How to choose a winter coat

Lisa Lennkh

Lisa Lennkh tells us how she chooses the most striking coat for the colder winter months

As the evenings get cooler and we move into my favourite season, autumn, I’m dreaming of coats. We may have several months of cold, grey weather ahead, but the upside is that it gives us the opportunity to wear beautiful coats and jackets.

In previous years, I might have bought a charcoal grey or a camel coloured coat here and there, but mostly my quest has been about scouring stores and websites to find the season’s perfect black coat… good quality luxurious fabric, the right weight, stylish statement lapels, the correct length and, most importantly, one that looks as good worn open as it does closed. However, that's all changed. Now, I have to have colour in my life. I still prowl my favourite places for a coat that fits my criteria, but now I only buy colour.

It all started several years ago when I bought a knee-length powder-blue coat on sale at Benetton. It was cheerful and elegant, and stood out in the sea of black and grey wool on my daily commute into London. After it wore out, I decided to have British custom-coat expert Katherine Hooker create me a new and better-made one to replace it. Instead, she convinced me to commission a raspberry-coloured windowpane check coat with fuschia satin lining. It's an absolute show-stopper and still looks pristine after 11 years of wear. Now I update my closet every few years with another bright coat, partly to preserve the longevity of the ones I already have and partly because there's always a colour I don’t yet own! I've added yellow, green, orange, and red to my collection. I think carefully about my purchases and buy only classic shapes that won’t date, even if the colour isn't "classic".

When I'm dressed brighter, I feel brighter. Not only is colour more flattering than black as we age, but matching or colour-clashing a coat with your existing wardrobe also gets you major style points. Stores are awash with mood-lifting colourful coats, so think about what colours you're naturally drawn to, and go get one. Winter is long and grey, but your coat needn’t be!