There are a few things that every wardrobe should have: a good pair of jeans, a well-tailored suit and a good-quality white T-shirt that you'll inevitably wear on repeat. But as soon as the temperatures drop, there's only one staple on our minds: the right coat. Finding The One might seem like an insurmountable task given the factors you have to consider: How much should you spend on coat? What fabric is best for winter? And of course, what style of coat is the most popular now? But after conducting many years of my own research, I've come to an easy conclusion, and the answer might surprise you.
This year has given us some standout coat trends to help you get ahead of the crowd (and the high street), but when it's a little too mild for shearling and if scarf coats aren't really your thing, it's time to look for something a little more versatile that doesn't result in overheating.
The coat that continues to perform year after year is one that you might not have been expecting: the belted coat. That's right, the simple robe-meets-outerwear style of a longline coat that's nipped in at the waist with a simple belt tie. Chic, yes, but you might not find it topping the trend charts, as this is not a flash-in-the-pan, viral "moment" for the style. In fact, its been quietly and consistently gaining momentum in the background, and it isn't a coat that tries to make a statement per se. Instead, it's an understated and elegant option for the minimalist dresser whose simple but perfectly tailored pieces do all of the talking.
So, should you be looking for an easy, layerable but infinitely comfy coat that manages to make any outfit look at least 50% more stylish, allow me to share with you some of the best belted coats that are available now and how to wear them. They come in leather, wool, cashmere, so there's a coat for every style and every budget.
HOW TO STYLE BELTED COATS
Style Notes: Annabel proves that a statement coat (in this season's trending red) is a failsafe way to elevate even the simplest jeans + t-shirt look.
Style Notes: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley manages to make her leather coat her whole outfit. The next time you "have nothing to wear," just pop on your coat and add knee-high boots.
Style Notes: The contrast of the soft knitted dress with the leather trench is just perfection. The ideal balance of polish and cool.
Style Notes: Nnenna proves that going with a pale, neutral trench is a great way to let colours pop—and add a refined touch to a sweatshirt and trainers combination.
SHOP THE BEST BELTED COATS ON THE MARKET
This post was previously published and has since been updated.