Fall Coat Checklist: Be Trendy and Warm This Season

By Amy E. Goodman

Author of Wear This, Toss That!

When there's a chill in the air the first thing people notice about you is your coat. This fall season really champions outerwear-well beyond the standby pea coat varieties. It's time to take inventory of your coats and learn the latest trends so you can find the perfect outwear that lights your fashion fire.

Go bright. We tend to think of fall as a dark color palette of brown, gray, and black, but now is the time to pick a bold color and run with it. From rusty orange to crimson red to purply plum, chose a rich hue that complements your skin tone. Your other coats will start to feel envious because you'll never take it off!
Try: Honee red asymmetrical hem coat, $154; Kohls.com

Capes, capes, capes. These were a ubiquitous trend on the runways; I'm all for them as long as you don't become engulfed. To avoid this, simply make sure that it hugs your body-avoid stiff fabrics and excessive billowing. Enticing hardware like toggles and clasps, design elements like hoods and flat pockets and trimmings like leather and fur really make capes the bell of the ball.
Try: Calvin Klein cape, $160; Shopittome.com and Nordstrom.com

Short leather jackets are a way to rock a sexier look and tap into the biker chic look this season. Go fitted and to the waist, having the jacket end at the narrowest part of your midriff. Have fun with pockets and clasps and zippers zig-zagging every which way, and if black is too stark, try a lighter hue such as pastel.
Try: The Limited women's sage green faux leather bomber jacket, $70; The Limited

Animal prints are back. Want to release a little roar? This year the leopard makes her mark. A bold choice for most, consider getting the print in a darker hue like gray and black or darker brown and tan for a taste of the print without the full bite.
Try: Towne London Fog trench coat, $126; Kohls.com

Parkas aren't just for camping or hiking anymore. Throw one on over a dress (say what?), why yes! Extend your late-summer wardrobe with the ultimate mix of masculine meets feminine: the thin maxi dress topped with the olive-colored, multi-pocketed parka.
Try: Converse One Star Women's Outerwear Jacket, $44.99; Target.com

Faux fur trimmings are all the rage from handbags to shoes and coats. When you opt for a vest or a shawl collar with a touch of faux fur, simply make sure you try the piece on with your hair down. Nothing's worse than a fantastic coat that blocks a majority of your face or one that tangles your tresses before you even head out the door.
Try: Baby Phat Faux Leather Jacket with Fur Trim, $109; Macys.com

The double blazer
is a rewind to the 1970s, when classic suiting was celebrated. It's simply stately buttoned up with a white or cream turtleneck (and another must-have for women, too) and a pair of crisp trousers. But make sure those pleats are pressed! That's not to say this style can't get play with denim for a relaxed weekend look. Note: This style can add girth if you're already broad, in which case opt for the '70s-inspired two-button blazer instead.
Try: Billy London Duke Melton Military Pea Coat, $135; Kohls.com

The camel coat in a three-quarters or blazer length is a must-have investment piece that will stand the test of time well beyond this season.

Love the leather: Just as with women's coats, leather makes a strong appearance for the gents.
Try: Men's beige leather jacket with nehru collar, $48; Twenty-one for Forever21

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