I can't be the only one who struggles to find a coat that looks perfect on me, right? Or should I say used to struggle! Understanding my body type has helped me to hone my skills on recognising what will, and won't, suit me. With Winter coming (although it's still mild, why you do this global warming?) it's time to get your coat sorted and look fabulous as you strut through that Christmas market.
For women there are 5 main body types:
Pear Apple Hourglass Inverted Triangle Straight Now let's break on down which coat will suit which shape.
For Pear shapes, you really want to emphasise your shoulders and create some width in order to balance out your wider hips. You could try looking for coats with slight shoulder padding, or detail around the shoulders such as puff sleeves. Make sure you find a coat with wide lapels. This will help draw the eye out and make shoulders appear wider. If you prefer shorter coats then make sure it's ending at the hip line, if it's double breasted then even better. A fantastic idea would be to have a short coat in a lighter or brighter colour, and opt for darker bottoms. Creating more interest on the top half will help to slim out the hips and draw attention up. If you prefer a longer coat then go for one which has a belt. This way you can cinch in and emphasise your waist. Be cautious against going for a long, straight coat as this may flare out over your hips and make them appear wider. Overall, avoid any coats which have too stiff of a fabric as you want to have something which will work around your lovely curves. Skater coats can work really well as they will show off the waist and skim over your hips.
Now, for Apple shapes it's all about the skim not cling. You want your coat to drape, gorgeously, over you so choosing a good fabric which will hold it's shape but isn't too stiff, is key. It's also important to avoid anything too bulky.
Similarly to the Pears, you want to emphasise your beautiful shoulder line so opting for a coat with shoulder pads can be a great shout. Unusual cuts can work really well on Apple shapes so you could try something with an asymmetric line, maybe go edgy with a biker jacket. Remember that you want your coat to hang in a straight line from the shoulder. Duster coats can work really beautifully, or try a Wrap coat to create shape at the waist.
Hello fellow Hourglasses! Now we need to get on and show off that little waist. It's a great idea to pick a single breasted coat, with 2-3 buttons. Anything with a single button will just gape at the chest. Not a good look.
Like the Pear ladies, a great option can be a coat with a belt to cinch in at the waist. Wrap coats can work really well, but have an awareness of the lapels. If you're particularly curvy on top then you want to avoid sharp lapels.
Short coats can work really well but make sure that they end at your hip bone, and keep it fitted/ semi-fitted. You still want to be able to show off that waist. Don't forget you want something that has movement in it which will work over your curves. Some great options would be either a Swing or Skater coat.
Now, on to my lovely Inverted Triangles. You want to keep it darker on top. So, if opting for a short coat definitely go for dark, monochromatic colours with lighter bottoms. This will break up the width of shoulders and help to create balance with your hips.
You don't want to have a coat that's too fussy as this can add too much bulk. Instead opt for something sharp and structured, like a Trench or Military style. You don't want to make your shoulders or arms appear wider so stay away from puff sleeves, wider collars and lapels, and anything double breasted. Just don't do it! You also want to avoid coats with a belt as emphaising the waist is a big no no as this can draw attention to the wider top half and small hips. A simple, structured, Pea coat could work really nicely.
Lastly, let's not forget the Straight ladies. You can really go to town on that clean, sharp looking coat as you need to stick to stiff and structured fabrics. If you want to have fun with patterns and colours then go for coats with geometric shapes, stripes and zig zags. Although you want to avoid narrow pin stripes if you're taller. Belts can be a problem, but if you can find something with a tie belt, like a wrap or a trench then this could work. Especially if you're able to place and create your own waist.
You can still rock a short coat, but avoid anything too short, something like a wax jacket or a Parka could work great. Just make sure it's not stopping at the waist, or drawing attention to the waist. Overcoats in a stiffer fabric can create a really beautiful long line. Don't forget that as you can opt for patterns that a coat can really be a statement piece for you.
Have fun experimenting with the different coats for your shape. Coats can be such a creative way of adding colour and interest to an outfit. Particularly if you're less confident with this, as it doesn't have to be on your body the whole time. Of course, choosing a beautiful coat is key, but don't forget it needs to be functional. I don't want any of you getting chilly. But then, always a good excuse to go grab yet another hot chocolate!