When Dundee’s shopping centre Overgate asked me to pop in and see some of their AW14 coats, I jumped at the chance – I have around 15 winter coats, a number which increases every season. I’ve already gained two new winter coats (and have given two to charity, so I guess it doesn’t really count) and I have my eye on the Jasper Conran at Debenhams one featured here today – so to say I am a little bit weird about winter coats would be an understatement.
Let’s get stuck in. This season, if you’re looking for a new coat, Overgate has loads to offer; in particular, casual parkas and oversize silhouettes. For my AW14 coat road test, I chose a plain white t-shirt, staple blue jeans and nude heels (see #todayimwearing pic above from Instagram). It’s a combination that works with almost any style of coat so makes for a good, neutral template when searching for your new winter warmer.
First on my Overgate hit-list was New Look, where I tackled one of the biggest trends over the past year – the pink coat. This one has a textured fabric with silver zip detailing and handy pockets, with a good length (just above the knee) and a good price at £49.99. It was a bit scratchy though, so make sure you’re wearing something with a high neckline to avoid feeling itchy. I think the pale pink is a difficult colour to pull off and this pink is really pale – so make sure you take an honest friend for their opinion on which shade of pink is right for you. However, if you’re all about the trends and just want to get a pink coat with a decent price tag, this is coat ticks the boxes.
After New Look, I headed Primark, the one place on the high street where you know you’ll find what you need on a budget. This black and white number blurs the boundaries of coat meets cardi; it’s light and has an almost knitted feel, but is structured too. At £23, it’s worth snapping up if even just for one season. Despite the white T and jeans uniform, this coat would look better with tailored black trousers and a black top to keep things streamlined, as it does have a curve that can give the illusion of being a bit wide.
The second offering from Primark was this checked coat (below, £30) and I loved it. It slipped on easily and felt soft against skin. It looks smart but the relaxed shape makes the check more wearable for every day, while the longer length is great (and generally look better with heels) and the deep pockets are handy for your phone or keys. Nothing else though – you don’t want to look lopsided or dragged down. This coat is also big enough to wrap over, so you can tuck your arms in and keep warm against the Scottish wind, or leave it open which is totally the way to wear your coat this season (not practical, but looks great). This coat would also look amazing over a mini LBD, taking evening wear from TOWIE to off-duty-model (if only!).
Next, I popped along to Superdry where I truly fell in love – twice! I tried this parka with fur trimmed hood, and my goodness, if you’re looking for a warm winter coat that looks good and feels great, you need to try this on. The soft, fleece-y lining felt so nice (even against my bare arms) and the fur hood is so soft and warm. This coat will keep out even the slightest draft – I started to get very warm in store and had it not been for Overgate’s manager Susie being with me, I might have curled up in a ball to hibernate (with some chocolate of course). Despite being an obviously practical and casual coat, I was surprised at how good it looked with heels! I would say that, at £124.99, it’s worth investing in for the colder months which – let’s face it – last longer than our warmer months.
Also at Superdry was this totally cool leather jacket. On bright, sunny autumn days, a leather jacket is great because it’s robust enough to keep off the chill but not so heavy you’ll be sweating by the time you get to where you’re going. As soon as I peeled this jacket off the hanger I instantly felt the quality of the leather, the lining and the construction. It felt super soft to touch and equally as soft and comfortable on the body. The only draw back is the hefty price tag – it’s £199.99. However, it is clear why it’s expensive – the jacket is beautiful.
After I forced myself out of Superdry, it was time to hit one of my favourite one-stop-shops, Debenhams. Here I tried on a wardrobe staple, the mac. I was impressed with the forest green as opposed to the black or beige raincoats that are usually on offer. Yes, if I was investing in a designer mac I’d choose beige or black, but the high street is the perfect way to play around with colour and this one (£45) is a subtle way of doing that. The fabric wasn’t too stiff or too bulky, making it a comfortable choice for work or the weekend.
