by Kayla Kluver

I want to buy a new winter coat - a purchase which for me, requires a lot of forethought.  In London especially, your coat becomes your uniform - from October - March it's glued to your back and on a daily rotary. For the better half of the year, this puppy isn't out of arms reach. So it's important to think carefully about style, shape and colour - what will take me from day to play and make me feel great month after month? If, like me, your budget is more high-street than high-end there is also the pressure to find one that won't be hanging off the shoulders of every other woman on the train, in the pub or at the office. Last year I showed up to a meeting in the same Warehouse coat as my client - we laughed, but it made me feel quite unimaginative and I couldn't wear it with as much confidence going forward. This year, I'm keeping my eyes peeled at vintage and thrift stores for something special, but I haven't ruled out buying another coat from a high street giant. The plan is to go for something incredibly classic; clean lines, solid colour and to use some of the techniques below to make it stand out. Here are a few of the coats I had in mind: 

Top Left: Mango £119, Top Right: M&S £110, Bottom Left: COS £150, Bottom Right: Zara £159

Top Left: Mango £119, Top Right: M&S £110, Bottom Left: COS £150, Bottom Right: Zara £159

I found inspiration from some of the lovely ladies below - non of these are permanent changes so I can mix it up as/when I get bored. 

1. Add a faux faur scarf - but wear it draped over one shoulder like Alexa Chung below. I think this would look particularly glam with the deep blue COS coat - adding a touch of femininity to the masculine cut. 

2. Belt it - instead of using the buttons or the belt attached, try adding one of your own. A thin brown or black leather belt knotted around your middle (as seen below) looks chic and accentuates your waist. This would work great with the camel Zara coat. 

3. Brooch - Olivia Palermo is a master accessorizer (is that a word?). And I love how she balanced her silver brooches on the lapel of her blazer. I'm on the lookout for a matching pair now, I want something vintage. I think they would really pop against the blue of the COS or M&S coat. 

4. Fit - nothing makes me feel "fancy" quite like wearing a great coat draped over my shoulders. Adds a dramatic flare and lets you show off the outfit underneath. Great for evenings. Another option is to roll up the sleeves or bunch them up to the elbow as seen below. You could let the long sleeves of your top hang out (a denim or plaid shirt would be perfect for this) or keep the arms bare and add short leather gloves in fall and transition to long leather gloves for winter. I love the camel gloves below. This would work well with the pale blue M&S coat but also with the black Mango jacket - I think long black leather gloves would be an interesting contrast to the fluffy faux fur. 

5. Belted Scarf - Burberry got it oh-so right for A/W 2014. The bold silk scarf looks elegant belted over a long structured jacket. An effortless, colourful update - can't wait to give it a go. 

6. Buttons - A new set of buttons are a great, non-permanent way to update your coat. Just pay close attention to the layout - a straight line is crucial! And keep the old buttons - you may choose to swap them back later or use them on something else. 

I think the blue COS coat is my top pick, though I worry I may grow weary of the bright blue. What do you think? Thanks for stopping by! KKxx 

**Photos not my own**

**Photos not my own**