Lately, we've realized that half our wardrobes seem to be borrowed from the boys. We're talking oversized button-downs, baggy trousers, supersized watches, and oxford lace-ups, to name a few pieces we currently can't live without. Apparently we girls want to have it all--and wear it all--so it's no surprise that we're repurposing yet another menswear-inspired item for our own stylesetting agendas: the boyfriend coat. And who can blame us? There's something delightfully powerful about slipping into a big semi-slouchy coat, plus this oversized outerwear option is surprisingly practical, as it allows for all sorts of cozy layering as the weather turns colder. Exhibiting masculine touches--such as large pockets, traditional patterns, and a double-breasted shape--yet fit for the feminine frame, boyfriend coats are the perfect replacement for last year's puffer, making them the winter-wonderful item you must Go Buy Now!
In case you need convincing that this cool coat should be your next big-ticket purchase, we'll take a closer look at some of the collections that brought this trend into the limelight. Seen at the F/W 10 shows of some of our favorite French fashion brands--most notably Chloe, Vanessa Bruno, and Kenzo--boyfriend coats were used to deftly execute two distinct sartorial scenarios. In the first, designers embraced androgyny and paired these coats with menswear basics to conjure up an au courant Annie Hall. An ideal example of this is our featured Kenzo look, for which designer Antonio Marras used a cherry-red boyfriend coat to accent a cropped, wide-leg Pantsuit ($344, 01.72.74.54.50) and even finished off the ensemble with a masculine Hat ($186, 01.72.74.54.50) for quirky, unisex outfit that's a lovely mix of late-seventies inspiration and cutting-edge style. In the second, boyfriend coats were utilized in contrast to decidedly more feminine pieces, like silky blouses or wool mini skirts, resulting in a sexy I-slept-at-my-boyfriend's-and-stole-his-coat aesthetic. While the latter example is more traditionally alluring (and is often paired with bedhead hair), the former still exudes a sense of confidence that is surprisingly sexy, which means that this outerwear option is a thrillingly versatile pick!
Now that we've given you a quick rundown on all the ways in which to wear this piece du jour, we'll turn our attention to the stars of today's story: the actual coats themselves! We've selected six shining examples for your layering enjoyment, and we hope that you find them just as covetable as we do!
1. Theory Ellery Double Breasted Coat ($645)
Perhaps the most feminine of today's roundup, Theory's golden-brown jacket is an excellent option if you're interested in trying this trend in a subtle way. The slimmer cut is ideal for those who favor a more fitted silhouette while the coat's rich caramel hue is truly intriguing. We'd pair ours with leather shorts, opaque tights, and black ankle boots for fall, then switch out said shorts for a metallic mini as the holiday season gains champagne-fueled steam.
2. Opening Ceremony Double Pocket Coat ($625)
This ankle-length coat is seriously cozy, and it has a sort of grandfatherly vintage-chic vibe. Additionally, the understated houndstooth print is spot-on for fall's moodier looks, while the coat's mid-calf hemline and oversized pockets give it a fun and quirky touch. We could easily see Agyness Deyn wearing it with skinny jeans, moto boots, and a trilby hat for a killer off-duty look.
3. H&M Coat ($80)
When we spotted H&M's uniform-blue boyfriend coat we immediately snapped to attention. This authoritatively chic piece of outerwear deftly incorporates the ongoing military trend via its aforementioned color and oversized pockets, plus we appreciate its structured shape and sharp lapel. We'd pair this high-street find with a black maxi skirt and cashmere cowl-neck sweater for a stylishly minimalist look.
4. Zara Plush College Coat ($100)
Camel coats are indisputably one of fall's top trends, so when we stumbled across Zara's double-breasted version we were duly thrilled. The boxy shape is deliciously boyish while the silky plaid lining adds a festive schoolgirl touch. Take a note from Chloe's F/W 10 runway--where caramel outerwear reigned supreme--and pair it with tan high-waisted slacks and a neutral sweater for a strikingly polished ensemble.
5. Topshop Tweed Check Boyfriend Coat ($170)
A wee less boxy than some of the other coats offered, Topshop's tweed-check version is nonetheless parfait for executing this menswear-influenced trend. Use this across-the-pond iteration in contrast with a full pleated skirt for a boy-meets-girl ensemble that flawlessly incorporates two of fall's most favored looks.
6. Vanessa Bruno Wool Twill Topcoat ($1136)
Chock full of must-have pieces like luscious leather shorts, incandescent diaphanous dresses, sweet ballet sweaters, and, of course, oversized manteaus, Vanessa Bruno's F/W 10 collection nailed that effortlessly sexy, bohemian aesthetic that is so Parisian street-chic. Spawned from that collection is our final pick: an olive-double breasted coat we might not be able to live without. Infuse your wardrobe with some sartorial je ne sais quoi by wearing this lust-worthy selection over a sheer blouse or maxi dress for an enchanting Bruno-inspired look.--Liza Kaplan