Also at Debenhams was this absolutely gorgeous cocoon coat by Jasper Conran. I am obsessing over it and will soon be whispering in the ears of Mr Man and Mummy Daydreamer to see if either would like to treat me for Christmas. I. LOVE. IT. The berry hue is rich and elegant, while the silhouette is understated but oh-so-glam. It’ll work for the office, for evening and for the weekend, from October right through to March. That’s six months of wear for just £159 (also read as £26.50 a month), and this coat will remain in your wardrobe for years to come. It’s classic meets modern and, thanks to the little detailing like the gold metal chain inside the collar to hang it from, it looks designer. I guess that’s why they call it the Designers at Debenhams range…
It took everything I had to tear myself away from Debenhams, but H&M was calling. Here I tried on the classic camel coat – with this, H&M has excelled this season. Cut narrow in the shoulders, slightly tailored at the waist and with a below-the-knee hemline, this coat elongates and slims the figure. The classic camel coat is another wardrobe staple and is a must-have for every woman, regardless of age or style. This one is a snip at £59.99 so if you want it, hurry – I doubt it’ll be around for long. It does come with a belt but I’d probably wear it without, and I’d have a seamstress cut the loops off (top tip from Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant) to give it a more luxurious, high end feel. Top marks.
H&M is also offering us this parka, which comes in a variety of colours. I liked this mulberry hue, which brings some much needed colour to what can often be a miserable season in Scotland. This coat was comfortable and basic, but sometimes that’s all you need in winter – something to keep you warm while running errands, walking the dog or dashing out to meet friends for coffee. At £34.99, it’s a no-brainer. Wear with Nikes or Converse, not nude heels.
I continued on my quest to find the best AW14 coats at Overgate and the next stop was French Connection. I tried on this black, textured leather with fur collar (and fur lining – the pockets are so silky and soft and warm) and I rather fancied the 1980s vibe of the cut. Which is weird, because I hate the continuing obsession with Eighties fashion trends. This coat (£160) would look really cool with skinny black jeans and ankle boots, maybe a top knot. It feels kind of like you’re wearing your Dad’s old jacket. It’s lush.
Also at French Connection is this parka (yes, another one; the parka is always a good purchase). This time, the parka is in black, which you don’t see too often, but I really like it – so much more chic than its khaki cousin. This one felt good – really good – which is probably to do with the great quality. At the risk of sounding like a parka snob, I think you really do have to invest in a good one to avoid looking like, well, a bum. At £250, this one is way over priced and if you do want it, I’d keep an eye out for it come sale time. It’s a risk, but if you can get it on sale, you’ve done good. Really good.
Topshop was the next Overgate store on my hit-list. We all know how trendy Topshop is and I tend to stick to more classic pieces rather than trend-led pieces, purely because my figure just doesn’t cut it in the weird and wacky trends of the fashion world! So, I was a bit apprehensive about visiting Topshop and, to be honest, this teddy bear/sheepskin cocoon coat (£78) wasn’t exactly my cup of tea…. although it would look amazing on cool students in their late teens/early twenties. It wasn’t particularly comfortable though… but maybe I’m just over-the-hill.
Topshop’s next offering was much more my style – a classic black, kimono-inspired long coat. This coat is worth buying because it’s a fabulous one to throw on regardless of footwear, regardless of hair, regardless of, well, anything. Just throw it on and swoosh and go, and swoosh and go. And swoosh. It’s a good fabric, is good quality and is cut really well. Again, this too might look better with a monochrome palette. Plus, it’s versatile – it’s so light that it’ll work this autumn, but it would also make a nice cover up for lunching, poolside, next spring. And at just £45, you can save up your pennies for a nice hot break. Happy days.
So there you have it! My edit of Overgate’s best coats for AW14. Did any catch your eye? Which is your favourite? Will you be heading to Overgate to try any on? Lastly, feel free to twist my arm into buying my favourites! Happy shopping, Daydreamers.