Wearing your winter coat: 9 Style Panel tips on how to complete your look, even with the bulk

Wearing Your Winter Coat Style Panel

The ladies of our Style Panel have started to help you ease into your winter wardrobe by showing you how to layer for the season, and ease into more weather-friendly boots. This week, they have taken on the daunting challenge how to pair a winter jacket with the rest of your outfit, while still maintaining some style.

Whatever your personal taste or style, the coat options this season are truly endless. Labels including Acne and Haider Ackermann took some cues from menswear and sent oversized coats down respective Fall 2012 runways. If bigger is not better for you, there are many more choices including coats that incorporate trends such as quilted leather and leopard print, as seen on Alexandra Nikolajev.
And what would a post about coats be without mentioning the cape, which Gucci did a stylish version of for its Fall 2012 collection. The cape keeps you warm and doesn’t constrict your arms, but if you’re wary about trying one for yourself, take a cue from Style Panel member Christina Cravero, who wears an Adrienne Vittidani cape in this week’s post. She ensures that a cape is not bulky and can be layered over top of other items, ensuring maximum warmness on a chilly day. So if you’re daring, maybe try a cape this season. If not, you can still take advice from our Style Panel members and see how they plan on styling their coats this winter.

Question 27: How do you wear you winter coat while still maintaining a stylish look? Read the answers now! »

Or jump to: ALEX GRANT, VANCOUVER ALEXANDRA NIKOLAJEV, TORONTO |BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO | CHRISTINA CRAVERO, TORONTO | ELODIE PARTHENAY, MONTREAL | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KRISTIN MACDONALD, FREDRICTON | MELISSA KNIGHT, VANCOUVER | WHITNEY COSGRAVE, LOS ANGELES

Winter Coat Alex Grant To Vogue or Bust


Alex Grant, 25
Vancouver | To Vogue or Bust

I don’t mess around when the temperature starts to get truly chilly. I run extremely cold and am ordinarily near hypothermic in the depths of winter, so I heavily rely on super warm coats and lots and lots (and lots) of layers. If I’m wearing a chunkier or roomier jacket (like this Old Navy number), I try to get clever with my layers: my trifecta of warmth on top (which consists of a thin cotton tank under a ¾ length sleeve top under a cashmere cardigan) combined with over-the-knee wool socks under thick-knit denim skinnies keeps the core of the look sleek while doing the bulk of the work in terms of locking in heat. Also, since these hard-working layering pieces function best in neutrals, having a bright pop of colour via your coat (like this cherry red one) gives an air of cheeriness to the whole look.

Alex’s wearing: Coat, Old Navy. Jeans, Fidelity. Top, H&M. Cardigan, Club Monaco. Necklace, Poshlocket. Boots, Sam Edelman. Bag, Mary Nichols. Gloves, Etre.

Winter Coat Elodie Parthenay Hello Elo

Elodie Parthenay, 26
Montreal |
Hello Elo

I love crewneck sweaters and wear them about all year-round, but they’re not always the most professional-looking piece of clothing out there… In order to make them work even in the smartest occasions, I’ll wear a collared shirt under a tight fitting sweater, and throw my favorite blazer over. Skinny pants and high-heeled booties complete the look.

Elodie’s wearing: Blazer, Theyskens Theory. Sweater, Uranium x Coeur de Pirate. Shirt, Dynamite. Jeans, Gap. Boots, Alexander Wang.

Winter Coat Barbara Ann Solomon

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

As the temperatures begin to dip I feel grateful for being a commuter by car. I work at The Bay’s head office in Brampton and luckily spend my mornings on the 401 not the TTC. Some of the few benefits of hours in traffic are being able to wear skirts and heels throughout the winter, and my coats are warm, but no need to really bundle up most days. My winter look is all about a great jacket that’s warm and long enough for me to continue my obsession with dresses and skirts all year. To ensure warmth throughout the season it’s important to stock up on some great gloves, hats, and scarves.

Barbara’s wearing: Jacket, Club Monaco. Fur Stole, Club Monaco. Sweater, Joe Fresh. Skirt, Topshop. Gloves, Coach. Tights, American Apparel. Boots, Seychelles.

