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Shopping Tips

A Few Good Overcoats

Buying a new winter coat can be such a pressure filled exercise. You spend hours searching online, wondering if what you choose will go out of style in a year or be warm enough, etc.

I recently wrote an article for the Bottom Line Inc newsletter, Stylish Yet Practical Winter Coats, and it occurred to me that my blog readers would want to hear some of the advice in the article.

As a stylist, I am obsessed with a good overcoat. I collect them. I must have 30! It is a bit of a sickness, I admit. Of course, no one needs to own that many, but everyone should at least have a solid-colored short or mid-length style and a good long coat that will match the majority of his/her wardrobe. A super warm parka is also a necessity but that is too much information for one blog so let’s save that topic for another week!

Start by checking your closet to assess what you own. Depending on the cut, quality and fabric, you may have coats that you’ve been wearing for the last 20 years. If they are classics, like a pea coat, that may be fine. But styles, silhouettes and trends change about every five to seven years—and a trendier coat may go out of style sooner. It may be time for a winter coat update to keep your wardrobe fresh and fashionable while maintaining quality.

Know yourself–Do you like to follow the trends? Is it better for you to buy less expensive coats because you are always going to want the latest thing? Or would you rather splurge on something super chic or classic that you can wear for seven years, saving yourself shopping time and angst?

Look for signs of a well-made coat—buttons that are sewn on well…no loose or hanging threads…50% or higher natural fabrics such as wool or cashmere versus synthetics such as acrylic and polyester (unless you’re buying a down coat). If you’re buying online, read the customer reviews for help gauging fit, sizing and durability.

Quality overcoats can be pricey, so take advantage of Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales—the later in the season the smaller the selection but the better the sales. Here are some of my picks for great-looking coats, including budget-friendly ones and splurges. Let me know your favorites!



Women’s Budget

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Mark New York Paige Boucle Coat

Mark New York Paige Bouclé Coat, $134

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Kenneth Cole Asymmetrical Boucle Walker Coat

Kenneth Cole Asymmetrical Bouclé Walker Coat, $134

Real Life Style, Women's Coats, Lauren Ralph Lauren Stand-Collar Single-Breasted Walker Coat

Lauren Ralph Lauren Stand-Collar Single-Breasted Walker Coat, $142

Real Life Style, Women's Coats -Uniqlo Women's Cashmere Blend Chester Coat

Uniqlo Women’s Cashmere Blend Chester Coat, $150

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Lauren Ralph Lauren Single Breasted Reefer Coat

Lauren Ralph Lauren Single Breasted Reefer Coat, $154

Real Life Style, Women's Coat Standard - Lauren Ralph Lauren Faux-Fur-Collar Walker Coat

Lauren Ralph Lauren Faux-Fur-Collar Walker Coat, $173

Women’s Standard 

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Lauren Ralph Lauren Belted Wrap Coat

Lauren Ralph Lauren Belted Wrap Coat, $210

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Lauren Ralph Lauren Maxi Reefer Coat

Lauren Ralph Lauren Maxi Reefer Coat, $221

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Avec Les Filles Double Face Star Print Raglan Coat

Avec Les Filles Double Face Star Print Raglan Coat, $229

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Talbots Boiled Wool Double Breasted Coat

Talbots Boiled Wool Double Breasted Coat, $300

Women’s Splurge

Real Life Style Women's Coats - Cole Haan Signature Woven Coat

Cole Haan Signature Woven Coat, $400

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Ted Baker London Ellgenc Belted Wrap Coat

Ted Baker London Ellgenc Belted Wrap Coat, $575

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - MM.LaFleur The Prospect Puffer

MM LaFleur The Prospect Puffer, $595

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Boss Cetakata Coat

Boss Cetakata Coat, $695

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Fleurette Stand Collar Wool Car Coat

Fleurette Stand Collar Wool Car Coat, $700

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Mackage Mai-R Wool Wrap Coat

Mackage Mai-R Wool Wrap Coat, $750

Real Life Style, Women's Coats - Mother of Pearl Mable Wool Plaid Coat

Mother of Pearl Mable Wool Plaid Coat, $895

Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for over 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Learn how you can train with Lani and Kyle to become a personal stylist at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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