be over the coming months….




Another fine tweed coat came courtesy of Therapy (House of Fraser). This 

was another potential purchase, because I have a bit of a love affair with teal at the moment. 




This coat from Linea had a very grown up and sophisticated feel about it. It differed from the others due to it’s lack of collar, and would be great purchase for those lucky enough to regularly attend events that require smart dressing. It felt like the perfect coat to layer over a classic shift dress. I love how the tweed lines looked like they’d been sprayed .


Now this Zara one really embraces the tweed update, by combining different tweed patterns together. Due to the thickness of the material, you may argue this is a jacket, not a coat, but it was too good a discovery to leave out!


Touches of Fur


Thanks to this particular trend you don’t have to choose between practicality and glamour. 

On the catwalks we saw endless headline-grabbing, full-onfurs, which would the perfect accompaniment to  party dress come Christmas office party season. 


For the less daring, there are equally desirable options to be found at the subtler end of the spectrum though. Trims, cuffs and collars are a subtle way to introduce these tactile textiles into day wear. 




If you seek out a casual parka to throw on when carrying out your tiresome daily cuties, then you will have no trouble finding one. The high street is awash with  of boyish hooded coats like this one  I tried on in Gap. This definitely doesn’t tick the Glamour box, but some days our lives just don’t justify it. 




This Armani Jeans (House of Fraser) dark shearling coat wins the award for the most snuggly coat of the day. It was so thick you felt you were wearing a transportable sleeping bag (in a good way). The inner lining is so beautifully soft, and the overall look found the perfect balance between comfort and style. 



Okay, so this has more than a bit of fur, but I just couldn’t resist. As a lover of retro fashion, Biba has always been a favourite design house. This isn’t a coat for wallflowers, and if worn incorrectly could have a touch of the Pat Butcher about it. However with that animal print and excess of fluff, it has the ability to turn you in to a showbiz diva. 



This hot pink biker jacket was given extra luxe appeal that to its raven fur collar. It comes with a matching mini skirt if you enjoy a two piece. Instant sass appeal. 



Not quite a winter coat, due to it’s severe lack of sleeves, but what a stunner it is. Over the last few years we’ve seen a lot of these waistcoat style coats, and bloggers and fashionistas continue to adore them because they are extremely useful layering device. 



This Next fur collared grey coat will look stunning set against pastel ensembles. Its muted tone makes it a great all rounder that will never go out of fashion.


So what did I buy???


Predictably Zara received my style salute for this trend. I thought that this pale green military coat, while being on point trend-wise, was a neutral enough colour to go with most of my outfits. The length makes it a perfect day coat too, perfect for teaming with the dresses and skirts I wear as well as trousers. It also had the all important midas touch… aka gold buttons. 




There are some really tempting offers on the PLUS app right now that are definitely worth checking out:

£5 off at JOY The Store

50% off at RUSH Hair

Complimentary Make-up at Lancome


So make sure you download Centrale PLUS app available on iTunes ( http://apple.co/1OVqiLf ) or Google Play  http://bit.ly/1J1lqpS  before your next visit.


*This is a sponsored post 


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