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Brave winter with the right coat for your figure

There are so many trends out there this season — but not every trend is going to work on everyone! From essential cold weather wear to statement coats, Katrina Szish, national correspondent at InStyle Magazine shares smart fashion tips on what to buy for the cold season:

1. Go with classicsA knee-length wool topper with a tailored fit is a true classic that will not quickly (if ever) go out of style. The specific shape is up to you: double-breasted, belted or robe styles are all enduring picks.

2. Think investment  It’s likely your biggest purchase of the season, so budget accordingly. And be willing to go on a few shopping trips to find the perfect one—a coat is the rare garment from which you can demand perfection.

3. Make it a close fit You want the closest fit possible (higher armholes, for instance, are always hipper than billowing ones) but one that give you absolutely no difficulty in getting the coat on and off or buttoning it.

4. Look behind
Don’t forget the rear view. Some shape to a coat is good, but you should never see an outline of any proverbial junk in the trunk (the book really says that!) – the coat should glide over any problem areas and have movement in back.

5. Watch for drape A coat should no only button easily across your chest; it should fall in a straight line from the lowest button to the bottom hem, a sign that it’s well cut and has ample fabric to suit your hips.

6. Check the hem
Do you wear skirts or dresses a lot? Take into account not only how they will look with the length of the coat you’re buying, but also how the proportion and shape of the coat will work with them.

7. Factor in layers Also consider the clothes you typically wear underneath. If you need the coat to cover a suit jacket, bring one with you when you shop.

8. Take a seat
Finally, your coat should “sit” well. So button it up and park yourself in the dressing room. Do you have two laps? Do the closures pull? They shouldn’t.

Discover the right style for your body type:

Petite womenThis is a statement coat (gold buttons, pockets at waist, jacquard pattern). Bright colors look great on petite frames and an empire waist is flattering on all figures. Don't be afraid of color- it is all about mixing colors! Pair the coat with colored tights and a big clutch- it's all about accessories this season which will stand out against the yellow coat. Bright colors are a big trend for the season.

Coat: Milly, $662; available at net-a-porter.com or www.millyny.com for more infoShoes: Michel Perry, $630; available at Capitol, 6815 C Phillips Place Court, Charlotte, NC 28210 #704.522.8987Scarf: Echo, $52; available at www.echodesign.com
Ring: Echo of the Dreamer, $2400; call #212.594.8022 for more info
Bag: Devi Kroell, $790; available at www.devikroell.com   

Tall women Gray is hot for the season and trapeze is a big shape for the season. Better for a taller person. Shape can overwhelm a petite frame. Shape accommodates bulkier clothes/layers underneath. Look is balanced on a taller frame.

Gray is the new black. You don't need a scarf because of the big collar — you can button it up to stay warm or fold it down. It's great to pair with skinny jeans which will play up the volume of the coat. You should add bright accessories — red leather gloves. Gloves of all colors and lengths are big for the season.

Coat: Elie Tahari, $640; Lambswool; elietahari.comGloves: Carolina Amato, $125; www.carolinaamato.com   Sunglasses: Anne et Valentin, $245; available at Studio Optix, 55 West 49th Street, #212.765.4444  
Shoes: MIA "Viper", $70; available at

Curvy
Pair a monochromatic outfit with a patterned coat. To create a lengthening effect wear the same color stockings as shoes. A great pattern will capture the eye. The coat also has a large shawl collar that will create more of an hourglass shape and brings the eye up. The belt accentuates the waistline for a slimming effect.

Coat:  Alice + olivia, $440 
Pink Turtleneck:Petit Bateau, $127; available at
Mary-Jane Pumps: Miss Sixty, $180; misssixty stores    
Bag: Devi Kroell, $1,690; available at www.devikroell.com
Ring: Mars and Valentine, $260; #212.594.8022 for more info   

Full figured Pair a monochromatic outfit with a patterned coat. To create a lengthening effect wear the same color stockings as shoes. A great pattern will capture the eye. The coat also has a large shawl collar that will create more of an hourglass shape and brings the eye up. The belt accentuates the waistline for a slimming effect.

Black and White is a big trend as is a plaid/pattern coat. Add a bright colored top underneath. This coat can go day to night — you can pair it with jeans for day or tights and a dress for night.

Boyish figureBubble sleeve coat — the bell sleeves and pleats help create curves/hourglass shape on someone who doesn't have them. White is hot for winter as are bell sleeves. It can go day to night.

Coat: Diane von Furstenberg, $625; available at NordstromSilk Blouse: Alice Ritter, $395; available at Hampden Clothing #843.724.6373, www.hampdenclothing.com   Jeans: Mon Petit Oiseau, $176; or call 323.727.8090 Sunglasses: Selima Optique, $396; available at Bond 07 by Selima, 7 Bond Street, NYC 10012, #212.677.8487
Earrings: Stacey Lapidus, $60; available at
Gold Ring: Carat*, $720; available at Carat*, Time Warner Center NYC #212.262.8988, www.carat.cc  

Parkas — the puffy problemParkas have really evolved — they are no longer what you typically think of when you think of a parka. They don't have to be frumpy- you can dress it up and wear with heels or boots. They can be flattering and now come with many stylistic details such as belting and fur.

Tall women can pull off a long parka. Vertical quilting lengthens the body and adds an extra design detail. It is easier for a tall person to pull off a longer coat. Purple is a big trend for the season. Shorter person who wants to accentuate waist or really for any figure who typically might steer away from a puffy jacket because it can add weight. The belt at waist is a great way to flatter any figure. The length should be somewhere between the hips and knee.

Short parkasCoat: DKNY Jrs. Active, $128; Nylon with poly fill; available at select Macy's stores  
Turtleneck: Petit Bateau, $48; available at Jeans: Killah, $129; available at select Macy's nationwide
Gloves: Carolina Amato, $150;
Sunglasses: Anne et Valentin, $305; available at Studio Optix, 55 West 49th Street, #212.765.4444

Long parkas
Coat: Killah, $269; Nylon/Polyester Blend; Macy's   
Striped Shirt: Miss Sixty, $119   
Purple Turtleneck: Petit Bateau, $127; available at
Jeans: Killah, $129; available at select Macy's nationwide
Sunglasses:  Selima Optique, $250; available at Selima Optique Soho, 59 Wooster Street, NYC 10012 #212.343.9490  

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