The 4 coats you need for a lockdown winter
A big hello to you from Tier 3 – if you haven’t joined us yet, I hope you’re enjoying your relative freedom. Well actually as we’re so close to the county border if we turn one way we’re in Tier 3 and Tier 2 if we go the other although I suspect that will soon be irrelevant as the country levels up. As the rules stand for us at the moment, we’re mostly locked down but we can go to the gym which as I’m in my third week of bootcamp I’m very glad about. We can also see friends and family if we’re outside in a public space so I spent the weekend addressing my coat situation. We’re all going to need to wrap up if we’re going to stay sane so I’ve whittled today’s post down to the 4 coats you need for a lockdown winter
When I look back over the last few years of blogging, we’ve had quite a few discussions between us about not really needing coats any more because we spend so little time outside in winter – well that’s about to change. Here we’re already planning to have bonfire night on our new landing stage (must take some photos) and the eldest has said that he’d like us to spend his birthday down there with a takeaway curry and a new board game he’s discovered. His birthday is on 21st December so my coats are going to have to work hard! All of this means that for this year at least, it’s out with anything too classic and in with coats that will layer and still look good. So here are the 4 coats you need for a lockdown winter.
4 coats you need for a lockdown winter.
1. A down coat(s)
I’m beginning with the fundamental basic, the down coat. I can’t imagine my life without the collection of these that I’ve built up in different weights and colours over the last four years. On a cold day it’s like going out with your duvet wrapped around you. The thing is that coats can be a real pain to store and so you often end up only having two or three. These however pack down and so when it comes to summer you can simply pop them into a vacuum bag (I put my long ones in with the winter duvet) and they hardly take up any space at all.
You can buy down jackets from all kinds of places but in my view there’s one retailer that takes them much more seriously than any other and that’s Uniqlo. At the end of each season they take a fresh look at them, focussing on every little detail which means that each time a new collection is launched, you’ll see small improvements. And there are iterations for different temperatures so let me take you through them – I should just add that Uniqlo has been criticised for sustainability on its down in the past but it’s now waiting for its RDS certification (responsible down standard) to confirm that it does not source from farms that practice live plucking or force feeding.
The ultra-light compact ‘just in case’ layer (available in khaki, camel, pink, black, grey, white, navy and brown). The compact is the intro option, best used for layering. It has the same crew neck as the others but as you can see from this picture, there are handy press studs inside so that you can fix the lapel down if you’re wearing it under a V-necked coat or blazer. I find this option good for slipping on after a gym session too when you’re too hot to wear a normal coat. Self-packable – it comes with its own small bag so that you can squash it down and pop it in your shoulder bag.
The ultra-light hooded jacket (available in sage green, grey, black, pink, natural, yellow, blue and navy). This has the same light level of filling as the compact but it also has the hood. You saw me layering a navy one of these under a camel cocoon coat in Edinburgh to add an athleisure touch to an otherwise classic outfit. They’re also good for wearing on their own until early November. Self-packable.
The ultra-light cocoon (available in pink, black, natural, brown blue and navy) this is new this season and has a less fitted silhouette than the standard hooded version so that you can wear it over big jumpers – this is what I mean about Uniqlo improving the range every year. Self-packable.
The next level up on the short jackets is the seamless down which is the warmest option, perfect when it really gets chilly. Available in pink, black, cream, and blue. Not self-packable.
The ultra-light coat (available in navy, black, khaki and grey). Like the ultra-light jackets this is self-packable so particularly good for travelling or for days when you’re not sure about the weather. It also layers easily beneath other long coats.
The seamless cocoon coat (available in olive, grey, black and navy). The ultimate in cold weather wear, this is the coat I turn to from mid-November onwards. It has fleece lined pockets and a warm hood, perfect for blustery walks or standing on the rugby touchline.
On trend quilted jackets
The AW20 catwalks moved on from the last few seasons of huge, oversized puffas to a more streamlined silhouette with quilting. Apparently inspired by the Queen, they haven’t quite hit the high street yet but I’ve found a couple of well priced options if you prefer a more elegant cut.
