Best Fall & Winter Coat Trends for Real Women Over 40
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
I have just gone through several magazines and websites looking for coats and jackets that would not make grown women look silly. Here are the trends I like (and don’t like so much) for real women who aren’t 5’11” and 110 pounds. You know what I mean. This is an article for regular suburban, well-traveled, interesting women who don’t like to spend $5,000 for one coat.
I've updated a few things in this article. So, here are the coat trends that will work for you this fall and winter... and way beyond. A good coat is expensive, and it will be the first thing (or the only thing) most people will notice about your outfit, so make it count.
1. Belted Coats and Jackets
I have always loved belted coats. They make string beans look shapely and they make curvy women look sexy. As with all coats, the fit is beyond important. Check to make sure the belt hits your waist (if you still have one) or the narrowest part of your torso. If you love the coat and the color, but it doesn't fit quite right, take it to a tailor to see what she can do, however don't take the tags off until you get an expert opinion.
2. Tailored Military Style Coats
I used to think military-styled clothes were a bit too much for older women. Well, I still feel that way when gals our age try to wear camo anything, but now that I'm into Steampunk fashion, I understand where the brass-buttoned, piping-detailed look comes from. (Think Sgt. Pepper's without the day-glo colors.) And, if you think military details will look too masculine on you, look for a coat with a cute peplum.
3. Double Breasted Coats:
Double-breasted coats come in all different shapes and styles. If you like this look, you should try on different types of double-breasted coats until you find a coat that looks right for your height and body shape. Sometimes the buttons are the main focus of the coat and sometimes the buttons are very subtle, so keep that in mind.
If you're short, keep your double-breasted coat short; try for something like a peacoat. If you're a plus size, you want to make sure the shape of the coat doesn't make you look wide and boxy, so a longer coat will probably do the trick. If you're short and wide, you will not be able to wear a double-breasted coat unless it fits you perfectly and the coat doesn't draw attention to your big hips or your big chest.
4. Shearling Coats
I have a difficult time with shearling coats. They are very "in" right now, but to me they are bulky, so keep that in mind. However, shearling coats are one of the warmest coats you can buy, so if you live in NYC or Alberta, shearling is a good option if you are tall enough (or if the coat is small and lightweight enough) that it won't overwhelm you.
If you are interested in real shearling, plan on spending mucho dinero. In my opinion, every inexpensive shearling (or leather) coat I have tried on seemed stiff and uncomfortable... actually, faux-shearling can also be stiff and uncomfortable... so shop around until you find something you will honestly wear. Maybe you can find a used shearling that is already broken in. But, if you're the kind of chick that looks good in faux lamb, this is the year to get it.
5. Fur Coat Trend
Whether you wear real fur or fake fur, there will be a lot of goodies out there... especially if you love groovy furs in wild colors like green or magenta. (Personally, I would not wear most furs because they look like former pets, however I might wear a mink coat because minks are like little rats.) On the other hand, I can't afford a mink coat and they are too hot for Seattle, so it's a moot point. If you want real fur, but you don't have the cash for the whole enchilada, fur collars are also on trend.
When looking to buy faux fur (in a normal color or a crazy color), please get a good quality fake, because if you are over 40 or 50, a cheap fake fur is beneath your dignity... unless you need it for snowmobiling or hiking in the back country.
6. Menswear Coats for Women
I like "menswear" for women... as long as it's on other women. The look is all wrong for me, but don't let that stop you. If you're the type of gal who can pull this off, you might just want to do your shopping in the men's section of a high-end thrift store. Menswear coats look best with skinny pants or leggings, as long as the coat is long enough to cover your hoo-ha and your booty.
7. Oversized Hipster Coats
I don't know what it is, but big coats are starting to grow on me. If you are tall, you can probably pull off this look without hearing Tom Petty singing, "You don't have to live like a refugee" over and over in your head. Again, I recommend your local vintage store to see what you can find. Unfortunately, I am not tall enough to wear an oversized coat. So... if you see me in a huge coat, I am probably wearing a regular coat in a plus size, but we'll pretend I'm being trendy.
