Sarah Zengo
Monday, 23 January 2017

Get the Hang of Your Coat Closet (5 Styles to Stock Up On Now)

By Dressing Well Stylist Sarah Zengo

During the winter months, it takes a variety of coats to get you out the door feeling stylish and pulled together while protecting yourself from the elements. At this point in the season, you know which ones you love (and which ones you are missing!)

In this week’s blog, we share a sample of the coat checklist we use with our private clients to help them part with coats that are no longer serving them while priming them to take good advantage of coat sales that are raging right now.

#1 Updated Down Puffer
As lightweight as they are warm, these truly remarkable synthetic winter jackets make it easy to say good-bye to the bulky, long puffers of yesteryear that seem to take up valuable real estate in everyone’s closet. Perfect for the gym, errands, weekends and day-to-day if you live and/or work more casually. A variety of vibrant colors (and winter pastels) make this a particularly fun item to shop for.

#2 Hooded Trench Coat
If it has a lining, it might be the only coat you need. The most modern shape for this closet staple is fitted with enough room to fit a sport coat or other layers underneath. It also looks best when it hits at or just below/above your knee. If you have one that is too long, too boxy or just plain dull, you owe it to yourself to get a new one that will put some jazz back into grey days and your overall style!

#3 Sophisticated Wraps
If you hate the idea of being confined to a coat for the entire winter season, consider adding a variety of wraps and shawls to your outerwear collection. They work well for those who are not exposed to the elements for great amounts of time. Fringe accents, rich colors and interesting woven fabrics create easy, sophisticated style when you are both indoors and outdoors throughout the long winter season. 

#4 Military (and Field) Inspired Jackets
If it’s a style you are comfortable wearing, “field” and military inspired coats can lend a modern edge to outerwear. Leather gloves and boots are an easy way to accessorize this style as the weight of their signature embellishments connects to the heft and smooth finish leather provides. This look can be softened too, by adding accessories such as a cashmere scarf or soft felt beret hat. 

#5 Colorful Wool Coat
Finally, if you are craving color to get you through the winter homestretch, consider getting your fix with a new wool coat in a shade you love. Yes, there is always room in your coat closet for black, gray and camel. Yet, being greeted by a raspberry, cobalt blue or yellow coat as an option can make your heart as warm as your being!

Editor’s Note:  There are many great coat collection programs across the country that need good quality coats. Consider doing some research now so that you can donate in the fall when most of these programs get underway. If you live in New England, we are big fans of Anton’s Cleaners Coats for Kids.  Not only do they collect the coats, they also dry clean and distribute them too!

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Sarah Zengo

Sarah Zengo joined the Dressing Well team as a stylist in 2011.  Her diverse clientele includes a mix of professionals, stay-at-home parents, retirees and young people just starting their careers. An excellent sense of fashion combined with a strong work ethic and genuine interest in the people she serves, allows Sarah to transform the style of our clients rapidly and with excellent results.  Clients love Sarah and consistently book appointments with her each season, a true indicator that her advice is highly valued and very much appreciated.

Learn more about Sarah » 

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Pat 2017-01-24 10:31

Thank you, Sarah, for your timely tips and advice for purchasing winter coats. With spring on its way, stores surely want to discount and sell out their inventory. It would also be so helpful to your readers if you could make suggestions about which styles are best suited for various proportions. We are all so different and each figure type could be enhanced with this knowledge.

Thank you for your consideration. I love the Dressing Well book Mary Lou has written.

Sarah Z 2017-01-24 15:32

Hi Pat, Thanks for your comment. Retailers are really kicking sales into high gear so this is a great time to add in the extra piece you might need for years to come -- a hooded trench or great wool coat is a style staple!

Great suggestion about body types, we'll keep that in mind as we blog! One of my favorite DW blogs that has some helpful guidelines for dressing for your body type is this one by Carolyn Lieberman. Knowing how to dress for your body is empowering!

Debbie Winnick 2017-01-24 11:48

Thanks for the good advice and for mentioning the coat collections that happen in the fall. the Needham Community Council also collects coats and distributes them to Needham residents who need them and then has a great sale in Oct. which is open to all. All proceeds from the sale [as well as all proceeds from the Council Thrift Shop] fund the no-fee programs of the pantry, ESL classes and tutoring for adults, transportation to medical appointments and an around-town van, Child Assault Prevention Programs in the elementary schools, and more. visit for more information

Sarah Z 2017-01-24 15:47

Thank you Debbie! We love the Needham Community Council, thank you for sharing the details! A wonderful place to donate.

Corri Wilson 2017-01-24 13:40

Love this blog. Great reminders. Thanks!

Sarah Z 2017-01-24 15:52

Thanks Corri! We appreciate your comment!

Nancy S. 2017-01-24 16:07

Greetings, enjoyed this blog post as usual.

FYI, Dress for Success Boston accepts DRESS coats (no parkas or ski jackets)  from October till March. A coat is a great finishing touch for our ladies. (

You reach so many high end and fashionable ladies thought I would pass that on.

Pretty lady 2017-01-24 17:40

I like these ideas for coats. I think as women you should have a couple of coats. You need a coat wardrobe. But one coat a year and add. I bought my fur coat in white gray for $52.00 on sale. I use that for special occasions. I bought black fur in 2015 on sale for 60.00. I have black wool coat I got from Chadwick's in 2014. I live in it. I got a winter white coat that was Xmas gift. I bought a red wool coat from Metrostyle in November; it is great for Christmas and Valentine's day. I got it online during thanksgiving, free shipping and 30% off.


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