For me, great color is mood altering but it can also be a bit tricky. With all the patterns, prints, metallics, sheens and textures in my clothes and even my outerwear, I realized I needed at least one piece that could tie it all together.
A classic trench coat.
For years I turned my nose up at a classic, beige trench coat. I don’t do beige. I don’t do neutrals. I’m bold and sassy! Why not a red trench or a damask print?
Well, I have, let’s say “a few” crazy colored coats and patterns and the problem is that they have the tendency to clash violently with other prints or just look so busy with a patterned purse. I was on a print overload and I needed my outerwear to not contrast so much against my overall look.
So on a rainy day in NYC when I didn’t have a coat and was freezing, I popped into Macy’s and tried on a basic trench… and bought it. I asked them to take the tags off so I could just wear it right out the store and I was asked 5 times where I bought that coat before I even left the store. Every time I wear it, I’m asked where I bought my coat. And every time I wear it I feel like a chicer version of myself.
The trench coat is a timeless staple and I’ve realized its versatility is what makes it such a wardrobe staple. The classic look and neutral color make it suitable for any palette. Plus the classic line and shape can dress up anything that’s hiding underneath (or not). When I took the intro photo (where I was wearing leggings and a big sweater on top), where I’ve closed and belted the trench, I just look like a very nice lady (at least that’s what I think).
When it comes to coats I try to invest as much money in them as I can afford. I’ve found that higher quality will look better, hang better and last longer making it worth the final cost. My new trench was in the $100 range and is similar to this classic London Fog Trench Coat (at left), but the range really can go from high like Burberry (middle image) to low like Target( at right)!
In a perfect world, I’d buy the Burberry – but for now, I’ll go with a mid priced trench coat. I think one of the reasons I get so many compliments is because the shape is flattering on me with a slight flare at at the hip and I adore the gold buttons. They’re just so shiny and perfect.
Other factors to consider would be the color (beige or perhaps navy), the cut (classic knee length or mid thigh length) and the finish (a water repellant version, maybe). Always go for the best that you can afford and make sure you treat your coat right by taking it to the dry cleaners regularly.
The classic trench coat has totally made me realize that neutrals can bring new light to my colorful wardrobe. Color lovers – what pieces do you use as a neutral base to build outfits?
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