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Winter's top coats
7:00am Saturday 6th October 2012 in NewsXtra
Wrap up warm for the new season. Lisa Haynes looks at this season's most stylish winter coats.
It may not be frosty just yet, but you'll be left out in the cold if you don't bag a winter coat sharpish.
With the best buys long gone by November, it's worth bucking the trend of being fashionably late.
While the primary function of a winter coat is keeping you warm and protected, a good coat is the ultimate style statement too, and has the power to reinvent your entire look.
As something you'll be wearing over and over again, hopefully for years to come, it's worth investing and taking time to choose the right one for you.
Just about every key trend of this season can be tapped into through a stylish cover-up, meaning you don't have to go overboard with a whole new wardrobe.
Choose your favourite look and let your winter coat do all the leg (and arm) work.
:: Russian romance
Costume film epics like Anna Karenina are a masterclass in dramatic overcoats.
Think rich, luxurious fabrics adorned with intricate embroidery and elegant embellishment that scream high society - perfect for the party season.
Faux fur is another way to channel Russian romance. Stick to longer length coat styles in versatile shades of ivory, brown or black.
If you don't want to go for full-on fur, look to faux fur details on statement collars.
Styling tip: If you're conscious of the widening effect of a bulky fur coat, try a belt to nip in the waist and add some shape.
:: Country classics
Let Downton Abbey and country living be your inspiration this winter.
Tweed coats, heritage checks, wax jackets and quilted cover-ups all feature heavily on the high street.
Work with your own wardrobe to find the country coat to suit your style. Unless you're a clashing whizz, stick to tweeds and neutral coats if you like wearing prints but try statement heritage checks if you veer towards plainer clothes.
Styling tip: Be wary of accessories. Going the whole hog with riding boots, flat hat and tweed extras might be countryside overkill.
:: Gothic glamour
Go back to black this winter. This season the mood is dark and dramatic and, short of opting for Count Dracula's cape, a slick black coat is the easy way to work the gothic vibe.
Glossy fabrics like leather, patent and PVC effortlessly work dominatrix chic.
If you prefer a matte fabric, keep the shape long and flowing for guaranteed dramatics as you strut. Whatever your fabric, follow the catwalk's lead and keep your silhouette belted and strong.
Styling tip: Morticia Addams shouldn't be your style icon so avoid an all-black outfit and keep your hair and make-up fresh and natural.
:: Military mode
Stand to attention and battle the cold in a military coat this winter.
It's no surprise that military-esque features translate so well to cover-ups with the sharp tailoring, strong shoulders and brass button detailing.
Bright, soldier red isn't in keeping with this season's military mood. Instead, stick to longer length coats in dark green, navy or black for extra longevity.
Ensure your new winter uniform carries the essential shiny brass buttons for uplifting detail.
Styling tip: If you're opting for a double-breasted style, ensure you try the coat both open and closed for the perfect fit.
:: Jewel gems
Opt for an uplifting rainbow-hued, bright coat to perk up the dark nights.
Go against this season's dark mood with jewel-toned jackets.
No matter what you're wearing underneath, a splash of cobalt blue, tangerine orange, emerald green or tomato red will transform your look instantly.
If a block colour feels too out-there, look out for this season's ombre numbers with graduated colours ranging from black to bright detail at the bottom.
Styling tip: Place the jacket under your face to see if your chosen bright complements your colouring and brings out your features.
:: Mannish behaviour
Androgyny meets femininity for a thoroughly modern coat silhouette.
Think oversized, exaggerated shapes as if you're wearing something borrowed from your man's wardrobe - only infinitely more stylish.
Look out for classic masculine shapes like tailored Crombie coats, or try a boxier silhouette like a cocoon coat, but always remember to keep what you're wearing underneath fitted and sleek to balance out the proportions.
Styling tip: A pair of heels will keep things sexy and ensure your oversized coat doesn't drown you.
Get the look
Sunflower yellow proved to be the red carpet colour of choice at the Emmys. Follow best actress (and blooming mum-to-be) Claire Danes's winning look in Ted Baker's Oro pleated maxi dress, £129 (0845 130 4278/www.tedbaker.com).
Buy it now
Get on your bike in style. Fashion Week favourite Giles Deacon has collaborated with Sky Ride to design an exclusive cycling accessory. A modern take on the bicycle basket, his limited edition cycling bag features on-trend snakeskin and reflective material, priced £40, available from October 8 (www.goskyride.com).
:: Style SOS
Forget the song Stand By Your Man - 'style up your man' would be more fitting these days! Almost two thirds of British women admit to dressing their man, because his fashion sense is either non-existent, outdated, ill-fitting or inappropriate, according to a new survey by men's styling service www.thechapar.com. Almost 40% of women admitted that they bought all their partner's clothes and 62% confessed they had made their husband get changed before leaving the house on more than one occasion.
:: Vamp icon
Twilight star Kristen Stewart has not only captured the world's attention with her dramatic love life but with her wardrobe too. The actress tops the fashion charts as the most searched-for celeb style, according to www.mycelebrityfashion.co.uk. Over the past three months other popular celebrity fashionistas include X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos, actresses Zooey Deschanel and Emma Watson and model Miranda Kerr.
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