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For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Mastering the details of building a coat wardrobe

By Traci McBride

I always tell my clients that you need to have practical yet stylish outer coats for different purposes. Now, practical does NOT equal boring! If you mind the details I have outlined here for you, it will be easier to make the right choices.

Most men and women need purposeful coats for:Coat Wardrobe1

  • Dog walking/grocery store (two to three different weights)
  • A good trench (preferably with zip-out liner)
  • Dressy evening coats (mid-length)
  • Car length (covers the tush)
  • Work every day (fits over pants or dresses/suits)
  • Below 50 degrees
  • Above 50 degrees
  • Casual weight jackets for weekends (two or three in solid/texture/print)
  • Leather/fur if that is your preference
  • Ski-type nylon jacket/coat for hanging out with the kids (easy to move, wash, and wear)

Pay attention to the details of your coat.

Matching buttons vs. contrasting buttons. Coat Wardrobe2
If you struggle with the contrasting metals of your buttons vs. your purse and boot buckles, you will value a matching button on your coats.

Pockets. Another detail … could be slash pockets (near right) or Coat Wardrobe3made more styled with a wide cuff or button (far right).

Seams of Shape and Style

Coat Wardrobe4The illustrations to the left demonstrate the importance of princess seams. To this date I have not put any of my clients in a boxy jacket or coat. I’ve let some of them keep a not-so-thrilling boxy item that they already own — but once they embrace their new style recipe, they later let that box shape go or invest in tweaking it into shape.

Seams give your clothes a shape and fit that flatters and shapes you! Style is in the details of fit. You’ve seen men and women in too-big clothes and too-big coats that just communicate “sloppy” or “frumpy,” no matter what size you are. Look for these details when you shop. Be picky or you might end up with a closet of garment orphans.

Coat Wardrobe5One thing I hope you notice is nothing pictured here is all black. Black is very deliberately only in the details of the coat. Many of us already have a few black coats, so if they don’t look awesome and fit crisply, move them to your weekend or dog-walking category. If they look awesome, brighten them up with a scarf and gloves in your power color and get more out of them.

Men: Show your confidence with cashmere camel or tweed and leather details.Coat Wardrobe6

I challenge you to always look as good in your coats as you do in your clothes. Some people will see you more in your coat than in your carefully chosen wardrobe. In the colder months your favorite barista, clerk, teacher, parents (you get the idea) only have that image of you in your coat.

Watch for pilling and loose threads and hanging lining. Coat Wardrobe7Carry a lint roller in your purse or car,
especially if you have pets at home, to do a quick roll after walking out the door.

Creating a coat wardrobe is an investment over time. Try to avoid anything too trendy and of the moment — or at least don’t spend much on it as it may lose its appeal quickly.

Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She can be reached via email and her website.


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