Your Body’s Best Winter Coat for this season.

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By: Suzane Mauro, AICI

Because a coat is your outer layer, the shape can make or break your look. It’s the piece you don’t often buy on a whim. There is no getting around it; a coat is a serious investment, so you must choose wisely. You want your coat to be special, aside from being durable, it needs to go with the multiple functions of your wardrobe.
Hear are some of my style do’s & don’ts for winter coats this season.
A slim cut is, slimming. A style that’s flared from the waist down works with full skirts but can often have too much volume for curvier figures. For the most universally flattering look, choose a piece that highlights the waist and is about knee length. Something nipped in at the waist is your best choice. If your coat is straight, cinch it with a regular wide belt.
Do look for narrow labels tapered to the waist to create an illusion of height.
If your short or petite, choose a length that’s no longer than an inch above your knee. Elongate your frame with empire-waist, high-belted or fitted styles. Keep lines simple. 
Avoid:
Long coats, voluminous or double-breasted styles, wide lapels and styles with excess flourish and detail.
If your fuller busted, choose a semi fitted, single-breasted style with a deep V-neck. Use high armholes and a natural shoulder to create a slimmer silhouette.
Avoid:
High necklines, double-breasted or loose-fitting and belted styles.
If you are larger on the bottom, use vertical details above the waist, such as shawl collars and contour seaming, to elongate the silhouette. Look for a coat with a bit of a shoulder pad to balance your shape. Try slanted pockets to minimize wider hips.
Avoid:
Short coats that hit at your widest part, and narrow-belted styles.
If you have broad shoulders, try loose, unstructured jackets. Anything to fitted will emphasize the shoulders. Go with a length that is mid-hip or longer. Use vertical seams and notch or shawl collars to elongate the torso.
Avoid:
Double breasted styles, breast pockets, trimming or piping on the top, epaulettes,shoulder padding, or high closed round necks.
Don’t be afraid of down puffy coats, just look for a shape with a belt. It will help temper the material’s puffiness and look lady-like, to boot.
Look for a quilted coat. The tight, diamond pattern keeps the inside fluff compacted (and less pillowy). You will still have the body-warming insulation, but won’t risk looking heavier than you really are.
Don’t forgot to accessorize your outerwear. Even if you’ve got only one good winter coat, you can still change things up. Hats and scarves will do it, but also consider stoles, collars and capes meant to be worn over coats. I add my favorite faux fur collar to almost all my coats, to change the look. Consider a brooch or two and you’ll have a whole new look.
Don’t forget vintage stores as a secret coat source. Lots of times coats hold up well because they don’t get worn as often as other items in your wardrobe. It’s worth scouring local thrift and resale shops.
Don’t forget to always consider what you wear under your coat. If you’ll be putting it on over suit jackets, make sure to try it on over a jacket. Also make sure you move your arms like your driving, the most common tear in a winter coat is under the arms, because of being to tight a fit.
Don’t be afraid of color. If your wardrobe is in neutral or black shades, then a coat in a different, classic color, like red or blue, can be a wise and stylish investment.
Remember your coat is the first and last thing other people see, so purchase something you love. Something that will make you giddy with excitement each time you put it on. 
I want you to look and feel your best everyday.

Happy coat shopping.