Outerwear is arguably one of the most fun categories to shop for. Whether it's a timeless trench or a tundra-proof parka, coats are one of the best ways to make a sartorial statement regardless of where you live or venture to throughout winter. Besides, a new coat (or two, or three) is often a wise investment each season: Not only will its cost-per-wear ratio be lower than that of, say, a sweater, but also because it should last you multiple seasons. Which brings us to the biggest fall coat trends of 2018: The runways ushered in a host of fresh looks from classic silhouettes to impactful prints in a range of fabrications like warm wool, supple leather, and cozy down.
Whether you’re looking to update your collection with a new color, luxe texture, or exaggerated shape, options abound at a range of price points. And, taking stock of the new-season trends — as well as what's already hanging in your closet — is helpful when considering a pricier purchase, especially if you’re going to invest in a designer version.
If your style is classic and you’re looking to add a bit of flash into the mix, a traditionally tailored coat in a pastel shade or of-the-moment leopard print could suit you well. Designers like Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors, and Max Mara showed elegantly spotted coats while Balenciaga, Acne Studios, and Saks Potts delivered on sorbet shades.
If you’ve rotated through a series of statement-making styles and are hoping to replace a couple showstoppers, fall’s fresh approach to puffer coats and shearling might spark some interest. We got chills after seeing Dior, Louis Vuitton, Altuzarra, and Giambattista Valli’s takes on shearling. Likewise for and Chanel, Peter Pilotto, Roksanda, and Alexander McQueen’s fanciful puffers. For fail-safe styling with edgy appeal, luxurious leather coats proved unanimous in both neutral colors and vivid shades — Chloé, Miu Miu, and Rejina Pyo showed slick variations.
Wherever you fall on the outerwear spectrum, we tapped Natalie Kingham, buying director at MATCHESFASHION.COM to help break down the fall coat trends that will be everywhere this season. Read on as she shares pro-tips for styling each trend with aplomb, plus, shop our edit of fall coats for every budget.
“Definitively the trend of the season, you'll have no trouble finding the animal print of your dreams," says Kingham. "Leopard print galore at Max Mara and the tiger print show stopper at Bottega Veneta were highlights. A coat is such an effortless way to buy into the trend because it allows the primal prints to either be an accent or your total look." And if you're not sure how to incorporate it into your current wardrobe, know that you can and should treat animal print as a neutral, Kingham tells TZR.
“Soft hues, particularly in a coat, can be tricky as you want to appear anything but washed out in the winter months,” says Kingham. “Opt for a pastel with purpose such as teddy texture like Roksanda’s version or romantic print at Burberry are sophisticated alternatives to a solid.” She suggests you pair pastel outwear "with tonal separates such as a navy coordinating pant and top.”
“Leather coats have always been a staple for a fall winter wardrobe and this season is no different," says Kingham. "From Maison Margiela’s update on the classic leather jacket with oversized proportions and Marques Almeida’s colorful take on a perennial biker style to Nili Lotan’s full length trench, there is a style for everyone. Layer it up, wear it from day to night — it’s a piece that'll last you a lifetime.”
“Shearling has proven to be more of a staple than a trend when it comes to coats; the last few years of designs have provided everything from aviator to shearling maxi coats all have staying power,” says Kingham. “The runway this AW18 taught us that the shearlings to invest in have that little something extra. From Isabel Marant’s intarsia version to Loewe’s layered luxury, your shearing should be and will be the star of your outfit.” Not sure how to wear it? “Don’t overthink it. Let your coat be the star of your look and pair with essentials like a black trouser and your favorite basic boots,” she says.
“The puffer is going through a moment of redefinition,” says Kingahm. “As the style came into popularity this time last year, it left so many of us daunted by its sheer size and challenge to make the (previously benign) chic. Designers like Gucci and Versace have made our lives easier by offering thoughtful volume in interesting prints and multiple textures.”