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Choosing the perfect winter coat:

A coat is an essential item for the winter wardrobe - but make sure you buy one which lasts.
By Motherpedia
Date: July 03 2014
Tags: fashion, shopping,
Editor Rating:

The cooler – if not COLD – weather has hit in many parts of Australia. Thoughts turn to ways to keep warm and that includes the best winter fashion. We think of boots, wool, cashmere, leather, gloves, scarves and, of course, a lovely winter coat.

Because it’s such a seasonal item, a coat can be an expensive purchase so you want it to last for years and not be something you get rid of after one or two seasons.

With so many different lengths and styles to choose from, selecting the perfect winter coat can be a challenge. It’s important to find something that suits your body, wardrobe and lifestyle.

Here are some tips on how to pick the best coat for you.

1.  This might sound silly – but know why you’re buying the coat

Sure, it’s to keep warm! But ask two questions:

  • “What function does my coat need to fulfil?”.Is it a coat to wear to work everyday or a casual one?
  • “What level of warmth do I need this coat to provide?”. You can still be fashionable and sensible at the same time, so if you’re choosing a coat to get you from work to home via public transport or walking, make sure it gives you the warmth you need.

2.  Be realistic and choose a style of coat that will suit your shape and size

If you’re shorter, go for a coat that’s knee length, as long coats can swamp your frame.

Ankle-length coats can look quite dramatic and flattering if you’re tall. Don’t be afraid to emphasise your stature, and choose options that complement your shape!

4.  Be mindful of colour

There’s a huge array of bright coloured coats on the market but certain colours will go out of fashion (and fast!).

Aim for classic colours like black, brown, navy and cream – they’ll never date. This way your coat will be timeless and easy to coordinate with a number of pieces in your wardrobe for years ahead.

5.  Pockets are good

Never underestimate the value of oversized pockets. On those freezing cold days, you need somewhere to stuff your beanie, gloves and scarf. Tiny pockets aren’t practical … lost gloves and chilly hands would make for a long winter!

6.  Make sure there's room to move

Ensure your jacket closes. This might sound obvious, but some people buy coats and then leave them open – generally to allow others to catch a glimpse of the ever-so-nice outfit worn underneath.

That might be okay on some days or nights, but when it’s really cold – and the wind is coming off the NSW or Victorian Alps or Ben Lomond in Tassie - you need to be able to fasten your coat - whether it buttons, snaps, or zip - and perhaps under several layers of other warm gear.

This fashion advice is courtesy of a range of retailers at Uni Hill Factory Outlets in Melbourne. For more information visit

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