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Cool coats for fall and winter

From bright colors, to tweed fabrics, “Today” style editor Judy Gordon, creator of shares a sneak peek at the hot new looks for 2003.
/ Source: TODAY

The fall and winter crop of coats ushers in a season of high style. No trendy look is complete without the accompanying coat to finish your fashion story — whether your style is ladylike, modern, downtown or classic.

Coat fling for 2003
Right angles for ladies
This fall, you’ll find some innovative new coat silhouettes that will set your little trendista heart on fire. The most striking is the new long and lean architect’s dream — a chic, knee-length number that is sleek or cinched at the waist with a thin leather belt. You’ll find it in everything from wool, suede or leather to menswear tweeds, working best with looks that are luxe and modern. Other new key silhouettes of note are the funnel neck coat with a placket front or the loose wrap swathed in a swirl of fur at the neck. They’re chic and sexy and just the right angle for fall 2003.

Puff Daddy
The lowly parka is all grown up this season! It reigns supreme as the super chic “puffer” — a puffed, parka-like style that you will find re-worked in everything from traditional parka nylon to metallic satin, wool and fur. The more outrageous the better — many puffers are decorated with fur, feather or leather trim. Wear your puffer with everything from après ski ensembles to an evening gown — the puffer is hot and on every “A” list.

I spy
If you’ve always wanted to be a “Bond girl,” this is your lucky season. The fiercely fabulous, swashbuckling trench coat is one of the best ways to look stylish this fall. But stash that boring, drab khaki look in the closet where it belongs. You’ll want to wrap on a version in slithery, chic satin, highly polished gabardine or lightweight leather. The look is slim and slightly dangerous — complete with spymaster sunglasses, long black leather gloves and high-heeled boots, 007-style. Mystery and intrigue are right around the corner. And if you’re having a bad fashion day, simply slip on a black turtleneck, a slim black skirt, black over-the-knee boots, sunglasses and a trenchcoat. The trail of salivating men following you to the office will surely lift your spirits.

Back in time
Take a walk on the mod side with a ‘60s -inspired coat. Angular, zipped and sleek, this is the coat to wear over your mod jumpers and minis. You’ll most frequently find this topper in bicolor combinations of black and white or brights, especially orange and yellow. The advantage of this clean and modern style is that it also looks great with many of the other fall trends — whether it’s worn with jeans or as a sleek finish over hard-core, head-to-toe black. If you want to fast forward to the ’80s, opt for bright colors and big shoulders.

Biker babes
Rev up your outerwear with leather biker jackets, decorated with plenty of hardware, including buckles and zippers. Hot colors include black or silver. For an “uptown” edge, wool knee-length coats are an option, with just a hint of hardware, along with biker accessories from handbags to gloves to boots.

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Animal prints are hot this season, so get in touch with your inner beast and get ready to roar. Our favorites include leopard, cheetah, zebra, alligator, crocodile, snake and tiger… or solid-colored shaggy furs. Fabrications range from fur (faux is fine!) to printed wool, gabardine and cotton, in all the season’s hottest silhouettes. Go for the leopard trench, the furry puffer, the chic mod topper in zebra… it’s a jungle out there!

Trends of the season
Fabrics: Graphic designs, boucle, tweed, animal prints

Colors: Red, orange, yellow, winter white, camel, brown, black

Accessories: Gloves, fedora, caps or cloche hats

Details: Asymmetrical, large, fur or funnel neck collars, large buttons, hardware, belts, pockets

Judy Gordon is a New York-based style consultant and “Today” show style editor. She has been covering fashion for the past decade and is the former style editor of Indie Magazine. You can visit her Web site,, which highlights fashion trends in America. Check out the site for this week’s latest feature.