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8 Must-Have Stylish Coats for Fall

Good Housekeeping
September 19, 2012

These 8 chic styles, from casual to sophisticated, are wallet-friendly ways to stay warm.

Goes with Everything

A trend-proof belted trench (far left, $200, London Fog Heritage) with a detachable lining smartens up whatever's underneath. In black-and-white tweed, this fit-and-flare classic (near left, $190, Ivanka Trump) is equally sharp over a dress or jeans.

Tip: Huggable Hangers (hsn.com), a GH Seal holder, are just ¼ inch thick but strong, so you can slip more coats into your closet.

Dress, $79.90, G by Giuliana; hsn.com. Full-length trench, $200, London Fog Heritage; nordstrom.com. Earrings, $36, Wimberly Inc.; wimberlyinc.com. Tote, $90, Big Buddha; zappos.com. Tights, $23, Hue; hue.com. Laststraw boots, $179, Nine West; zappos.com. Coat, $190, Ivanka Trump; Macy's. Corduroy pants, $59, Chaps; chaps.com. Techno stripe scarf, $35, Loft; loft.com. Earrings, $36, Wimberly Inc.; see above. Embossed satchel, $64, London Fog for QVC; qvc.com. Heeled loafers, $100, Tommy Hilfiger; tommy.com.

Related: Trends for Grown-Ups: Peplum

Special Occasion

This horizontally seamed stunner ($200, Nine West) has all-day and after-hours polish. And yes, it's fine to have a skirt extend past your coat's hem - it's a more modern look than wearing a down-to-the-ground topper.

Tip: When buying a close-to-the-body cut, try the coat on with your bulkiest sweater and raise your arms - if it's tight, go up a size.

Coat, $200, Nine West; Macy's. Leopard maxi skirt, $58, WD.NY; 212-395-9309. Earrings, $35, Wanderlust + Co; wanderlust andco.com. Woven clutch, $30, Ami Clubwear; amiclubwear.com. Glitter pumps, $69, Nine West; zappos.com.

Related: How to Shop and Dress Slimmer

Weekend Easy

With its slim silhouette and leather buckles, a citified toggle coat ($200, Nine West) is sleek enough for brunching and shopping.

Tip: To remove stains - whether they were caused by snow, salt, or Fido's muddy paws - dry your coat away from direct heat, then use a soft-bristled clothing brush.

Buckle coat, $200, Nine West; zappos.com. Ankle pants, $30, Merona for Target; target.com. Plaid scarf, $50, Fraas; 212-575-0191.

Related: Winter-Proof Your Beauty Routine

Rugged and waterproof, a sportier version ($200, Merrell) defies chills with its toasty insulation.

Tip: Refresh a down-or synthetic-filled coat by fluffing in the dryer for 15 to 20 minutes on the Air Only cycle.

Aubrey plaid coat, $200, Merrell; merrell.com. Turtleneck, $60, Lauren Ralph Lauren; nordstrom.com. Slim-leg jeans, $100, Chico's; chicos.com

Related: Warm Winter Essentials

Statement Makers

An extroverted shade of cobalt and a dramatic wrap style give this cozy topper (far left, $129, RD Style) its flair. Just as confident: a won't-blend-into-the-background hounds tooth number (near left, $200, Guess) with an outsize pattern to energize all your basics.

Tip: A can't-miss-me coat should be boldly colored or patterned - not both.

Wrap coat, $129, RD Style; piperlime.com. Merino turtleneck, $128, Brooks Brothers; brooksbrothers.com. Skinny pants, $25, Nicole by Nicole Miller; jcp.com. Felicity coat, $200, Guess; guess.com. Juliet skirt, $72, Darling; darlingclothes.com

For Work and Play

You can stay warm without looking like the Michelin (Wo)Man. This hooded, water-shedding parka ($170, Craghoppers) combats the cold with a fleece lining, but stays professional with an understated color and clean-lined style.

• To keep body heat from escaping - and icy air from entering - choose coats that zip and snap shut.
• To tell if a coat is well made, check the seams: If they are visibly crooked or have lots of hanging threads, keep on shopping - it's not quality construction.

Ikoku herringbone wadded jacket, $170, Craghoppers, Heritage Collection; craghoppers.com. Turtleneck, $20, Mango; mango.com. High-waist skirt, $188, Pendleton Woolen Mills; pendleton-usa.com. Tyler hobo, $72, V Couture by Kooba; qvc.com

What kind of coat will you be sporting this season? Tell us in the comments!

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