Archive for Monday, October 3, 2011


Mass St. Chic:

October 3, 2011


A few years ago, with a startling bang, the rack in my closet fell off the wall. Although it was sagging for months, a decent indicator that it couldn’t bear the weight, I gave it no reprieve. Instead, I continued loading it with new coats and fabulous vintage frocks. Sure they got heavy, but I wouldn’t want to bore my poor closet rung, asking it to hold the same familiar jackets and pea coats year-round, would I? Besides, like shoes, a girl can never have too many coats. And with this season’s stylish new options, you won’t want to miss out. So, after you purchase an additional closet rung, reward yourself: Go shopping for a new fall coat!

Bell Coat:

I love the shape of a bell coat, spotted on several models at fall 2011 runway shows. The shape of the bell coat is a great way to add a twist to your normal fall jacket or oversized blazer. Look for a roomy bell coat that widens briefly below the hips before moving back in at the hem. This coat is best in a solid color with simple buttons and pockets; the shape has enough happening on its own. Browse Anthropologie’s online catalog for a few great bell coat options.

Oversized Coat:

I’ve always been a fan of the oversized, boho-chic, Olsen-twins aesthetic, so I am thrilled that oversized coat shapes are a fashion trend this fall. Because it is easy to look frumpy in an oversized coat, you may have to try on a few to find one that is right for you. But, luckily, since you have more leeway with the fit, you can easily save money and achieve this look by opting for a vintage version. Check out oversized coats by 3.1 Phillip Lim on for inspiration.

Cloak or Cape Coat:

Cloaks and capes held a major presence on the runway and on the street last fall — and this fall, the trend has done nothing but speed ahead. Some capes and cloaks are made to be one-size-fits-all, but pay attention to the construction of the cape to ensure it fits you right. If the shoulder is fitted, make sure it’s not too wide or too small, pushing the cape and the fabric up off your shoulder. Also, find a cape or cloak with the features you want. Some have arm holes or arm slits. Some have pockets and some have hoods. Shop around. I’ve found a few good ones by J. Crew and BB Dakota for starters.

— Caitlin Donnelly can be reached at


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