A good coat should be three things: warm, stylish, and flattering. Different styles of coats come and go every winter, but just because they’re trendy it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Coats are one of those items where you really need to pay attention to the fit. There aren’t really any styling tricks you can do to make it look more flattering, like a shirt, sweater, or even a dress. To avoid a trip to the tailor (or even worse - disappointment!), make sure you’re choosing a coat style that works for your body.
Your bust and hips are around the same size with a clearly defined waist.
You’ll want a structured coat that gently skims your curves. Too boxy and you’ll look like, well, a big box. Belted coats work wonders to define your waist while wrapping you up nice and warm. Make sure you get a style that ends below your hips. You don’t want your coat to end right at the hips, as it will make them appear wider. Try to find that more or less tapers past the hips, which keeps the body looking proportionate (straight or slightly flared is ok too). Some great options are trench coats or belted wool wrap coats.
Your bust and waist are visibly narrower than your hips.
Look for styles that accentuate your shoulders and waist while elongating your legs. They will draw attention from your hips to create more of an hourglass effect. Also, keep the length in mind. Avoid shorter styles that end right at the hips. Knee length is usually a great bet. Choose styles with interesting collars and wide lapels, like a wool coat with a contrasting fur lapel or collar, or a cascading lapel. You can also choose belted coats to define your waist. If big collars and lapels aren’t your thing, try a double-breasted coat to add some volume to your torso. A classic trench coat with epaulets or duffle coat works well.
Dressing specifically for your body shape can enhance it in the most flattering way. In fact, the majority of women actually have a pear shaped body, that's why we have created this informative blog post: Pear Body Shape: The Ultimate Styling Guide, to teach you all the best styling tips and tricks that will accentuate your curves in the most wonderful way.
Inverted Triangle Shaped
Your shoulders are broader than your hips, giving your torso a slightly inverted effect. You might have a more athletic build.
Upper and lower body balance is key with this body shape. You don’t want a bulky coat that makes your shoulders appear broader than they are, especially in contrast with slimmer hips and legs. Look for long, clean lines and avoid big lapels and collars. Choose a-line coats with flared silhouettes that give the illusion of curvier hips. You can also go for a loose, open fit open coat that has plenty of room for your arms and shoulders.
Your midsection is the widest part of your body, and your legs are slimmer.
You’ll want to draw attention away from your waist. Choose a roomy style that draws attention to your legs. This means finding a coat with just the right hemline. At the top of your thighs is the magic leg-elongating mark. Cocoon coats are probably the best option, but an a-line coat is also great for making the waist appear slimmer. For a sportier feel consider a lined bomber jacket.
You have a small frame and are under 5’4 (160cm).
Petite women need to find just the right amount of fabric so their coats don’t appear overly bulky. Petites are the perfect candidates for shorter styles, like a peacoat or a cropped shearling. However, longer styles like classic wool and duster coats can actually be quite flattering on petite women as long as they are well-tailored and have slimmer cuts. The clean, long line creates the illusion of height. Belted coats are also great, as a clearly defined waist means elongated legs. Basically, petites should choose between two extremes. Avoid knee-length options as they will cut the body in a strange place (making legs shorter than they actually are). A well-tailored petite suit complements your coat look beautifully, offering a stylish and confident ensemble.
You have a long and lanky frame: your bust and hips are around the same size, but your waist isn’t very clearly defined.
Tall women are lucky. They have the height to pull off more voluminous shapes and don’t have to be conscious of hemlines. They can wear styles that are tricky to many other body shapes, like oversized cocoons or duster coats. If you’re looking for a more feminine style, you can go for a tailored coat with a wide hemline that will define your waist and create a curvier bottom, like a princess or swing coat.
Sometimes having a big bust can make shopping for the right coat hard. You need a style that gives you enough room for comfort without looking overly boxy. Look for an open front coat that won’t restrict you. Draped or cascading styles are excellent because they have less fabric than wrap coats with wide lapels. Choose a belted version to add definition to your waist.
Shopping for a constantly changing body is challenging to say the least. You’ll want a style that allows room for growth while remaining stylish. If you can wear it post-pregnancy, even better! Choose a belted style like a trench coat or a wrap coat. Tying the belt above your bump creates a fake waist by making an empire silhouette. A cape is another ultra-stylish choice that will comfortably fit your growing baby bump.
Just because the temperatures drop, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. There are flattering coats out there for everyone. It just takes a bit of trial and error to find the perfect one for your body.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I determine my body type for choosing the right coat?
- To determine your body type, observe your body's proportions focusing on your shoulders, waist, and hips. A tape measure can help you get accurate measurements. Typically, body types are categorized as hourglass, pear, apple, inverted triangle, petite, tall/rectangle, and for those with a larger bust or during pregnancy.
What coat styles work best for a pear-shaped body?
- If you have a pear-shaped body, opt for coats that accentuate your shoulders and waist, and elongate your legs. Knee-length styles, coats with interesting collars and lapels, and belted coats are ideal choices. Avoid coats that end at the hip as they may emphasize the hip area.
Can tall women wear shorter coat styles effectively?
- Absolutely! While tall women can carry off longer, more voluminous coats easily, they can also experiment with shorter styles. Just ensure the coat is proportionate to your body and doesn't appear too small.
Are there specific coat styles recommended for petite women?
- Yes, petite women should look for coats that don't overwhelm their frame. Shorter styles like peacoats or cropped jackets work well, as do longer, well-tailored coats with clean lines. Avoid knee-length coats as they can make the legs appear shorter.
What should I look for in a coat if I have an hourglass figure?
- For hourglass figures, structured coats that skim your curves are best. Belted coats can accentuate your waist, and styles that end below the hips are preferable. Trench coats and belted wool wraps are excellent options.
How should women with an apple shape choose their coats?
- Women with an apple shape should select coats that draw attention away from the waist and towards the legs. Cocoon coats and a-line styles can make the waist appear slimmer, with the hemline ideally hitting at the top of the thighs.
What kind of coats should women with a big bust avoid?
- If you have a big bust, avoid coats that are too restrictive or boxy. Instead, choose open-front coats, draped styles, or belted coats that offer definition without constriction.
Are there coat options that work well during pregnancy?
- During pregnancy, look for coats that offer room for growth and can potentially be worn post-pregnancy. Belted styles like trench coats or wrap coats are ideal. Capes also offer a stylish and comfortable fit for a growing baby bump.
Can I find stylish coats that are also sustainable and ethical?
- Yes, there are many brands that offer sustainable and ethically made coats. Look for brands that use eco-friendly materials and practices, and check for certifications like Fair Trade or Organic.
How can I ensure my coat lasts many seasons?
- Proper care and maintenance are key. Follow the care label instructions, consider professional cleaning for delicate materials, and store your coat properly during off-seasons to ensure longevity and appearance.