Style / Trends

Keepsake Coats: The Love List

When I look in my overstuffed closet, the only category of clothing that makes me feel truly accomplished, sartorially speaking, is my rack of coats. Only a few short winters ago, I was creeping outside in linty pea-coats and hand-me-down corduroy jackets, but somehow I built up an impressive collection of statement coats. Most of the time, my outerwear is much nicer than whatever clothing I'm wearing underneath, probably because my awesome coats make me a little lazy when it comes to the rest of my winter wardrobe. When I was trying to figure out my Halloween costume, I looked at my coats: did I want to be a snowman? A Georgia O'Keefe painting? A fairy princess? All of that was possible.

I change coats the way most people change their underwear and sorry to get braggy, but the compliments abound: people don't actually even compliment me on my coats anymore, they just compliment me on the number of coats I own. When my roommate sneaks clothes out of my closet when I'm out of town (the ultimate compliment), she goes for my coats. So you get it: coatscoatscoats.

Since outerwear isn't photographed as often as dresses or separates on magazine covers and in editorials (American Vogue's past two winter issues, for December and January, were set seaside) you might not know that coats are pretty much the key to stylish winter wear. In fact, whatever you're wearing underneath can be as cozy and understated and schleppy as you like during the chilly season, as long as you're wearing a great coat.

I find coats through many means—by pilfering people's closets, thrifting, sales, eBay—but here, I've rounded up some great keepsake coats available through more mainstream means. The trick to finding keepsake coats is to choose ones that are truly gorgeous—the way you might choose a dress—but to avoid any overly trendy prints or silhouettes that'll be out of date by next winter. Remember: you're building up an arsenal of coats to win the war against winter for the rest of your life, not just the battle against the coming months. Some of the options below are pricey, but I think they've all got some serious longevity. 

Keepsake Coats

1. Burberry Metallic Trench Coat – $1,495
This is maybe the least essential of all the options, but it's a showstopper. This is a party coat, a coat for a night out with friends, a coat for when you just want to treat yourself. This shiny, solid gold jacket is also ultra-tight, so it could turn vulgar if it isn't styled right. If you're ever lucky enough to own it (or something similar) pair it with some chunky boots and thick tights to keeps things tasteful. This is also a great option for anyone already thinking about next year's Halloween costume, and hoping to dress up as a very stylish coin.

2. Bottega Veneta Hook & Eye Shearling – $7,900

This suede coat is a non-vegan option, but the copper color is worth paying attention too. Cut in a super-straight silhouette over-set with hourglass shaped shearling panels, this achieves the holy grail of coatdom: it's warm, non-fussy, awesome to touch, beautiful, and flattering. If I had eight thousand dollars, I'd be sold.

3. Alexander McQueen Bouclé-tweed coat – $6,395

Bouclé-tweed is one of fashion's outerwear fabric staples, but this Alexander McQueen take on the classic is worth lusting after. The padded shoulders and sturdy material will stand up to the passage of time, and the long, fitted shape will do something few coats have the courage to do: flatter your body.

4. Yves Saint Laurent Cutaway Trench Coat – $2,990

Everyone needs a trench coat, but this trench coat needs you. You'll be a walking dream. Like any good trench, this one's well-fitted, long, belted, and double-breasted—but while most trenches are beige or army green, this one has a little extra oomph: it comes in navy, adorned with festive brass buttons.

5. Nau Down Stole -  $161 (on sale from $230)

Since I'm so fond of my bed, this down stole really makes my heart sing a little. Can I even say that about a coat? Sure. Not only are the unconventional shape and sleeve length sure to garner lots of attention (the stole is available in three great colors: gray, black, and rusty red), it'll also make you feel like you're snuggled up in bed while everyone else is running around shivering. You won't just be snug, you'll be smug, too.

6. J. Crew Authier Parka – $935

Not every coat needs to be so girly that it'll make strangers fawn. For Sunday morning walks, trips out of the city, or lunch dates, you need something laid-back. This coat was originally developed for military use, so it's super-warm and waterproof. And the elegant, simple design is nothing to sniff about.

 


Yves Saint Laurent Cutaway Trench Coat

Everyone needs a trench coat, but this trench coat needs you. You'll be a walking dream. Like any good trench, this one's well-fitted, long, belted, and double-breasted—but while most trenches are beige or army green, this one has a little extra oomph: it comes in navy, adorned with festive brass buttons. $2990


Burberry Metallic Trench Coat

This is maybe the least essential of all the options, but it's a showstopper. This is a party coat, a coat for a night out with friends, a coat for when you just want to treat yourself. This shiny, solid gold jacket is also ultra-tight, so it could turn vulgar if it isn't styled right. If you're ever lucky enough to own it (or something similar) pair it with some chunky boots and thick tights to keeps things tasteful. This is also a great option for anyone already thinking about next year's Halloween costume, and hoping to dress up as a very stylish coin. $1495


Bottega Veneta Hook & Eye Shearling

This suede coat is a non-vegan option, but the copper color is worth paying attention too. Cut in a super-straight silhouette over-set with hourglass shaped shearling panels, this achieves the holy grail of coatdom: it's warm, non-fussy, awesome to touch, beautiful, and flattering. If I had eight thousand dollars, I'd be sold. $7900


Alexander McQueen Bouclé-tweed coat

Bouclé-tweed is one of fashion's outerwear fabric staples, but this Alexander McQueen take on the classic is worth lusting after. The padded shoulders and sturdy material will stand up to the passage of time, and the long, fitted shape will do something few coats have the courage to do: flatter your body. $6395


Nau Down Stole

Since I'm so fond of my bed, this down stole really makes my heart sing a little. Can I even say that about a coat? Sure. Not only are the unconventional shape and sleeve length sure to garner lots of attention (the stole is available in three great colors: gray, black, and rusty red), it'll also make you feel like you're snuggled up in bed while everyone else is running around shivering. You won't just be snug, you'll be smug, too. $161 (sale)


J. Crew Authier Parka

Not every coat needs to be so girly that it'll make strangers fawn. For Sunday morning walks, trips out of the city, or lunch dates, you need something laid-back. This coat was originally developed for military use, so it's super-warm and waterproof. And the elegant, simple design is nothing to sniff about. $935

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