Top Coats

Shopping for the perfect coat can be a little bit paralyzing;  do you go down-filled or dolman-sleeved, puffy or peplum, brilliant blue or always safe black? Whatever you choose, invest in a coat you love and it will love you back for years to come.  These figure-flattering tips should help you in your search:

If you're curvy, try...

Jennifer Hudson; Jones New York Wool Velours Wrap Coat, The Bay, $199.99; Kate Hudson

A single-breasted, belted wrap coat is a classic style that flatters curvy girls in all the right places;  the belt defines your waist, the diagonal line of the lapels minimizes your bust and the A-line shape skims over your hips.  Kate Hudson is far from voluptuous (you think?) but shows that a classic long wool coat looks great on everyone.  (If you're petite, opt for a shorter version so it doesn't overwhelm your frame).  Plus, a good camel coat looks equally chic dressed up or worn with your favourite jeans.  Easy peasy!

If you have a boyish figure, try...   

Olivia Palermo at Milan Fashion Week;  Faux-Fur Lined Parka, H&M, $69.95 

The parka is this season's It coat and a stylish alternative to the cozy puffers of seasons past.  The parka looks especially good on boyish figures since the fur trim and pockets add some curves to stick straight frames.  For a cool and current contrast, try pairing your laid-back parka with a dress or pants with heels (see Olivia Palermo)  

If you're tall and skinny, try...

Cat Deely, host of So You Think You Can Dance;  Wool Cape Coat, H&M, $69.95          

A cape does double-duty as a cold weather blocker and a sexy fashion statement, showing people that you won't let a little fall weather rain on your style parade.   Voluminous capes, like this one from H&M, look especially amazing on tall, thin women who can carry off the over-sized topper.  Wear it with skinny jeans or leggings and a pair of flat boots for the ultimate in casual chic.

If you're petite, try...

Reese Witherspoon marches around in a pea coat;  Double-Breasted Cropped Coat, RW & CO., $168

Petite women are constantly trying to avoid the dreaded 'cute' label.  A too-long coat can make you look like you're playing dress-up so if you're short and sweet, stick with coats that hit above the knee, making your legs look extra looong.  A belted version defines your waist and the epaulet and button details add loads of interest to a classic cut.

If you're tiny up top, try...  

 

Gwyneth Paltrow braves the snow in a classic military peacoat; Melton Pea Coat, Le Chateau, $169.95

Not all of us are blessed with an over B-cup bosom.  Luckily, La Senza's bras aren't the only way to enhance your girls.   Take a note from Gwyneth Paltrow who often opts for double-breasted coats which add volume in all the right places.  An oversized collar, a perfect bright (like this amazing orange from Le Chateau) or ruffle detailing adds even more attention up top.  

If you're pear-shaped, try...  

 

America Ferrera hits the set in a bright red A-line coat; Gently Flared Coat, H&M, $79.95

Pear-shaped girls need coats that flow over their hips and minimize their booties.  An A-line, subtly flared coat skims over curves while the double-breasted detailing balances out a larger bottom.  Wear a bright scarf around your neck to draw the focus towards your beautiful face.

If you're pregnant, try... 

 

Jessica Alba, looking far from matronly;  Belted Wool-Blend Maternity Coat, Thyme Maternity, $149

When you're pregnant, it's hard to justify some maternity purchases, given that you'll only wear your new clothes for a few months.  Still, as your belly grows, you're hit with the realization that you can only stretch your regular coats so far.  Invest in a great maternity coat early before the really cold weather hits.  Look for features that only a maternity style can provide like extra high waists, belts that sit above the belly and details like buttons and oversized collars to draw the eye upward.  A classic black wool coat goes with everything, won't look dated for potential future pregnancies, and will give you a more streamlined silhouette.  Phew.