A GREAT COAT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR OUTFIT – WHAT BETTER WAY TO WELCOME THE COLDER WEATHER?
When it comes to wrapping up warm in winter, a coat is the first item of clothing that people see. Yet, as Lucy Knight, Partner & Personal Stylist at the White City Westfield store, points out: ‘It tends to be the last thing people think about. It really should be the first.’
Cue the new John Lewis & Partners collection that boasts plenty of options when it comes to updating your outerwear. It’s comprised of 22 different coat styles, ranging from classic raincoats to cinched leather jackets and, crucially for when winter really bites, structured, wool-mix shapes. ‘Every single style is unique to us – you won’t see it anywhere else,’ explains Jo Bennett, Partner & Head of Buying, Womenswear. Good news for those who don’t want their dream coat to become the season’s ubiquitous ‘must-have’.
“Every single style is unique to us – you won’t see it anywhere else.”
Quality lies at the heart of the collection – every item has been designed in-house with the aim of lasting for winters to come. Italian wool and double-faced cashmere feature, and there’s a strong emphasis on silhouettes. Colour, too, is a key talking point. Oversized blazers in ochre yellow sit alongside longline, raspberry-hued crombies. ‘You absolutely can wear plum with mustard and a vivid green with an ice blue,’ says Virginia Chadwyck-Healey, a fashion writer and personal stylist. ’Don’t be afraid to experiment and take the time to think about what you already own and how it’s going to work with the piece you have fallen in love with. You probably already own something in a navy and a deep red – so go a bit bolder and you really can wear it all together.’
“It’s about falling in love with pieces that you will wear over and over again.”
Lucy, Jo and Virginia are all in agreement that a well-made, flattering coat has the power to make a real statement. Flirting with trend-led pieces is fine, but ultimately, timeless shapes offer the best investment long-term. ‘It’s about falling in love with pieces that you will wear over and over again,’ believes Virginia. She suggests ignoring rules around colour-matching to your hair and skin tone and letting your emotional reaction lead you to ‘the one’. ‘If you love something, then there’s a reason for it. Trust your gut instinct and lean on the Personal Stylists in store if you need an honest opinion.’