So, here we are again. Ushering in the cooler days and evenings with brisk walks in the cold, rediscovering the particular tang of pumpkin spice and browsing supermarket aisles for just the right spider’s web. And all of it done within the confines of a coat.
Choosing the coat you’ll be living in for an entire season (and hopefully far beyond) is no mean feat. It’ll be your life belt; your right-hand man; your refuge. It’ll go with you through your life for the next six months, accruing lint in its pockets and – for a brief period – a poppy on its lapel. Good thing then, that designers in New York, London, Milan and Paris have given us such a wealth of inspiration to consider as we make our decisions.
Carven, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga
Though compared to its more discreet brothers and sisters the puffer coat featured considerably less on the runways, its relative absence in the world of fashion in the past decade has seen magazines greet its return with great pomp and circumstance. Characterised by its quilted exterior and stud front fastenings, the puffer is a great reminder that fashion, while fanciful, can also be practical.
Emilio Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci
With a name that neatly encapsulates everything you want from a coat, the cocoon is a perfect bolthole to stow away inside. Its billowing shape makes for a wonderful partner to polo neck knitwear (another AW trend) and a great place to smuggle snacks into the cinema.
Assembly, Max Mara, Tome
Conjure the image of a coat and chances are you’ll immediately imagine something neutral – perhaps camel or grey – with angular lapels, buttons and belts. It’s this coat that will be with you through thick and thin, that looks great with anything (but particularly leather and denim) and that won’t ever go out of style.
Carolina Herrera, Costume National, Gareth Pugh
Forget the notion of the coat as a cursory, weather-dependent after thought: make it the life and soul of the party instead. Coats at Carolina Herrera and Gareth Pugh screamed screen siren while Costume National’s glitzy number was delightfully ornamental.
Wacky & Furry
Libertine, Alexander Wang, Bibhu Mohapatra
If it isn’t fun then what’s the point? Turn heads, stop traffic and otherwise arrest attention in a bold piece of outerwear in stripes, chevrons or er, marijuana leaves.
Topshop Unique, Gucci, Coach
It was the piece of the season and – say ‘thank you’ bank balance – that’s carrying over into the autumn. Keep the silhouette boxy for that particular brand of school girl cool.
Coach, Elie Saab, Coach
Love of my life, fire of my loins…the biker jacket isn’t going away. Ever, ever. This year it’s accruing embellishments, embroideries, pins and badges for a DIY look.
A version of this article first appeared on the BrandAlley blog.