If you are like many people around the world, having a dressy, wool or even cashmere dress coat is not at the top of your list of priorities. When it’s cold, you reach for you North Face, Canada Goose or Barber, or another brand puffer coat. It braces the elements; it’s warm…it’s practical. Everyone has one!

I, your Personal Stylist, would certainly not criticize you for having a warm puffer. We all need one. Last winter when I was in Iceland, you better believe I loved having my three-way coat that was a raincoat and puffer combined. It kept me dry (first priority) and warm (second priority). And, two years ago when Indianapolis had one of the coldest winters on record, I wore my Canada Goose nonstop.

Men's Jacket Choice from Personal StylistYour Personal Stylist’s Go-To Coat

But I always see a place for a well-made, wool or cashmere coat in your wardrobe: guys and gals!

I think it’s the beautiful tailoring I love the most, second to color and softness. You can be wearing jeans and a top, but put on a beautiful coat and your look is transformed into a classic chic vision. Guys, a sharp coat gives you an image that you’re in control and know how to dress. This is important at work and out on the weekends. It makes you feel great: trust me, that’s important.

What are some things to think about when you are shopping for a winter coat?

1 – You might not find this “wonderful” coat on the first trip. Like jeans, you will need to try on lots of coats. Also, you’re not going to find a high-quality wool coat at Target, Old Navy or Kohls. You can find a colorful, trendy wool coat for a season or two. If that is what you want, then that is okay, but that is not what I, Personal Stylist, am talking about here.

Personal Stylist Jacket2 – You will need to invest some dollars in your coat. So, save up to buy it, buy it off-season (pre-season or January.) Your coat doesn’t have to be a cashmere one from Saint Laurent but plan on spending some money on it. You should plan on wearing it for many years to come.

3 – You will see many styles: Pea Coat, single-breasted and double-breasted overcoats, or a duffle. Women, there are shorter coats, and midi length; wrap coats and more. If you’re a larger build, beware of a double-breasted coat since they will make you look larger. Or if you carry weight in your middle, a double-breasted coat may not be the best choice.

4 – So our first very important tip is to plan for your purchase. Consider at least $300 and up for your coat. Once you have that, let’s go shopping!

5 – Also, think about what clothing you’ll wear with your coat. If you’re not sure what color you want, perhaps you’d like a color analysis to find your Wow colors. Then you will know when you make this big investment that you are wearing the color that flatters you the most. For instance, when I had my colors analyzed by a stylist, I discovered that black and very dark colors are not flattering on me. Navy, camel even lighter rust are my best neutrals. As you can imagine, I, your Personal Stylist, do not have a black coat.

I like this quote from Highsnobiety:

“A winter coat should be like an iPhone—so pragmatic and subtly stylish that you almost forget about it when it’s on yet miss it sorely when you have to go without it. Not that a winter coat can call an Uber, but you get the picture – if you’re going to pull the trigger, you should love it.”

Our next part will be in the next blog!

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine,

MA, AICI Certified Image Consultant, and  Personal Stylist