Pushing the coat out to beat that winter chill

Top that: Purple cape, �29.99; red coat, �39.99, and all other accessories featured from TK Maxx (www.tkmaxx.com)
Top that: Purple cape, �29.99; red coat, �39.99, and all other accessories featured from TK Maxx (www.tkmaxx.com)
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It’s so much more than your armour against the elements.

A coat has the ability to update an entire seasonal wardrobe and flatter your figure.

Write-on: Autograph coat, �199; Autograph shirt, �59; trousers, �99; bag, �85, Marks & Spencer (0845 302 1234/www.marksandspencer.com)

Write-on: Autograph coat, �199; Autograph shirt, �59; trousers, �99; bag, �85, Marks & Spencer (0845 302 1234/www.marksandspencer.com)

So get ready to focus on finding your winter wardrobe must-have before the best ones sell out.

Fashion icon Dannii Minogue, who recently launched her My Style book (Simon and Schuster, £19.99) lists the coat in her top five wardrobe staples “A coat is potentially one of the most expensive pieces you will ever purchase, so above all, it should be functional,” says Danni. “That means warm, a cut and shape that suits you, and that goes with as many other pieces in your wardrobe as possible.”

A coat is worth investing time and money in. and this coming season, there are endless shapes, patterns and lengths to plump for - from blanket styles to minimalist androgynous cuts,

COLOUR CREW

Brighten up dreary autumnal days with a coat in this season’s colour blocking craze.

It could provide a yin and yang solution to your wardrobe. If you’re usually found in dark or neutral colours, a statement shade will add some instant outfit oomph.

A neat Crayola-bright coat is the easiest way to cover up in this trend. Just make sure you pick out hues that flatter both your complexion and closet.

FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: There’s a rainbow palette to choose from, but don’t be dazzled; you also need to focus on finding the cut that suits your figure. Belted styles are a great shape booster if you’re craving an hourglass figure.

BLANKET BRIGADE

Ignore its hippy connotations - the blanket coat is totally hip this season.

A cross between a coat and cardigan, this slouchy style will add a native touch to your look, with a patchwork of colours and prints available.

Go safe with a monochrome colourway or opt for geometric brights to make a statement.

FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: blanket coats can disguise problem areas like bottom or thighs. But be wary of thick, bulky fabrics if you’re aiming for a clean silhouette.

MAN GANG

If you’re a fan of slimline and minimalist, try the no-fuss, androgynous coat.

That doesn’t mean hunting out your man’s best overcoat; these masculine-inspired cuts and rigid lines need to look as though they’re bespoke to you.

Add a luxe spin via contrast leather or satin trim on pockets and lapels - a fashionable nod to femininity.

FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: Curvier shapes are best suited to sleek, three-quarter length styles, so slim, tailored, mannish coats are ideal for those who are short-waisted or wide at the middle.

CAPE COLLECTIVE

Capes and ponchos started to creep onto the scene last winter - and this year, they have an even bigger presence. While some have discreet arm holes set in line with the cape, others leave arms airing with sleeveless designs which make autumnal layering easy.

Make like Little Red Riding Hood in a bold bright, or embrace the heritage trend with a rich tartan or tweed check.

FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: Short, boxy styles can make curves look bulky, so capes work well for petites or boyish shapes, especially those with pockets in areas where you want to accentuate curves, such as the hips or bust.

SIXTIES SWING

There’s no hiding from the Sixties comeback this season, so cover up in a retro-inspired coat. From sloping shoulders and cropped bracelet sleeves to sleek, collarless trim coats, there are various shapes to encapsulate the mod scene.

Enhance your Sixties vibe with a beehive hairdo, knee boots or miniskirt.

FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: Shorter styles will increase leg length if you’re lacking height. Avoid voluminous swinging shapes and opt for the more figure-hugging, tailored styles if you want a curve-friendly option.