I'm on a Strict Budget—Here Are 16 Ways I'm Making My Old Black Coat Feel New

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. 

Black Trench Coat + Stirrup Leggings + Slingback Flats + Handbag + Sunglasses
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing a black trench coat with black stirrup leggings and slingback flats



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. 

Re-create the look:

You'll never regret investing in a black trench coat. 

I also love how these leggings are styled with ballet flats. 

You can wear these slingbacks well into the new year. 

Black Coat + White Button-Down + Sweater + Miniskirt + Ballet Flats
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black coat over button-down and sweater with mini skirt and ballet flats



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. 

Re-create the look:

Every winter wardrobe needs a solid V-neck sweater. 

Mary Jane shoes are having a moment, making them the best thing to pair with your black coat. 

Black Faux-Fur-Collar Coat + Rimless Glasses + Zip-Up Sweater + Silver Handbag
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black coat with faux fur trim over zip-up sweater with metallic bag



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. 

Re-create the look:

The zip-up detail on this knit will look so good underneath your black coat. 

The best part about rewearing your black coat this season? It allows this metallic Coach bag to be the focal point of all your cold-weather outfits. 

Black Trench Coat + Handbag + Faux-Fur Shoes + Sculptural Earrings
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing long black trench coat and furry flats



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. 

Re-create the look:

If you happen to be in the market for a new black coat, you'll want to shop Aritizia's offering. 

Of course, this Brandon Blackwood bag is currently at the top of my wish list—it's incredibly chic! 

No lie, I think about buying these furry shoes at least once a day. 

Black Peacoat + Turtleneck + Miniskirt + Tights + Loafers + Shoulder Bag
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing shearling peacoat over turtleneck and mini skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

As someone that owns this coat, I can tell you it's worth the closet space. 

A simple black miniskirt is as essential as a coat. 

Black Leather Coat + Sculptural Earrings + Sunglasses + Silk Scarf + Leather Gloves
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing leather trench coat with sculptural earrings and leather gloves



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. 

Re-create the look:

I wear these puffy earrings almost every day—they're that good. 

Leather gloves can make any cold-weather outfit look 10 times chicer. 

Black Coat + Sunglasses + Oversize Scarf + Sling Bag + Lug-Sole Boots
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing long black coat with white scarf



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. 

Re-create the look:

Just because winter is around the corner doesn't mean you should go without shades. 

Considering that most maxi-length coats cost a fortune, I'm surprised this one hasn't sold out yet. 

Lenny Kravitz would be about this scarf. 

Black Leather Coat + Scarf + Boots + Red Purse
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black leather trench coat with red scarf and red bag



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. 

Re-create the look:

Leather trench coats are a wardrobe must-have, IMHO. 

Not a day passes by that I don't think about this Tory Burch bag. 

You might not be buying a new coat, but you can invest in a great scarf to pair with it. 

Black Faux-Fur Coat + Wide-Leg Jeans + Tote Bag + Ankle Boots
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing shearling jacket with wide-leg jeans



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.

Re-create the look:

Apparis's faux-fur coats are the most sustainable options on the market. 

The barrel-leg shape of these jeans will allow you to layer thermal leggings underneath easily. 

I'm losing it over the subtle contrast stitching on these ankle booties. 

Black Coat + Sheer Top + Bubble-Hem Skirt + Moto Boots
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black coat over white sheer top and white bubble skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

Leave it to Reformation to make the perfect black coat for winter. 

You can shop this sheer top in nine other colorways. 

Consider this your sign that you still have time to adopt the moto-boot trend. 

Black Faux-Fur Coat + Plaid Skirt + Knee-High Boots + Shoulder Bag
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black faux fur coat with plaid skirt and knee high boots



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. 

Plaid is still a big print trend.  

With faux exotics being one of the standout trends from the fall/winter 2023 runways, there's no better time to buy crocodile-embossed boots. 

Black Coat + Structured Handbag + Trousers + Retro Sneakers
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black coat with trousers and sneakers



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. 

Re-create the look:

I'm going to girl-math my way into buying this Staud bag. 

White sneakers always look great with any type of black coat. 

Black Coat + Belt + Sweaterdress + Gloves + Tights + Kitten Heels
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black coat with belt over it and dress and tights



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. 

Re-create the look:

The subtle nipped-in waist on this coat is so flattering. 

Make your big black coat feel more tailored by adding this sleek belt. 

No cold-weather wardrobe is complete without a great pair of tights. 

Black Puffer Coat + Leather Skirt + Puffer Bag + Knee-High Boots
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black puffer jacket with leather skirt and puffy shoulder bag



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." 

Re-create the look:

Pro tip: Opt for a puffer in faux leather to make it feel more elevated. 

Yeah, I'm on a budget, but that won't stop me from dreaming about this pillow-inspired Loewe bag. 

Everything about these knee-high boots is chic—from the slightly angled heel to the pointed toe. 

Black Leather Trench + Sweater + Leather Skirt + Mules
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing black leather coat over black sweater and long black leather skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

Another great vegan-leather trench worth adding to your outerwear collection! 

Leather skirts are my Roman Empire. 

Black Coat + White Button-Down + Tie + Shorts + Fishnets + Rhinestone Flats
black coat outfit, photo of a woman wearing long black coat with button-down and tie tucked into shorts



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. 

Re-create the look:

It's never a bad time to upgrade your button-down shirt. 

If these don't make your black coat feel cool again, nothing will.