Looking to invest in a classic winter coat? Fashion editor Annmarie O’Connor has done the work for you.
It’s that time of year again: the quest for the ultimate winter coat is officially underway.
As temperatures dip, winds bite and storm names peppers casual conversation (Oisín, Doris and Wilbert, oh my), style seekers are already wondering how this season’s outerwear offering will play out.
What percentage of fashion does one trade for function? Is it possible to cut a dash without being lacerated by mutant hailstones? Does a quilted duffle say ‘Barb’ from Stranger Things?
Spoiler alert: Yes, and you’ll love it. More on that later.
In the meantime, we’ve got the definitive list of cold weather coats that’ll have you looking and feeling smug, even on dark commuter platform at 7am with nothing but freezing fog and a takeaway coffee for company.
The puffer coat
Let’s start with the puffer coat. It’s back in all of its Michelin Man-inspired glory.
Equal parts inflated and berated, this unlikely wardrobe hero deserves its own closet, not least due to its epic silhouette.
With its roots in 90s rave culture, the XL iconoclast is experiencing a redux with designers from Stella McCartney to Marques’ Almeida reinstating the erstwhile outerwear as runway fare.
Less prodigious versions, both in price and proportion, are available on the high street with Long Tall Sally, COS, Topshop and Zara offering streamlined versions from €59.95 with figure-flattering belts and quieter quilting as standard.
Want more heft to your weft? Moncler has you covered. The French brand (since adopted by Italy) boasts a down proof, cinched waist and detachable hood for easy elegance.
You’ll pay handsomely for the bragging rights (€1,150 for the longline ‘Hermine’) but, to be fair, it’s a lifer.
What’s more, every day can now be considered a duvet day. Result.
Granted, it hasn’t quite hit sub-zero temperatures just yet.
The trench coat
So what about the ‘grand soft days’ that don’t quite require feather padding? May I recommend a trench coat?
Although its invention is still hotly contested by Brit brands Burberry and Aquascutum; the abiding appeal of this trans-seasonal staple is unquestionable.
For the fashion-focused, Hobbs and Les 100 Ciels stay true to form with storm flaps and buckled wrists (the latter boasting an inner waistcoat that can be worn as a gilet); while Next’s sassy suede number (€294) makes the perfect companion for this season’s polo necks, crop flares and retro glove boots.
Looking for something less literal? Try a single-breasted wrap style: a similar offering minus the traditional accoutrements.
Look to Swedish stalwarts & Other Stories for Scandi-inspired alternatives.
Speaking of which, the style trenches can be an unforgiving place which is why it’s important to bring in the big guns when fashion and function don’t see eye to eye.
The military coat
Enter the military coat: more of an expectation than a fickle trend, this fella pulls serious rank when it comes to serving and protecting (from the elements).
This season? Expect sharp cuts and minimal detail (bar the presence of brass buttons) in pea coats and oversized shearling aviator jackets.
Earn your style stripes with a simple khaki or navy full-length style from Wallis (€105) or Littlewoods Ireland (€90) worn over a maxi dress layered over a polo neck and paired with heeled knee boots.
As for staying power, no one can argue with the humble duffle.
Once the mainstay of mods, Paddington Bear and university professors, this little shapeshifter has since been co-opted by fashion insiders like Alexa Chung and Gwen Stefani. And then something changed.
The fur coat
The savvy prognosticators at Penneys gifted us a 2.0 velvet update (€40) — not a million miles away from the quilted ’80s homage worn by sci-fi style queen Barb from Netflix series Stranger Things.
Pair with Gucci glasses and this season’s ruffle blouse for a nod to nostalgia.
For demurer evening wear, there’s nothing like being elegantly-waisted.
The fit and flare mantra, espoused by Dior, finds expression in seasonal full-skirted and luxe kimono-style coats.
For 40s-inspired glamour, try Irish designer Niamh O’Neill whose fuchsia pink wool ‘Paris’ coat (€595) boasts a silver screen sensibility; while Paule Ka’s 50s-inspired muse channels La Parisienne with a belted Duchess satin beauty (€1,300).
The check coat
Sweet on prints? Whether geometrically modern or traditional like tartan, checks continue to make their mark on outerwear.
The current vibe is oversized in both width and length.
Top tip? Soften the precision pattern with tactile textures like mohair as spotted at Uterqüe (€250) or hints of forest green as seen in Peter O’Brien’s reimagined houndstooth wool coat (€425).
If snuggling up to a big teddy bear holds more appeal, then a fuzzy nap is bound to give you all the feels.
Spotted at Burberry Prorsum, Chloe, Calvin Klein and J.Crew in incarnations from patchwork lambswool textures to oversized faux furs shot through in auxiliary brights and contrasting stripes, the look is one of unabashed maximalism.
Too outré for your taste? Irish eco-friendly brand Keem find the middle ground with a faux fur wrap coat (€750) in a soft pile.
You see? Winter needn’t be the season of proverbial discontent.
We can’t promise that the combination of morning commutes and falling mercury will be any easier but the prospect will sure look a lot better.
& Other Stories - www.stories.com
Arnotts - Henry Street 01-8050400; www.arnotts.ie
Brown Thomas - Patrick Street 021-4805555; www.brownthomas.com and other branches
COS - Wicklow St 01-2470980; www.cosstores.com and other branches
Hobbs - Dundrum Town Centre 01-2079619; www.hobbs.co.uk
Keem - www.keem.ie
Littlewoods Ireland - www.littlewoodsireland.ie
Long Tall Sally - www.longtallsally.com
Next - Opera Lane 021-4204000; www.next.co.uk and other branches
Niamh O’Neill - www.niamhoneill.com
Penneys - Patrick Street 021-4271936; www.primark.com and other branches
Uterqüe - www.uterque.com
Wallis - Patrick Street 021-4271733; www.wallis.co.uk and other branches
Zara - Mahon Point SC 021-4972320; www.zara.com and other branches
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