Anyone residing in a cold climate can tell you that the romanticism surrounding colder weather doesn't last that long. Sure, we all love spending copious hours researching the best coat brands, shopping for cozy sweaters, and finding new ways to style boots, but once those temperatures drop, the rose-colored glasses come off. Frigid temperatures often require one to choose between looking fashionable or, well, freezing. As much as the cool girls like to look good, those colder temperatures aren't it. Even the most stylish people can fall into a fashion rut during winter because it's tempting to throw on the coziest possible outfit—even if you wore it days ago.
There's no shame in being an outfit repeater, as it's an essential part of building personal style and mitigating the fashion industry's impact on the planet in the long-term. It still doesn't negate the fact that no one wants to feel like their staples are stale. Any item can lose its luster during the long stretch of winter, but none can go from beloved to boring as quickly as the black coat. Although this outerwear is a quintessential part of any wardrobe, it can be easy to succumb to the temptation to ditch it in order to buy a trendier coat. But you don't have to buy a new coat to break free from the winter style blues.
Black coats can feel bold with a bit of creative styling. In an effort to prove that point, I took the liberty of rounding up 16 outfit ideas from women around the world to show how to wear a black coat. Plus, I identified the styling hacks they used to make this outerwear feel trend-forward and shopped out the key pieces you'll need to re-create the looks for yourself. Whether you're on a tight shopping budget or want to find a way to make the black coat in the back of your closet feel brand-new, there are solutions ahead for you.
Once temperatures begin to drop, we all have those "cozy" items we start wearing on repeat—ahem, leggings or black coats. Instead of feeling guilty about wearing these items, try to find new ways to style them. For example, you can try dressing up stirrup leggings by pairing them with slingbacks and a black trench coat for a look that's both cozy and chic.
One of the easiest ways to make the black coat in the back of your closet feel brand-new is by styling it with a few of the season's trendiest accessories—e.g., ballet flats. When a longline black coat is paired with a classic button-down, a sweater, a pleated miniskirt, and flats, the look strikes the perfect balance between trend-forward and timeless.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, it's worth reiterating that accessories are, without a doubt, the simplest way to make an old black coat feel fresh. If you pair your black coat with a metallic handbag, it will literally have that shiny, new feel again. Bonus points if you pair the bag with a dramatic statement coat made from patent leather or faux fur.
It doesn't take extreme effort to make black coats feel cool. Case in point: the outfit above. When styling a black trench coat, you can make the timeless staple feel trend-forward simply by pairing it with sculptural jewelry, a unique handbag, and faux-fur shoes.
One of the most common mistakes that many make (myself included) when dressing for the cold weather is not getting creative with layering. You don't just have to wear an oversize coat to be warm. You can still wear a lighter jacket if you know how to add layers. Try styling a thick turtleneck and a miniskirt underneath a peacoat, and finish off the look with socks layered over tights. If you do this, you'll still be warm without fully covering up.
Playing with layered clothing can make a black coat feel brand-new, and so can accessories. Don't skimp out on layering in the form of adding accessories like sculptural earrings, a silk scarf, sunglasses, and leather gloves, as these small items can transform an otherwise simple coat.
If playing with layering seems like too much effort, there's an even more straightforward way to make your black coat stand out again: color-blocking. Add an oversize contrasting scarf to make your coat's "boring" color feel bold.
Again, adding color to your ensemble is arguably the easiest way to make any black coat feel up-to-date. But if you want to make this outerwear stand out, don't just add another neutral. Instead, add one of the season's trending colors—crimson red. A pop of red through accessories can make any last-season coat feel like it came fresh off the runway.
Not a fan of color? Totally understandable. You don't just have to wear the rainbow in order to see your black coat in a new light. Instead, try playing with silhouettes to make this outerwear feel fresh. For example, pair your cropped black coat with a dramatic wide-leg or barrel-shaped pair of jeans and black ankle boots to amp up the drama sans color.
In addition to playing with colors and silhouettes, the textiles you opt for can make a difference in how your black coat feels. Pairing your coat with sheer materials (e.g., a mesh shirt) is a surefire way to make it feel relevant again.
Not everyone can justify wearing sheer garments in cold weather. While playing with textures through gauzy knits or mesh separates can spice up a black coat, it's not the only way. Enter prints into the chat. Not only is pairing your black coat with prints far more pragmatic for cold weather, but it also adds visual intrigue to your coat.
For the minimalist reading this story, the idea of playing with prints, color, or texture is likely a turn-off. Luckily, there are other ways to make a black coat feel novel again! A principal example is embracing a high-low feel. Don't be afraid to pair formal-feeling items like a black coat and structured bag with casual ones, like sneakers and relaxed trousers, to create a balanced dichotomy.
An alternative way for minimalists to make a simple black coat sing? Adding a belt. Whether the coat is tailored or oversize, the simple addition of this item will make any black coat feel entirely fresh.
Residents of colder climates know the black puffer coat can feel like a "necessary evil." Yes, it keeps you warm, but is it the most exciting coat you'll ever own? Debatable. However, there is a way to make this "dated" outerwear feel stylish again—look to the outfit above as the blueprint. Pair your puffer jacket with a leather skirt, knee-high boots, and a matching puffy shoulder bag for a look that gives "lawful good."
So far, I've listed out a few ways you can add novelty to a black coat again, but another way to make your coat pop is by leaning into one texture fully. Whether you own a black leather coat or a wool one, consider pairing it with a matching skirt or pants in the same material. Doing this will emphasize the beauty of your coat, and it's a modern take on suiting.
By now, you've hopefully drawn the conclusion that black coats don't have to be boring! The key to making any staple feel less "stale" all comes down to styling. There's no better proof of this point than the outfit above. A black coat can absolutely feel trendy if you're willing to try a few things, like styling it with menswear ties or fishnets. When all else fails, you can always add a glittery accessory into the mix (like rhinestone-adorned shoes) to make your "dusty, old" jacket sparkle again.