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All Wrapped Up

It’s December in Texas and one needs a crystal ball to determine what to wear. Temperatures could be 80 degrees or 28 degrees on any given day. What’s a girl to do?

Make a statement with “can’t miss” outerwear, regardless of the temperature. I suggest building a three-piece coat wardrobe to get you through any type of climate turn in style.

  1. A coat that transcends the seasons. A trench coat or any riff on this classic will do the trick.
  2. A between-season knee-length coat or cape that works day or night. 
  3. A true winter coat in the very best fabric you can afford.

When contemplating a trench coat, most people automatically think of the standard of all trenches, Burberry. But there are other options in all price points. How about a très chic Jane Mayle number that conjures up images of sipping cocoa at a Paris bistro (available at V.O.D.). Or, opt for an Ann Taylor version – it’s single-breasted and proportioned well to work with longer skirt lengths.

When it is chilly out, but not quite cool enough to retrieve the fur stashed in storage, either a cashmere sweater coat, cape or a leather or suede jacket is the way to go. Capes make such a grand statement and can be worn day and evening – whether to a Cowboys’ game or the symphony. Check out Portolano’s capes in every hue of the rainbow (available at Tootsies).

Andrew Marc has found a way to combine trench coat, leather coat and fur coat in one. Dubbed the “Radical,” this coveted find is more refined with its super soft, supple, lightweight and sleek (available at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom; shown in image at left).

How should a coat fit? First, try it on with the type of clothes you’re likely to wear under it and test your mobility. Reach and lift as though you are driving. Do the shoulders pull? If so, then try the next size up. The coat should not be tight around your hips – look for drape and fluidity. Also, check the sleeve length, which should be long enough to clear the top of your hand or a glove.

Speaking of gloves, I consider them a must have. A pair can add just the right amount of panache to your ensemble. Toss on a knit or cashmere scarf and you’ll be ready to brave the elements.