Winter Coat Alexandra Nikolajev I'm A Little

Alexandra Nikolajev, 27
Toronto | I’m A Little

Ah, jacket season. Truly one of my favourite times of year, I am all for embracing the chilly weather and sporting an outerwear look that makes a statement. So I approach the dull change with a sharp attitude and look to add a bit of spice to my style. That’s why I always jazz up my typical evening look with a bold, all-or-nothing piece. As you can see, I’ve paired a basic velvet LBD with this faux fur number, because I honestly believe there’s no sense in hiding a great look under a simple skin. And while it’s thick and cozy enough to keep me warm during a cold night out, I’m not compromising on my love for statement pieces that are as practical as they are daring.

Alexandra’s wearing: Coat, Forever 21. Dress, Federation Clothing. Shoes, Zara. Jewellery, J.Crew, Vintage, Arden B.

Winter Coat Kristin MacDonald Doll Parade

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton, NB | Doll Parade

As the weather starts to turn frigid here in New Brunswick, I find myself defaulting to things like turtlenecks, mohair socks, and blanket-y warm coats in order to keep warm. The thing about winter in my part of the world is that your coat ends up being your entire “outfit” for 5-6 months, since that’s all that anyone sees you in, so having said that: we’ve got to make it work. First and foremost, I always choose something incredibly warm, since being frigid and frostbit is the least fashionable thing possible. Second, you have got to absolutely adore your coat choice. It has to fit perfectly and sit comfortably, as well as flatter my figure. Then, by adding small embellishments to my coats, I attempt to keep them fresh and interesting as the season rolls on. Just here I added a vintage stole that always makes me feel a little more dressed up, and I may even add a big ol’ rhinestone pin to that. It’s all about the embellishment.

Winter Coat Whitney Cosgrave See Shot Eat Do

Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Los Angeles via Vancouver | See Shop Eat Do

I purchased this coat a few years ago, and while it was a bit of a splurge it’s cost per use has become very low, as I get a ton of use out of it. It can be difficult to find a coat that works with dressier outfits (pea coats can be too short, puffy jackets are too casual) and this one is just perfect for that but also works equally well with jeans. I like the idea of a dressier coat so that you look pulled together no matter what you’re wearing!

Winter Coat Christina Cravero Style Mogul

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

As much as I adore jackets, and have enough of them hanging in my closet, sometimes in my line of work a thick jacket is not always the best case. When I’m running from the office to a home for a staging or vice-versa, I like to keep things versatile. With layering a lighter jacket and clothing with a cape, it allows for me to take off and add on when needed! That is what is so amazing about the cape. Not only is it stylish, but it allows you to have the option to layer many articles of clothing beneath and not feel bulky!

Christina’s wearing: Cape, Adrienne Vittadini. Jacket, Zara. Shirt, H&M. Leather top, Danier. Jeans, Zara. Boots, Aldo. Scarf, Danier. Purse, Louis Vuitton. Broaches, Vintage. Rings, Vintage and Jewelmint. Bracelets, Live Love Shop. Watch, Michael Kors. Sunglasses, Tom Ford.

Winter Coat Kayla Short Short Presents


Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

When it comes to winter you cannot put a price on being warm and dry, especially if you live in Canada. For something that you wear every single day to protect yourself from the elements and also for the first thing anyone sees when you walk through the door; you might as well make the investment and get yourself a coat that makes a statement.

Here in Halifax it’s unrealistic to think that you are going to be walking around with your coat open, so I don’t bother thinking too much about matching my outfit to my coat. I always choose a coat that can hold its own, and then I just have fun with accessorizing with colourful scarfs, hats, and mittens.

Kayla’s wearing: Coat, Tahari. Jeans, Parasuco. Boots, Hunter. Mittens, Gap.

Winter Coat Melissa Knight Miss Melissa

Melissa Knight, 30
Vancouver | Miss Melissa

I think that feeling good and keeping warm can go hand in hand if you find a coat that you absolutely love. I found this gorgeous blue Zara coat during boxing week sales last year and not only does it keep me warm now that the temperatures are dropping but I feel amazing in it. When you’re all bundled up and all anyone can see is your coat and your winter accessories, I think all you need is a coat in a great colour or with a feminine silhouette so you still feel stylish and put together.

Melissa’s wearing: Coat, Zara. Blouse, Club Monaco. Skirt, Club Monaco. Pumps, Aldo. Satchel, Coach “Lindsey”.