How to wear the black coat without looking boring?
When confronted to the difficult moment of choosing your new coat, lots of us will opt for the classic of classics: the black coat.
And regarding the fact that you’ll have to wear it every single day of the winter season and that it will have to match each and every of your outfits that is perfectly logical to prefer have at least one in a versatile color.
Other very versatile options would be other neutrals such as grey, beige and navy blue.
White getting easily dirty…
So let’s get back to black.
The problem is that every single girl in the street has a black coat.
Something the parisians do not really care about is too look alike when it comes to classics.
In the streets it seems that the crowd of trench and perfectos is replaced by a crowd of black coats when winter comes.
Still, I personally like to have my own difference when wearing a black coat.
Hence the question of the day: how to wear the black coat without being just the black sheep of fashion?
1. The choice of the coat
Supposing you do not already own one.
If you do and it is still in great shape, you can directly go to 2. to see how to upgrade it.
The shape of your new coat could be anything: tailored, A-line, cape, boyfriend, belted, every style can be done.
Quality is key, especially when it comes to such a big piece as a coat.
You want the hems to be perfect, the lining to be subtle, the buttons to be well attached and the fabric to be beautiful.
Avoid coats that contain nylon or acrylic which will make them look shiny (and not warm enough anyway).
Also forget about the cheap coat with lots of insignificant low quality details like sewings, wide collars, etc. Those have to be perfectly mastered to look great. Only the beautiful details will add style to your coat.
An outstanding fabric such as faux fur or fluffy wool can make your coat look different.
Such a coat may be expensive but consider this being an investment for the next five years. If you do, the cost per wear won’t be so terrible and you’ll be glad to have something that really keeps you warm.
Make also sure the coat flatters your body.
Petite ladies look best in shorter coats, tall thin girls are amazing in oversize boyfriend coat, hourglass women will be fab in belted coat…
2. How to pimp it?
This is all about what you wear on top and what you wear underneath.
Colored scarves are a great way to make your coat look different everyday.
You want them to make a nice transition with your coat rather than to be an harsh flash of color.
I recommend you to opt for rich saturated colors (greens, oranges, pinks, reds, yellows, etc) or darker tones (navy blue, emerald green, burgundy, deep purple, etc) eventually containing some sparkle and print.
Witness the miracle wears a dark green scarf and burgundy shoes that enlighten the black coat in a discreet manner
Ellen Claesson. Green and orange are rich and saturated yet not too flashy
Neutrals and dusty colors are a nice way to transition from black to skin too.
You can also use a print mix that contains black in order to remain subtle.
A beige scarf with black stripes
Blake lively with a patterned scarf that contains black.
A pair of beautiful leather black gloves is always a good idea because they are chic and make a fabric transition with your coat (assuming it is not made of leather) which makes them be noticeable.
You can also opt for gloves in rich colors such as what you did for scarves.
Neutrals such as grey and dusty colors can be an option but will get dirty way too fast.
3. Bags, hats and shoes
Everything that you see outside of the coat is an important accessory.
They can be colorful, have an interesting fabric, shine, be printed or have all at once so you notice them.
The flashy effect can be achieved in an elegant way with those.
A dusty pink beanie, a gold bag, and crisp white shoes with black stripes make a fresh and harmonious outfit
Et pourquoi pas Coline with pretty snake leather booties
4. Brooches and earrings
As I stated in my article “how to wear jewels in winter“, brooches and earrings have this great interest that they are visible in the street.
Use them to make your coat personal.
Alexa Chung, master in brooches
If you suffer from myopia, get you brooch at Dries Van Noten
Topshop fall 2012 with big pendant earrings (indeed! See: clothes are meant to be kept)
5. Wear you coat opened
Ok, ok, not everyone can do this, but hey, if you can…
This way, you can see what’s underneath.
Just like a jacket, the coat can be a cool manner to make your whole outfit look more stylish
You could show your collar
Your pair of vintage Levis would clash with your wealthy looking coat for a cool result
You would not be shy to wear your gold skirt in the street (in front of paparazzi of course)
6. Wear bold lipstick
And black gets luminous. Picture by Vanessa Jackman
And you? Do you own a black coat? How do you wear it?