The Fall Coat Check: Wrapping Up the Trends

Whatever coat you check out this fall, make sure it's a style statement that you'll enjoy wearing day in and day out. From L.L. Bean, the "Keegan" wool coat in spicy gingerbread worn over a textured sweater dress.

Chic outerwear can be one of the best ways this fall and winter to top off your wardrobe. The newest coats are bigger and bolder — a fresh way to cover up in oversized silhouettes and brighter colors. Forget the boring basics. After all, we wear our coats day in and day out. They say a lot about our personal sense of style. Check out these new trends.

The menswear topcoat, one of the season’s hottest outerwear looks, is a little on the slouchy size. Some with sculpted exaggerated shoulders and lapels, often in knee-lengths in colorful jewel tones, cobalt blue, ruby red and emerald green are a few of the more vivid favorites. Or if you’re more of the classic, earthy type, there are plenty of rusts, camels and grays to round out your winter wardrobe.

—The military-inspired coat: It’s all about the details on this style. You don’t have to feel like you’re off to basic duty, but instead choose a more sophisticated “officers” coat with just a hint of the brass buttons, pocket flaps, epaulets, belts and buckles.

—The parka: Another fall favorite, this ski-inspired shape is a great winter warm-up when the temperature hits below the freezing mark. In drawstring anorak styles, parkas can be even more streamlined and stylish, and you won’t risk feeling like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Look for even more value with inside-out reversible parkas.

—The puffy vest: Also akin to the ski-inspired trend, the puffier vest is one solution to outerwear that will stave off the chills and yet easily layer over chunky knits and T-shirts. In bright colors, this piece will be a real perk for gray winter days. Again, beware the doughboy look.

—The blanket coat: If you really want to get comfy in your coat, choose a blanket-style wrap or coat in a graphic stripe or check. Many of this season’s blanket coats have a Western vibe and make great weekend toppers when worn with boots and jeans.

—The princess coat: Dressed up or down, this tailored look, often detailed with pleats and seams, can be a stylish outerwear alternative for dresses and pantsuits. The traditional A-line shape is flattering on most figures and is a classic coat silhouette that will see you through many years to come.

—The biker jacket: There are plenty of ways to get one of the hottest trends into your coat wardrobe with the edgy look of leather, whether it’s an all-leather look in the ever-popular black or just a touch in a collar, a sleeve or lapel. But one of the most popular silhouettes riding into fall is the traditional “biker” jacket updated with generous shapes in colorful suedes and textured leathers. We’ve come a long way, James Dean.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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