Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

A winter coat is a timeless investment

A coat, more than anything else needs deliberating, planning and mulling over. We need to find the correct balance between comfort and form. Ultimately, and most importantly of course, we need something that will keep us warm.

There is nothing more comforting than a good winter coat. Yet, for those of us living in a climate that rarely, if ever, ­requires us to wear one, investing in the right buy – one that will be able to take us from season to season without transcending time and trend – can be somewhat daunting.

A coat, more than anything else needs deliberating, planning and mulling over. We need to find the correct balance between comfort and form. Ultimately, and most importantly of course, we need something that will keep us warm. Depending on the temperatures of the places you will be travelling to, at a most basic level, look to down for warmth (a fill power of 500 or more should cover all bases) or a combination of wool and down. If temperatures are less severe, a more fashion-forward alternative can be explored in a ­double-breasted wool.

Try to avoid the super trends. We should (at the very least) appear grown-up in our choices, as this purchase should be built to last. It’s not often I advise you to invest in the sensible slow- burner, but unless you have a bottomless pit of a pocket, you will need something more timeless than the average grab-and-run job.

Tread carefully around colour; the more sombre colours such as charcoal grey, navy blue, black or camel work best due to their versatility.

Designer-wise, Burberry or Chloé are royalty in the coat department due to fabric quality and cutting techniques, but if budget needs to be kept to a minimum take a look at Zara (if you are lucky enough to be tall, lean and on the right side of 30) as they do some great cuts at high-street prices. Admittedly, buy big if you can, as a coat should be thought of as one of your investment pieces.

Start by evaluating your shape. Remember that you will need to allow for some extra space than you normally would with a lighter jacket as you will be wearing heavier garments than normal would underneath. A good test is to make sure you can fit a hand comfortably under the chest area without any pull on the fabric.

Remember the shoulder of your coat should extend past your natural shoulder by a centimetre or two and sleeves should be worn a little longer as they tend to ride up when worn over heavier garments. You can’t go wrong with a ­double-breasted coat in a good quality dark wool (cashmere when possible) complete with a well-cut silk lining.

The blanket coat is a firm ­favourite of the season, with just the right amount of campfire cosiness for those with a vetted interest in style. If anyone can dictate a trend, it’s Hedi ­Slimane, who, instead of sticking to the conventional YSL formula of austerity, brought a definite nod to the 1970s.

Worn with flat leather boots and a tapered pair of jeans, it is important to strip the rest of the outfit back to the bare-bones for that down-to-earth ruggedness that sums up the season nicely.

The trouble with most UAE winter wardrobes is that they’re often a product of necessity, rather than choice. Having whittled everything down to the barebones in order to cope with the heat, we’re often left with nothing suitable for the differing seasons when we ­travel. Don’t let this be your mistake.

weekend@thenational.ae

Updated: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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