Short diamond quilted jacket (currently 20% off, also available in bronze). Really lovely detailing on this with the contrasting zips. Selling fast so be quick if you want one.
Long diamond quilted jacket (currently 20% off, low stock, also available in black, grey and navy). The longer version of the same style, a street styler favourite, water resistant and great for chillier days.
2. A raincoat
Rain usually comes along with November and a decent raincoat is going to be important if we’re outside this winter – one that works. That for me rules out most trenchcoats which are pretty for the city but not much else. It’s hard to find rainwear that is well designed though so I’ve picked out the best of the pieces that go beyond the hiker look. If you’re going to be standing around in the rain or walking to keep your spirits up, you need something that you can layer up and down. There’s nothing worse than reaching the halfway point of a sodden walk and realising that you’re wet and sweaty on the inside even if you’re dry on your outer layers. On colder days simply add a down jacket underneath.
Year round raincoats that can be layered underneath
Black Scandi raincoat (also available in navy) the Scandi branding sets this one apart as well as its weatherproof detailing – designed to withstand harsher weather than ours.
Rubberised raincoat (also available in khaki) another chic Scandi rainwear brand that incorporates great design into practical detail and manages to do it for a sensible price.
Pared down grey raincoat (also available in red, khaki, black and navy) as minimalist as it gets, a beautifully cut piece of well thought through weather protection.
Winter raincoats with warm integrated linings
Navy coat with quilted lining (also available in teal, off white, khaki and black). Now this is a lovely brand that could be brilliant but half of their designs stumble into slightly frumpy cuts. They’re great at bad weather coats though as the five star reviews and low stock situation shows.
Navy parka with removable hood and lining (also available in khaki) with layering options worked in, this sold out as soon as it arrived so you’ll need to wait for the next delivery but you can backorder it now.
Hybrid down coat with removable hood (also available in black, navy or taupe). A down raincoat with a sleek cut, the best of both worlds.
3. A textured coat – Teddy or faux fur
We’ve already talked about the importance of texture this season and these are the coat version of a portable warm hug. Choose the teddy version if you’re looking for something that’s easy to clean or the faux fur for a look that’s pure luxe. Make sure the cut is simple though.
Black faux fur (also available in taupe) – a great price for quality faux fur in a relaxed, cocoon cut.
Charcoal faux fur (currently 20% off) – a versatile colour that’s kinder to the skin than black but won’t show the dirt. The pile is deep and soft on this one.
Cream faux fur (20% off with MIDLIFECHIC20) – the Mayfair of faux fur coats this season, I keep looking longingly at it. It’s another that sold out as soon as it came in but it’s available to backorder and will arrive just before Christmas if you have somebody who wants to treat you. It’s an investment but it’s a coat that you’d have for life.
Navy faux fur jacket (currently 20% off) – navy faux fur is hard to find but I tracked it down in a shorter jacket. Great for anyone who has blue as the core colour in their wardrobe capsule.
Classic camel teddy (also available in black or olive) I’ve already covered this but I had to include it as part of this post because it’s such great value. Camel works with everything but if you’re buying a wool coat you need to get the pile right which tends to be expensive. This is an easy way to test drive it as a colour if you’re not quite ready to invest at a MaxMara level.
Cream teddy jacket – an easy jacket to throw on if you’re just popping out and there’s room to layer a down jacket underneath this cut on colder days
Chocolate teddy – for lovers of chocolate brown which was going to be such a big colour this season until Covid hit and retailers went for safer buys. This is a good price and it has a double breasted cut for those who prefer it.
4. A layerable smart coat – wool pea and cocoon coats
Last of all I still think there’s a place for a wool coat this year but as the mood is so casual, a looser cut is cooler. Pea coats are chic with jeans and boots for country walks and look good layered with down. Cocoon coats will always elevate an outfit in a youthful way without making it look as formal as a straight-cut city coat would.
