Winter coat of many colours

Maisie rust coat, �269; Carnaby dress, �249 and Iris boots, �279, Hobbs (0845 313 3130/www.hobbs.co.uk)
Maisie rust coat, �269; Carnaby dress, �249 and Iris boots, �279, Hobbs (0845 313 3130/www.hobbs.co.uk)
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It may not be frosty just yet, but you’ll be left out in the cold if you don’t bag a winter coat sharpish.

With the best buys gone by November, it’s worth bucking the trend of being fashionably late.

Jaeger London patent belted mac, �1,800 (0845 521 0495/www.jaeger.co.uk).

Jaeger London patent belted mac, �1,800 (0845 521 0495/www.jaeger.co.uk).

While the primary function of a winter coat is keeping you warm and protected, a good coat is the ultimate style statement too, and has the power to reinvent your entire look.

As it’s something you’ll be wearing over and over again, hopefully for years, it’s worth investing and taking time to choose the right one for you.

Just about every key trend of this season can be tapped into. Choose your favourite look and let your winter coat do all the leg (and arm) work...

RUSSIAN ROMANCE

TK Maxx green check coat, �99.99 (www.tkmaxx.com).

TK Maxx green check coat, �99.99 (www.tkmaxx.com).

Costume film epics like Anna Karenina are a masterclass in dramatic overcoats.

Think rich, luxurious fabrics adorned with intricate embroidery and elegant embellishment that scream high society – perfect for the party season.

Faux fur is another way to channel Russian romance. Stick to longer length coat styles in versatile shades of ivory, brown or black.

If you don’t want to go for full-on fur, look to faux fur details on statement collars.

Pied a Terre blue coat, �235; Twenty8Twelve jumper, �150 and Label Lab Kenora skirt, �55, all available at House of Fraser (0207 003 4000/www.houseoffraser.co.uk).

Pied a Terre blue coat, �235; Twenty8Twelve jumper, �150 and Label Lab Kenora skirt, �55, all available at House of Fraser (0207 003 4000/www.houseoffraser.co.uk).

Styling tip: If you’re conscious of the widening effect of a bulky fur coat, try a belt to nip in the waist and add some shape.

COUNTRY CLASSICS

Let Downton Abbey and country living be your inspiration this winter.

Tweed coats, heritage checks, wax jackets and quilted cover-ups all feature heavily on the high street.

Work with your own wardrobe to find the country coat to suit your style.

Stick to tweeds and neutral colours if you like wearing prints, or opt for statement heritage checks.

Styling tip: Be wary of adding too many countryside accessories.

GOTHIC GLAMOUR

Go back to black this winter. This season the mood is dark and dramatic and, short of opting for Count Dracula’s cape, a slick black coat is the easy way to work the gothic vibe.

Glossy fabrics like leather, patent and PVC effortlessly work dominatrix chic.

If you prefer a matte fabric, keep the shape long and flowing for guaranteed dramatics as you strut.

Whatever your fabric, follow the catwalk’s lead and keep your silhouette belted and strong.

Styling tip: Morticia Addams should not be your style icon so avoid an all-black outfit and keep your hair and make-up fresh and natural.

MILITARY MODE

Stand to attention and battle the cold in a military coat this winter.

Military-esque features – sharp tailoring, strong shoulders and brass button detailing – translate so well to cover-ups.

Bright, soldier red isn’t in keeping with this season’s military mood, though. Instead, stick to longer-length coats in dark green, navy or black for extra longevity.

Ensure your new winter uniform carries the essential shiny brass buttons for uplifting detail.

Styling tip: If you’re opting for a double-breasted style, ensure you try the coat both open and closed for the perfect fit.

JEWEL GEMS

Opt for an uplifting rainbow-hued, bright coat to perk up the dark nights.

No matter what you’re wearing underneath, a splash of cobalt blue, orange, emerald green or red will transform your look instantly.

If a block colour feels too out-there, look out for this season’s shaded numbers with graduated colours ranging from black to bright detail at the bottom.

Styling tip: Place the jacket under your face to see if your chosen bright complements your colouring and brings out your features.

MANNISH BEHAVIOUR

Androgyny meets femininity for a thoroughly modern coat silhouette.

Think oversized, exaggerated shapes – as if you’re wearing something borrowed from your man’s wardrobe.

Look out for classic masculine shapes like tailored Crombie coats, or try a boxier silhouette like a cocoon coat, but always remember to keep what you wear underneath fitted and sleek.

Styling tip: A pair of heels will keep things sexy and ensure your oversized coat doesn’t drown you.