I Tried On Over 50 High-Street Coats, and These Are the 12 I'd Recommend

Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery, heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!

If you asked me what I'd save from a burning building, I'd probably say my coat collection. This would certainly be a sight to see, as its total currently stands at around 20, and I'd seriously struggle to fit through the front door (and yes, this does slightly defeat the point), but damn it, I'd try. Just joking—sort of.

Just think of it this way: My coat wardrobe is essentially my equivalent to someone's carefully curated collection of vintage postcards or vinyls (clearly I have no idea what people collect these days). It's an eclectic family made up of high-street buys, vintage gems and the odd high-end investment, all lovingly hunted down and preserved for posterity.

Each one has its own personality and the ability to imbue any outfit with a distinctive character. There's my "'80s power mom" oversized trench, my vintage "Studio 54 diva" leather jacket and let's not forget my Upper East Side matriarch Saks Potts jacket with its sassy, fluffy-collared appeal. The gang's all here.

Therein lies the power of a good coat: the ability to elevate, transform and subvert even the most boring of basics, and we're approaching that time of year when we all need to get reacquainted with our outwear offering. Whether you fall back in love with old favourites or decide that a fresh addition is needed, I'm here to help guide your sartorial decision-making.

Thankfully, this season's coat trends are decidedly classic: Think double-breasted fits and heritage fabrics. You know these pieces will look just a lovely in five years' time as they do now. So, who are you going to be this season? From ankle-grazing Inspector Gadget coats and '70s-inspired faux-leather looks to lumberjack plaid and plenty of power puffers, scroll down to see the high-street coats I'm rating this season.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: M&S is fast becoming one of my favourite haunts for winter coats, as they tread the line between trend and timeless so well. Just look at this checked, double-breasted number, which has all the makings of a classic staple.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: I'm enjoying my inner '70s style icon in this faux-fur coat. Sometimes high-street iterations can look a bit cheap, but this one is bulky enough to look expensive, and will look the part when thrown over a minidress and knee-high boots.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Confession: I've never been a puffer-coat person, but this season's intake is unexpectedly cool—and not too streetwear-focused. The longer line style of this & Other Stories style is so unusual, but it somehow manages to not look shapeless. It's also so warm FYI. 

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: This is a firm fave amongst the team, and, unusually, it looks just as good IRL as it does on the website. It comes in a few different colourways, but this khaki look is the best IMO.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Despite being a trend-led brand, & Other Stories' winter coat selection is unexpectedly classic, which is never a bad thing when it comes to spending a little more on a good quality coat. Case in point: This gorgeous blue checked number is smart enough for work but will also look cute at the weekend.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: We have a winner! This Topshop Boutique shearling coat is no shrinking violet, but boy, is it chic. They only had a large available, but I'm enjoying the statement-making proportions. It's exactly what I will want to throw on on a freezing winter morning. 

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: This coat stood out to me when I saw it on the website, as it's so un-Topshop, but well done to them for creating such a grown-up coat. The price point certainly reflects the elevated design, but it's totally worth it as it feels super premium.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: I've noticed so many wrap coats around this season, and I feel like they offer a more luxe alternative to the fitted tailored silhouettes that are all over the high street. Make like Rosie HW and layer this over tonal knitted separates and heels. Tres chic. 

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Sadly, the beauty of this coat doesn't quite translate in the photo, but let me assure you that in reality the white faux leather is exceedingly cool. It's much lighter than many of the other coats I tried on, so perhaps not to good for the depths of winter, but it's definitely a good option for autumnal layering.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: I wasn't sure about this coat to begin with (it's a tad lumberjack), but I gave it a Joy spin with my flared jeans and heeled boots, and it totally works. I also love the idea of belting it over a roll-neck for a more sculptural silhouette—another layering hero piece.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Everyone is mad about puffers right now (well, apart from me), but in a similar way to the Stories style, this M&S look feels like another more elegant interpretation. For me, it's the slightly silky fabric and rust hue that makes it feel more chic. I would wear with black tailored trousers and white trainers for work.

Photo:

Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Sometimes you just can't go wrong with a clean-lined woolen coat, and this H&M grey number has just the right amount of oversized to feel contemporary, but it's also simple enough to go with everything in your wardrobe. What more could you want?