Grey pea jacket (also available in black) – a slightly shorter peacoat cut, great for petites or anyone with a shorter body and long legs.
Navy peacoat with gold buttons – longer and leaner, this is the cut that I look for to help rebalance my body as it falls to the top of the thigh.
Mid-blue pea coat(also available in berry red or black) – now this isn’t quite what I’d call a peacoat because it doesn’t have the classic row of buttons down the front but it’s still a great style and the colours are a good option if you’re trying to get away from dark shades.
Grey marl textured cocoon coat – this moves on from the season’s love of donegal tweed with a fleck added to the fabric which makes it more interesting than a flat grey wool.
Purple wool knit cocoon coat (also available in black, navy, pine, cobalt and mushroom) sitting somewhere between a cardigan and a coat, this is an easy way to throw on a splash of colour.
Navy cocoon coat – there’s a lovely 50s Grace Kelly element to this coat with its wide sleeves. The bonus is that it would be especially easy to layer a down jacket underneath.
Tan cocoon coat (also available in deep burgundy) – now this is a colour that doesn’t look much until you put it on and realise that it adds depth to anything you wear with it. I have a coat in this colour and every season people ask me where it’s from, it’s a shade that’s hard to find and I’ve added a few pictures of me in mine over the years below to show you how it lifts dark colours.
Grey boucle cocoon coat (also available in pine green) a simple grey coat but in a bouclé texture which makes all the difference. This season is all about wearing fabrics that feel and look extra-special.
So there you go, the 4 coats you need for a lockdown winter. There’s no point in me looking at party coats or anything like that this year – but won’t it be exciting next winter when we can think of frivolous things like that again?
Walking boots for rainy days
It must be a practical year because after sixteen years of living here, I’ve finally bought a pair of walking boots. They remind me of something a Star Wars Stormtrooper would wear and yes, I know they’re partly white and they’ll get muddy but I’ll just clean them in the same way I do trainers or wellies when I’ve been on a wet walk – it’s no big deal. If you’re not into cleaning your boots though they’re available in a more classic brown and black colourway. They’re hugely comfortable and they’re a new launch that is high heat at the moment so you’ll need to move fast if you want some. I think it’s the first time that I’ve bought footwear that the eldest has coveted but they’re out of his price range at the moment poor boy.
There’s something else I thought I’d bring to your attention. I see from the website that John Lewis & Partners have introduced a wellness department which is a good idea for these times. I have to say it’s really interesting watching the new direction that JL&P are taking at the moment – I’m sure you all read at the weekend about their plan to move into property development, I quite fancy the idea of moving into a John Lewis house. Anyway along with other wellness brands, they’ve introduced a curated edit of Standard Dose which is exclusive to them in the UK. Standard Dose is a New York brand dedicated to wellness with a collection of CBD and plant based products.
I know nothing about CBD other than that I’m offered quite a lot of money on a daily basis by brands who want me to push their unregulated products on to you. I suspect that there’s a lot of snake oil around so I steer clear of them but if you were ever going to try it, I can imagine that JL&P would be a good place to start. It’s believed that CBD products can help with some of the trickier symptoms that accompany menopause so if you’d like to read more about it, you can find all of the information here.
This really made me smile when it popped into my Inbox. Designed for Hallowe’en but you could wear it any time, a contribution from each purchase goes towards the charity Bloody Good Period, fighting period poverty.
(In case you haven’t hard the phrase, ‘resting bitch face’ is the term that’s often levelled at midlife women in particular because the corners of their mouths tend to turn down when relaxed!).
And with that I’ll leave you. I’ll be back on Friday with a try-on and I’ll also be launching my latest bags which have arrived at last. It’s a tiny collection because I felt nervous about making a big investment at the moment but if they sell quickly I can order some more. Something to look forward to I hope, until then, thank you for reading and have a good week.
Disclosure: ‘4 coats you need for a lockdown winter’ is not a sponsored post
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