Which coat suits your body shape?

Which coat to choose for your body shape?

j.crew embellished coat worn by fashion stylist and blogger sara delaney

My name is Sara, and I’m addicted to coats. It all began some years ago when I figured out that a good coat could cover up a multitude of outfit mishaps. From then on my beady eyes would set to seek out coats every season regardless of whether my closet called for one or not. But initially my shopping choices were not based on body shape or indeed my Style ID, so you can imagine the pile of flotsam and jetsam which accrued.

club monaco coat worn by fashion stylist and blogger sara delaney

Fast forward to today and I’ve got a little more savvy about which coat actually suits my body shape. That’s not to say a few bad choices still don’t sneak in…Yes – you – gorgeous pink cocoon coat by Raey which I fell for last year for the colour; not even considering the body shape. And thanks to the onset of mid-life waist thickening I find myself looking more like a glorified bag lady rather than the insouciant fashion slayer image I had going on in my head.

animal print coat from Marissa Collections

So this season which coats are out there which might be just perfect for your body shape and which should you steer clear of?

First up head to our ‘Start Here’ page to figure out where you are on the body shape spectrum, then rejoin us back here for the run down.

pear bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

 

 

This body shape is dominated by a larger lower half than upper half – that’s not to say you don’t have a waistline, so the joy of belted coats is still within your grasp. Look for pieces with accents on the shoulders – think this season’s military with epaulettes, trench coats with extra shoulder swag to counterbalance your proportions. Steer clear of capes as they will accentuate the width of your lower half. While tailored coats might be hard to fit on the shoulder if you’re sizing to fit your hips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

flute bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a flute shape, you can take advantage of the curve making capabilities of a belted coat. Think trench, classic camel or blanket. Double breasted items can add width and shape to your slim frame, and you are lucky enough to be able to pull off anything oversized or chunky faux fur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inverted triangle bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

 

 

If you’re an inverted triangle, you’re best tactic in the well-fitting-winter-coat department is to look for items with details or wider shaping on the lower half of the garment. Capes are perfect for balancing out your body shape Otherwise embellishment on the hem, being clever with stripes and pattern. Straight up and down tailored coats with monochrome outfits underneath can hide all sorts of dodgy shape images too.

 

 

 

 

 

hourglass bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re an hourglass shape you’ve lucked out and can wear all sorts of different coats. Be mindful of your size and proportion to really get it right. The more statuesque you are, the bolder the statement or pattern you can get away with. If you’re more on the diminutive side, avoid double breasting and oversized numbers unless you’re buying in the petite range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For other body issues, a few golden rules should come into play.

broad shoulders bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

For broad shoulder see the inverted triangle rules above.

 

 

 

 

narrow shoulders bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

For narrow shoulder look to the buying tips above for a pear shaped body.

 

 

 

 

large bust bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

Large busted gals should step away from double breasted items and opt for tailored pieces.

 

 

 

small bust bodyshape illustration by zarina liew

 

 

While small chested ladies might want to seek out coats with pockets on the chest or military detailing to accentuate the upper half.

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2 Comments

  1. Fiona Hutchinson
    October 7, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Hi Sarah, you don’t mention apple shapes, or those of us with a middle aged thickening waist? Or did I miss the description?

    • October 7, 2016 / 12:23 pm

      Hi Fiona

      Haha – I was thinking the exact same thing! I’ve stuck to these 4 body shapes for now but am working on adding that body shape to my overall list as am hitting that stage of life too 😉

      For coats I would recommend nothing shapeless – some women go for the all-encompassing cover up with a loose unstructured blanket coat or similar… I think you need to create at least the semblance of a silhouette so a good tailored coat works well… think single breasted and wear monochrome outfits underneath in a neutral to minimize lumpy bits. Stand down from belting anything as that just makes you look wider when your waistline is thickening (believe me I’ve tried!). You can also create the illusion of a little shape by opting for coats with details or embellishment on shoulders or neckline… this season’s military coats have a bundle of cute brass button or epaulette details which will do the trick.

      Hope that helps… and check back for an apple shape update on the ‘Start Here’ page in the not too distant…

      Sara
      xx

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