The Blog: Which style flatters which shape?
PK: Yes, if you are tall don’t shy from emphasizing your stature - ankle length coats can look dramatic. If petite, then more on-the-knee lengths, wear long boots, the same colour as your coat to lengthen the silhouette. Larger, then leaner straight cuts.
Always check the line of the coat buttoned-up and undone.
The Blog: And colour?
PK: If you have the funds there are lots of great colours but if this is an investment then stick to the classics: black, navy, brown and cream which won’t date.
I hate saying this but the jazzy coat is not so easy to pull off - it’s best to say no to tricky color panels, and too many pockets - dress your coat up with a great scarf or patterned sweater.
If you can afford, it’s nice to have both darker and lighter - the lighter coat provides glamour for the evening. Once you have the neutrals covered look to red or fuchsia, deep purple.
The Blog: How much should you spend? And if the choice is expensive coat or weekend in New York?
PK:Two different questions! Buy the coat you can afford - think of the cost per wear if you are unsure. Cashmere/wool blend is lighter than 100% wool and also look at Loden, natural new wool from the Italian and Austrian Alps, which is light, warm, wind and water - proof. Great for cities like Toronto and Chicago. The cashmere blend or Loden is more expensive but worth it.
You get more wear if the coat has a removable hood or collar to gain the flexibility of two different styles.
The Blog: Let’s get a little more detailed.
PK: Yes, the details. I look for nice finishing, say on the collar if it’s finished in leather when you remove the hood. The quality of the clasps or zippers, inside pockets which are functional to hold my iPhone and so on. Lightness - a winter coat need not be heavy.
The Blog: So how much to spend?
PK: Will you love the coat for the next 5 years? Even if you update every winter you want to wear the new coat for several years.
But it is an investment. Decide your priorities in a coat but the coat’s success will live and fall by the cut and the feel of the fabric.
The Blog: Well then? New Coat or New York?
PK: I love the idea of both! Buying the coat and wearing it in New York!
Well, you are feeling good about yourself when you are trying on the right coat. But then there’s MOMA, maybe wine with friends in a pleasant bar, mid - town. Hmmm.....
The Blog: Well?
PK: You know, the weekend experience in a place like New York or Paris, that’s what drives your style, helps you define the manner of dressing. And that’s worth more than any coat -even a really nice coat you want to spend your weekends with!
The Blog: Thanks.