Stay Warm in Statement Coats

It has been unseasonably warm in Des Moines the past few days. I won’t complain; I know biting cold winds and freezing precipitation are in the weather forecasts of my near future. Every time I imagine trekking across campus to classes in the snow, the great “I can’t put my arms down!” scene from “A Christmas Story” comes to mind. Little Randy’s puffy red coat might have kept him warm, but it also rendered him immobile.

Instead of a thick, uncomfortable ski coat this winter, consider one of the season’s more exciting statement coats. They’ll keep you just as warm, but are more flattering and make a dramatic impact. Look for dynamic details, a bold color, or  a trendy pattern and you’ll rock the salted sidewalks like a runway. Style aside, you’ll have an easy time finding your coat in a pile of black wool jackets at holiday parties this year. Sold yet?

DETAILS: Hunt for faux-fur, dramatic collars, mixed textures or unique closures. The berry colored coat above, $130 from Miss Selfridge, features a fun full peplum skirt and military-esque epaulets.

COLOR: When the snow gets dirty and everything in sight is a shade of gray, throw on a brightly hued coat to stand out. A traditional cut looks contemporary, not stuffy, in a trendy color like this shade of yellow. The mohair and wool jacket by Just in Case could keep you warm in even the harshest winter weather.

PATTERN: A patterned coat will set you apart in a sea of typical black and gray pea coats. This season you can find everything from stripes and floral to the Rebecca Taylor ombre leopard print coat above. If you are looking for a more versatile pattern you can’t go wrong with classic houndstooth or tweed, both of which are in abundance this winter.

Finally, for kicks…

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(Well received) British Invasion

Anglophiles and British fashion fans have long loved the U.K.’s most hip chain brand, TOPSHOP.  For years the clothing, famous for its brave approach to current trends, was the envy of us Americans and sported stateside only by lucky jet-setting Hollywood starlets.

Eventually the brand hopped the pond, but American fans still had to make a pilgrimage to New York, Chicago or Las Vegas to shop the line in-store. But rejoice! This past week the clothing made its debut in select Nordstrom stores across the country making TOPSHOP more accessible than ever before.

The affordable offerings include some of the brand’s best sellers in addition to limited edition pieces that will no doubt be snagged up in short order. The department store is also carrying a full line of shoes and accessories, maternity wear, and TOPMAN products for the gentlemen.

The pieces, which are conveniently available online from Nordstrom too, are super on trend for the fall. There are tons of innovative prints, studded tops, chunky sweaters, and tailored tops and bottoms.

So plan a spree at Nordstrom and make off with some of these awesome pieces. Bonus points if you master an English accent to accessorize your new threads.