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Wednesday 14 February 2024

Technicolor Dream Coats

 & Wow on Wednesday 

Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon writes about her passion for staying colourful throughout winter, with choices such as this cobalt blue coat from Warehouse

Dear friend. At the start of autumn I resolved to up my coat game.  I wanted to banish black and navy from my wardrobe and enjoy wearing bright colors throughout winter.  

I was thrilled to see the resurgence of smart wool coats like this double breasted belted number from Warehouse via Debenhams. It's currently reduced by 40%.  It's excellent quality and will last for many years. 

The cobalt is a good foil for my Fabienne Chapot dress which has a blue stripe in it.  When I wore the dress with my red coat, it was a bit too much red.  Added my long round toe blue boots from Boden (old).

When I started Project Colourful Coats, my priorities were to buy coats in yellow and red. I already had a great neutral, a stone coloured coat bought in New York in 2004, a kelly green coat from M&S which is 10 years old, and a beige raincoat from 2017. 

I found my yellow coat at Asos. It's by upmarket brand Louis Feraud and was reduced from £265 to £125. It has a really luxurious cashmere feel.  Unfortunately, this is the one I've worn least. Must try to remedy that. 

Styling a warm yellow coat and making colourful coat choices is Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton

My red one, which you've seen a few times, was just £5 from the St Luke's Hospice charity shop in Plympton. It's the Coast brand and a flattering shape on me.  I can't wear oversized coats and prefer belts as I am quite petite. 

My much loved and worn purple coat, from Studio Preen, came from Penny at Frugal Fashion Shopper.

I was thinking I had enough coats, but as I've found a new place to store them  (ahem!) I couldn't resist the cobalt blue coat when I saw it. It's a very warm coat! I probably won't wear it much now until next winter because temps are going up to 16 degrees this week.

Last but not least my only puffer acquisition from Barbour.  This appeared at John Lewis at an unusual time, May last year, and I snapped it up at full price. I knew it would sell out very quickly because of the unusual color, and it did.  It's my most expensive coat, but it's very warm and invaluable for my walks in Epping Forest. 

I have a "one in, one out" rule, so for every new coat, an old one has gone to a charity shop.  I offloaded a burgundy puffer (terrible colour on me), a camel cape  (in theory the colour works but it was a thin coat that offered no warmth), a grey puffer (hideous) and a black raincoat. 

Tips for Finding Your Dream Coat

  • Determination, if you want certain styles or colours.  When I went into a couple of stores a few months ago, all they had was a sea of navy, black and camel, plus 90% were oversized. Identify the colours you want, and keep checking via Google search.  You can also set up searches at eBay, Vinted and so on.
  • Visit charity shops wherever you go, you may strike lucky. That's how I got my red coat.
  • If you see a new arrival in an unusual colour from a top brand, you'll probably have to snap it up at full price.  Will you wear it a lot?  I knew I would with the Barbour, so it was a good investment. I saw the green M&S coat in a store and bought it immediately. I never saw it again, either online or in a store! 
  • Does your weather actually justify coats?  If you enjoy the climes of Florida or other temperate zones, you may get away with a lightweight coat like my green one. But the full blown wool and cashmere coats may be too much.  There are always jackets....and ponchos!  (Don't get me started).
Green, purple and stone: three of Is This Mutton's colourful coats

Left to right:  green coat from M&S (old) worn with Spanx leggings, Kettlewell belt, Ted Baker top (all old);  red coat, Coast, via charity shop;  stone coloured coat, Banana Republic (very old!) with green bag, Fenella Smith (current) and brown velvet trousers, Robell, current. 

What's your coat collection like?  Do you have several, or just a couple of staples?  Do let us know in the comments.  Scroll down below the link-up to find the comments box.

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  1. Very attractive all those gorgeous colours! You know how my coats closet would look like, lol. Thanks for hosting Gail!

  2. I love your bright coats and would love a long cream version but feel that would be totally the wrong colour for the UK and my lifestyle. Thanks for hosting. Jqcui x


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