Because they tend to be bigger and heavier – and, let's face it, more utilitarian – than most of the clothes we wear day-to-day, it's easy to forget that our winter coats aren't just functional tools for keeping the cold at bay. They're essential wardrobe pieces, too.
Just like every other item in our closets, winter coats become more one-of-a-kind – more uniquely us – when we choose the latest styles and trends and give them a personal twist by adding extra accessorizing attention.
Ready to give it a shot? Try these styling tips to help you take your on-trend winter coat to the next level of personal style.
If you're wearing a women's down coat, it's important to take a good long look at it before you begin to choose your method for styling it.
Why? Because it's easy to think that because the coat is fluffy, it's less-than sleek. But the puffers women are wearing today are nothing like the marshmallow-man jackets of yesteryear: In fact, their high-tech fabrics and shapes are surprisingly sophisticated and modern.
And that's why adding softer, less state-of-the-art textures can make your puffer outfit unforgettable. Consider adding soft, touchable knits – like a chunky scarf or a pair of plush cashmere gloves – to add a touchable, handmade feel to your outerwear.
Women's long winter coats were big on the runways for fall and winter this year. These coats are oh-so-warm and practical, which is why we love them. But they're also very large, which means that they can take over the silhouette of your outfit all on their own.
So, to give your oversize winter coat a bit of personal style, pick a few accessories that don't add more bulk to your look (otherwise, you might wind up looking a little like your winter wear is wearing you!). Instead, play with the colors and textures of your long coat to customize them to your fashion objectives.
For example, choose a winter hat, scarf, and boots in a boldly contrasting hue if you want to create a burst of visual energy; or add more muted, luxe accessories that blend in with your coat if you'd rather keep your look more refined and sophisticated.
For dressier outfits, wrap coats are a top trend in sophisticated outerwear. This makes sense because the button-free look is smooth and easy to slip on and off, which makes it a perfect choice when you're going places on a date night where the coat will come off when you enter.
Wrap coats are also surprisingly versatile, because, without buttons, they adjust easily to outfits that are often a lot less bulky (think: your little black dress) than the thick women's sweaters and other clothes you wear in during the day.
To accessories these wrap coats, it's important to remember how and where you're wearing them and to add accessories that match the rest of your look. You might skip ultra-warm knit hats and chunky scarves for sleek leather gloves and a pretty little hat that's more about looks than warmth if you're not going farther than from the car to the door of the restaurant or theater.
These pretty wool coats are also a natural for adding beautiful jewelry, like an heirloom pin because they make a lovely backdrop for a sparkling decoration.
Checks and plaids are another hot outerwear trend this year because these look-at-me patterns add a jolt of visual energy that really stands out amid your other outerwear options. Of course, that attention-grabbing pattern can add a bit of complexity to your choice of accessories – do you want to go daring with a scarf or hat in a contrasting print, or would you rather streamline your look by choosing accessories in a matching hue?
The choice is up to you – your personal style and your mix-and-match confidence. The goal isn't to achieve a single particular look, but to showcase your personality, so pick the one that will showcase who you are.
Women's winter vests, trench coats, and peacoats. These suit-inspired winter coats are popular for winter but also all year long. These perennial-favorite styles usually feature a lot of "decoration," such as double rows of buttons, big collars and lapels, and a belt at the waist. So the trick to styling one of these coats is – you guessed it – to find ways to add to the coat without competing with all their other decorative elements.
Go simple here – pick accessories in bright colors and smooth textures to keep the overall look sleek and uncluttered. Skip extras like jewelry, or noticeably chunky knits, to create a balance between complexity and simplicity in the overall impression you create.