According to our calculations, you're probably reveling in the glorious fall weather right now and wearing all kinds of lightly layered outfits. (Whether they involve strong-shouldered jackets or slouchy boyfriend blazers is up to you!) But when November hits and the air turns from crisp to flat-out cold, suddenly your autumnal ensembles will no longer feel so seasonally appropriate. That's when you'll realize a simple truth: you need a coat, immediately. We know the pain of that sudden need and have found ourselves frantically searching for the required outerwear, only to be met with empty racks or overpriced options. Rather than let you, dear readers, meet that fate, we've rounded up a selection of five deliciously cozy and completely cute coats for your perusal. These options will not only provide you with sartorial shelter from the storm, they're also very budget friendly (all under $200!) and fashionable to boot!
Topshop Petite Vintage Fur Coat ($180)
Leopard-print pieces have been on our radar for some time now, and while we adore the spotted pattern as an outfit accent, it also translates purr-fectly into a piece of eye-catching outerwear. Topshop's interpretation is executed perfectly: in addition to boasting a standout print, we also love the coat's wrist-skimming sleeves. The slightly short length is a vintage-inspired touch that allows you to show off a rhinestone cuff or cheeky leather gloves (or both!). We could easily see someone with a love of old-school treasures-like Mary-Kate Olsen or Sienna Miller-taking this funky fur and wearing it as their everyday outerwear and suggest you do the same! After all, despite its inherently bold nature, a leopard coat is a surprisingly versatile piece! Take a styling tip from Valentino's F/W 09 show and pair your animal-print coat with a caramel dress and ruby heels or simply throw it on over black jeans and a t-shirt, per Isabel Marant's recent runway collection. Either way, you'll bring a little animalistic edge to your ensemble, which is always a good thing!
H&M Wool Trench Coat ($129)
Of our five selections, H&M's Wool Coat might be the most grown-up in spirit and style. It has such a European-fashion-editor vibe and is really the epitome of chic. In addition to adding a little continental sophistication to any outfit, this beautifully belted number is certainly on-trend for the season. (In fact, we spotted similarly cinched options on numerous fall runways, including Dries Van Noten and Bottega Veneta.) We love its boxy silhouette and subtle military-inspired details, a combo that comes across as casually sexy-especially when accented with tousled hair, bold red lips, and a killer pair of thigh-high boots. Finally, the oversized pockets offer a much-appreciated update to the trench-like design. All in all, this coat will take any effortless ensemble to the next level, perhaps that of a super-glam French editrix being snapped by the Sartorialist outside the tents!
Old Navy Funnel Neck Coat ($90) in Dark Heather Gray
We couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised when we stumbled across this most directional silhouette at an extremely exceptional price. Old Navy's Funnel Neck Coat is perfect for a style-setter with a flair for the fashionably dramatic-as well as the functional-since the oversized collar allows you to keep extra-insulated with or without a statement scarf. The sash waist is another lovely figure-flattering detail and channels the hourglass shapes seen at the Prada and Louis Vuitton F/W 09 shows. Like our runway inspirations, we suggest you style this modern coat with the chic uniform of a working woman: tight-fitting pencil skirts and killer heels.
Eddie Bauer Duffle Coat with Toggle Clasps ($199)
A toggle coat has been a classic piece for as long as we can remember, conjuring up images of childhood reads like the American Girl series. Yet this is not to say that this cute wool coat is in any way saccharine or sophomoric (just don't pair it with school-girl plaids, please). Take a sleek tip from Y-3's F/W 09 collection, where toggle coats acquired a streamlined aesthetic when worn with loose-fitting silk pants and fedoras in monochromatic tones. Another styling option is to layer this hooded camel coat over more Agyness Deyn-esque selections like an oversized, ironic graphic tee and a pair of acid wash jeans. We'd finish said ensemble with a stylish unisex shoe-think a jazzy lace-up or a boyish brogue-for a casual, yet cutting-edge, look.
American Eagle Double-Breasted Duffle Coat ($150)
A college-girl staple, this duffle coat sets itself apart from the pack with plaid lining and anchor-embossed buttons that invoke the stormy romance of Newport or Cape Cod. But don't think that this nautical-inspired iteration is just for watching the white foam of the salty sea crash against the cliffs; it also translates to city-girl wear nicely! For such an inspiration, we look to the mad mix shown on the Marc by Marc Jacobs F/W 09 runway. Jacobs, the master of calculated casual, showcased a similar double-breasted shape styled with oversized tweed pants-and accessorized with belts, shawls, and hats (oh my!)-for a downtown, after-school look worthy of a very sophisticated audience. However you style it, it's sure to become a wardrobe essential for many years to come!-Liza Kaplan