8. Printed Coats
Some printed coats are a bit wild for most chicks, however you can find prints that are more subtle, like lace, floral, or animal prints. While I do like the trend, it might take a while for the really good knockoffs to filter down into my price range. (Cute printed jackets are a little easier to find.)
9. Long Women's Maxi Coats
It's 70s deja vu all over again. Remember when we wore midi and maxi coats over minis. That was so much fun. The trick with maxi coats is to make sure they are made of lightweight wool so they don't weigh you down like a ton o' bricks... of course, good lightweight wool is usually more expensive. One less expensive alternative is to find a midi or maxi sweatercoat.
10. Jewel Tone Coats
You know I love jewel tones: ruby reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues, cobalt blues, amethyst purples, tourmaline greens, and topaz yellows. If you're lucky you can snag a cool jewel-toned coat and wear it over your basic black on blah days.
11. Dark Red Coats
If you aren't ready to go with bright crimson, another trendy idea is to go with dark red. Try a red wine color like Merlot, Burgundy, Bordeaux, or claret. Well, I usually call these colors "some shade of maroon," but you know what I mean.
12. Blanket Coats & Ponchos
At first, I didn't like blanket coats, but now I think they are gorgeous. Just make sure you don't fall in love with a blanket coat just because it looked great on some tall, willowy model in a magazine. Be objective, so you don't end up with a coat that makes you look like a hobbit. Length and drape are the key to finding a great blanket coat.
I must admit that I have "issues" with most capes, although I do have one high-end cape that I can't live without (a gift from my daughter). All I ask is that you consider your body type before shelling out a lot of money for a cape. See tips for "blanket coats" above.
Coat Trends I Don't Like:
I would never go so far as to say that older women can NEVER wear the following styles, but I will say that some of these can be tricky to wear:
- Asymmetrical Coats: The problem with any asymmetrical coat is that some day you may want to wear it open. (Asymmetrical biker jackets are not long enough to drag on the floor, so they don't have the same problem.)
- Fuzzy Spikey Fur Coats: I lied (above) when I said I would never go so far as to say that older women can NEVER wear a certain style. No older woman should EVER wear a spikey fur coat that makes her look like she has pink, troll-doll hair covering her upper body. (And, a heavy coat that makes you look like a cuddly porcupine is guaranteed to make you look fat. Give this type of coat to your skinny teenager.)
- Coats and Jackets That Make You Look Fat: Do I really need to remind you to look at every coat from the side and back views? Oh... and have someone take a photo of you sitting down, too.
As always, you are old enough to know what looks good on your body, so you don't have to take my opinion as your own. Some tall, willowy women over 40 may look bad in everything I recommend (doubtful), and some short, peasant-boned women over 40 may look great in boxy peacoats. Just remember that the two most important things are fit and color... oh, and fabric. Great fabric gives good drape.
Make sure you love your coat, because people won't remember your great dress or beautiful cashmere sweater when it's covered by your coat. The coat is the thing that will leave an impression.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Prshots 2012 (when I wrote article).
- Rust Winter Coat: LaRedoute Autumn/Winter 2014-2015.
- Faux Shearling Collar Vest: TopshopUK Autumn/Winter 2014-2015.
- Gray Faux Fur: LipstickBoutiqueUK/USA Autumn/Winter 2014-2015.
- Print Patchwork Coat: LaRedouteUK Autumn/Winter 2014-2015. (This is only available in size small and boy am I upset that I didn't see it earlier when it might have come in my size... what a great coat.)
- Jewel Tone Coat: Ben de Lisi DebenhamsUK. A few left. Autumn/Winter 2014-2015.
- Short Beige Cape: HouseofFraserUK Autumn/Winter 2014-2015.
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