Belted Outerwear

Belted Outerwear
Wednesday, January, 09, 2013 Earlier this winter, we briefly touched on belted outerwear during Coat Week, but the trend has grown to include actual belts worn over jackets--not just the standard, matching tie belt--so we figured it was time to expand upon this topic. We're happy to report that both styles work because they give you the same end result: a figure-flattering shape that creates all the right curves. Whether your belted coat acts as the perfect layering piece (Diane Kruger and Rita Ora) or doubles as a dress (Burberry Prorsum and Camilla Belle), we can't think of a chicer way to stay warm this winter.

On the Runway
Belted outerwear is a dominant feature in every Burberry Prorsum show, and the S/S 13 collection was no different. Creative Director Christopher Bailey's current riff on the trench came in an exuberant color palette and a variety of rich textures, some with matching tie belts, others with contrasting leather versions. As part of the latter group, the addition of a brown belt (tied, not buckled) lent definition to the Clover Green Laser-Cut Metallic Leather Caban Coat ($8000), allowing the ladylike coat to double as a '40s-style dress.

On Celebs
WHO: Rita Ora
WHAT: Shopping in Paris two months ago.
WEAR: Zara Hand Made Coat ($160); Maison Martin Margiela for H&M jacket and dress.
WHY: A leather jacket styled nonchalantly over the shoulders gives the overall look an effortless, uptown-meets-downtown feel.

WHO: Melanie Laurent
WHAT: At the November photo call for Les Adoptes in Moscow.
WEAR: Burberry Prorsum Check Wool Cashmere Blanket Jacket ($3195) and Bridle Buckle Leather Belt ($325).
WHY: A thin leather belt stylishly nips in a voluminous silhouette, creating a desirable hourglass shape.

WHO: Diane Kruger
WHAT: Leaving a radio station in Paris back in October.
WEAR: Eugenia Kim hat; double-breasted coat; Chloe Leather Moccasin Loafers ($474).
WHY: Paired with a military-inspired cap and loafers, a belted, double-breasted coat exudes an of-the-moment menswear vibe.

WHO: Camilla Belle
WHAT: Arriving at the launch of the Salvatore Ferragamo London flagship store early last month.
WEAR: Salvatore Ferragamo Peach Cashmere Coat with Waist Tie ($2900, 866.337.7242)
WHY: Worn with a pair of pumps, a belted cashmere coat can substitute as an elegant evening dress.

WHO: Caroline Issa, Tank magazine's Executive Fashion Director
WHAT: Spotted between shows during New York Fashion Week.
WEAR: Uniqueness jacket; Equipment top; LK Bennett belt; Kenzo pants; Louis Vuitton heels.
WHY: When working with a mix of proportions, specifically a puffy jacket and slouchy trousers, a double-wrap belt helps create the perfect waist.

WHO: Erika Bearman, Oscar de la Renta's Senior Vice President of Global Communications
WHAT: Celebrating WSJ Magazine's new Editor-in-Chief, Kristina O'Neil, two months ago.
WEAR: Oscar de la Renta coat; Prada heels.
WHY: A furry collar adds textural intrigue, while giving the belted outerwear a luxurious after-hours feel.

Get The Look/Belted Coats
With no signs of winter letting up anytime soon, you still have plenty of time to invest in the perfect belted coat. If you prefer the simplicity of a matching tie belt version, we've got you covered with an assortment of options. You can go for a classic silhouette, like Calvin Klein's Double Breasted Trench Coat ($158), which will never go out of style, or take cues from Oscar de la Renta's Erika Bearman and try one with a furry collar--Rachel Zoe's Trish Faux Fur Coat ($536) and Banana Republic's Faux-Fur Trim Ombre Coat ($200) are both smart picks. We also recommend a wrap coat, as seen on Rita Ora and Camilla Belle, and think MICHAEL Michael Kors' Belted Wrap Coat ($158) and Emilio Pucci's Blush Belted Wool-Cashmere Coat ($2280) would look chic layered over a fancy frock. A belted cape coat, like Hilary Radley's Black Wool Blend Belted Cape Coat ($111) or Victoria Secret's Belted Cape Coat ($70), is also on our must-have list this season, so be sure to check out those two styles as well!

Get The Look/Belts and Coats
For those who want to experiment with a separate coat and belt combo, there are two important styling tips to keep in mind. First: the size of your belt should be proportionate to the size of your coat. If you're cinching a thick wool coat, like Zara's Cream Minimalist Coat ($100), your belt should be at least two-inches wide, like American Apparel's Basic Leather Belt ($15), to help create that flattering shape you want. Naturally, if the material you are working with is much lighter and the coat has a more figure-conscious fit, a slim belt, like Club Monaco's Laura Skinny Belt ($50), will do the trick. Second: choose a belt in a contrasting hue. Vivid colors, such as J.Crew's Patent Leather Square Buckle Belt ($15) in Bright Dahlia, or eye-catching prints, like Madewell's Brightsnake Skinny Belt ($40), will pop against a neutral backdrop. Grab any of the stylish options mentioned above, and you'll have this winter trend under your belt in no time at all.--Jessica Baker

Photos of Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger, courtesy of Getty Images; Photo of Camilla Belle, courtesy of Splash News; Photo of Rita Ora, courtesy of AKM GSI, Photo of Erika Bearman, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency; Photo of Caroline Issa, courtesy of Stockholm Street Style. Burberry Prorsum runway image, courtesy of Burberry.
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