Photography by Leda & St. Jacques (above) and (runway) 

The temperatures are starting to drop to single digits and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for outerwear. Winter coats for women is fall’s ultimate hero piece and with so many fabulous styles and silhouettes, it’s time to get shopping. But before you head out, we curated the season’s ten new cover stars – all guaranteed to keep you warm in style when the mercury dips.

1. The cocoon coat
Giles fall/winter 2012

Oversized is fall’s must-try silhouette and, in keeping with the look, the oversized mannish cover-up takes a star turn. Giles’ leather dolman sleeved coat is a sleek take on the trend while Loewe’s ivory ostrich number offers 1960s-inspired sophistication. Maximize the cut by wearing it over super skinny pants and complete the look with clashing-print accessories.

2. The colour pop coat
Céline fall/winter 2012

The quickest way to pep up your winter coat wardrobe? Pick a bright hue. Designers presented a coloured cocktail of toppers – from Celine’s citrus orange to Derek Lam’s baby blue to Bottega Veneta’s pink-and-orange colour-blocked combination. Pair the bold tonal palette with sleek black accessories to play up the vivid hue.

3. The cool cape
DKNY fall/winter 2012

Meet your new wardrobe essential: the cape. Versatile and elegant, with a hint of Left Bank-inspired luxe, slink the chic cover-up from Chloe, DKNY or Alexander Wang, over everything from cotton t-shirts and cropped pants to 60s-inspired A-line dresses. Whichever way you wear it, make it the focal point of every outfit.

4. The shearling jacket
Marc Jacobs fall/winter 2012

Fashion’s favorite biker jacket has taken a textural twist with shearling. Hot off the runways at Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Emilio Pucci, it’s an effortlessly cool outerwear choice. Layer it over skinny jeans to add warmth to your off-duty wardrobe.

5. The military coat
Burberry Prorsum fall/winter 2012

A military-inspired wool coat is a winter classic but this season, designers like Alexander McQueen, Burberry Prorsum, Clements Ribeiro and Versace gave it a contemporary update with elegant epaulet trims and heavy-duty gold hardware. Take inspiration from the runway and wear it as a between-season piece by slipping it over your shoulders with a printed frock.

You’ll want to see which other coats are must-haves this season, so go to the next page… 

6. The luxe parka

Alexander Wang fall/winter 2012

The blustery cold had designers thinking practical, showing super-luxe parkas that could stand up not only to the elements but also to evening dress codes. Alexander Wang opened his outerwear-heavy show with a bomber/cape hybrid that gave new meaning to “statement coat,” and there was no missing Thakoon’s red and royal blue Masai check number. Our favourites came from Altuzarra, Vera Wang, Mulberry who all chose to layer it over sparkly, ground-grazing party dresses. Inspiring!

7. The blanket coat

Proenza Schouler fall/winter 2012

Yes, it’s as cozy as it sounds. Seen at Matthew Williamson, Proenza Schouler and Dolce & Gabbana, this standout piece is like an oversized cardigan, making it perfectly cool and casual coverup. Wrap it over a fail-safe daytime look like jeans and a cashmere turtleneck paired with long boots and a slouchy hobo bag.

8. The novelty fur

Alberta Feretti fall/winter 2012

Covered in feathers or fur, the plush topper or gilet is a must-wear fall piece. In keeping with this season’s penchant for all things bright, a gaggle of designer gave their pelts vibrant dye jobs. The Olsen’s powdery blue chubby jacket for the Row, Celine’s tri-toned topper, and the Gucci’s opulent candy-coloured stoles were just a few of this season’s standouts but if faux fur is more your style, there were plenty of fabulous options there too. Philosophy di Alberta Feretti, Prada and Giambattista Valli were just a few of our favourites.

9. The tweed topper

Chanel fall/winter 2012

Like Chanel’s tweed jacket, this topper is a perennial favourite that is all about polished chic. Looks from Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Carven, Yves Saint Laurent and, of course, those from Kaiser Karl were a few of our favourites. Wear this covetable piece with just about anything.

10. The duster coat

Missoni fall/winter 2012

Taking inspiration from menswear, labels like Missoni, Stella McCartney, and Theyskens’ Theory offered near ground-grazing styles on the runway. Layer it over this season’s ubiquitous maxi skirts and dresses to create one long, lean effect.

Read more:
Editor’s pick: Best coats for the season
12 jeans for under $100
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