Finding the perfect winter coat isn’t easy.
It wants to be an item of equal parts prettiness and practicality that feels current, but not so current you can’t wear it next winter.
It also, ideally, given you’re very likely to be parting with a good chunk of your October fun money, wants to be a coat that none of your friends or colleagues have.
The great British high street is indeed wonderfully great for myriad reasons, but if you’re looking for a coat that you can confidently call your own, a coat that has interest and intrigue and is guaranteed to get you compliments from strangers on the tube, it’s best to stray a little further afield.
To kick start you on your alternative outerwear adventure, here’s a list of brands that have coats priced in the £200-£500 mark, that you won’t stumble across on the high street.
Most brands making limited edition clothing from archive fabrics and factory off cuts would have you paying a premium for their labour intensive methods. Not so with new London womenswear label Palones which launched last month and makes all its styles in limited runs – some as limited as 100.
They make stellar knitwear for £75 and bad-ass belted jumpsuits for £135, but it’s the outerwear that’s really got us hot under the faux shearling collar. They make a rather lovely multi-coloured cropped Teddy coat (nicer than it sounds – check it out here) for £200, and a deconstructed tartan and beige trench (£185, shop it here) that looks great on the ‘gram. It’s the ‘Croydon’ Burgundy PU Trench coat, though, that just shot to the top of our workwear lust list.
Coats from £99 – £250. palonesofficial.com
Charlotte Beecham launched her London-based outerwear and accessories brand in 2014 and quickly shot to fame with her colourful stripy real and faux fur stoles and pom pom beanie hats. Over the years she’s diversified to add slogan cashmere jumpers, fluffy bags and tie-dye tees to the offering, and her 2020 collection is most probably her coolest yet. And, oh boy, the coats!
With an aesthetic of the Shrimps and Saks Potts ilk but a price point more in line with something you’d find perusing the high street, Simone’s outerwear will really warm the cockles. The belted suede shearling trimmed Penny jacket – already seen on the likes of Fearne Cotton, Millie Mackintosh, Lottie Moss and Mary Charteris – is a particularly likely candidate for Coat of the Season.
Coats from £250 – £395. charlottesimone.com
Founded by Canadian friends Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe, the label launched with a range of jackets in 2004. They quickly became known for their sharply tailored blazers in luxury fabrics, with details such as cropped sleeves, structured shoulders and gold buttons, and eventually diversified into a full ready-to-wear collection.
Stocked everywhere from Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom in the US to Harvey Nichols in London, and online retailers Shopbop and Revolve, Smythe’s designs are edgy and yet ageless and timeless. We’ve got our eyes on the greige oversized teddy coat, which we’d wear with a chunky knit, white jeans and Grenson hiking boots.
Coats from £540. Available at Harvey Nichols and shopsmythe.com
If you’re looking to nail understated Parisian elegance, you needn’t look much further than Ba&sh. Founded by friends Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief (who have given the first two letters of their names to the brand) back in 2003, Ba&sh make clothes that women actually want to wear – as evidenced by the fact they have 42 stores in France alone.
They are wardrobe workhorses that elevate any outfit, and this season the coat offering is particularly strong. The belted white wool blend Bacari coat (pictured) is perfect for elevating your everyday band tee jeans and trainers ensemble, while the brown faux fur Fibie coat (£375, shop it here) is so soft you will, quite literally (trust me), have people stroking you mid conversation. Well, there are worse things…
Coats from £255 – £600. ba-sh.com
London-based Kitri burst onto the scene in 2017 with limited runs of pretty midi dresses, sophisticated blouses and uber-wearable shirting. Having quickly established itself as a wedding guest dress and work wear lifesaver, Kitri took a step further into our wardrobes earlier this month with the launch of an immaculate collection of eight affordably priced coats. And it’s a range with something for every mood and weather condition: from a cow print knee-length faux fur number, perfect for keeping cosy on your commute; to a pastel pink faux-fur trim belted wool coat that’s the ideal winter wedding guest warmer.
Our favourite though has to be the Veronica navy mock crock faux fur-trimmed number – act quick though, the fashion editors (myself included) are already snapping it up.
Coats from £195- £300. kitristudio.com
In case you hadn’t heard, Danish brands are having a bit of a moment, and our new favourite just happens to be a bit of a demon in the coat department. Founded in 1981, Sand makes contemporary mens and womenswear with an emphasis on sustainable fabrics. Their new yellow tartan Clareta coat is, for example, made using post-industrial recycled polyester from plastic water bottles, and would look brilliant paired with this season’s neutral palette. Fancy something even jazzier? You’ll like the neon lime green gingham trench coat they’re dropping in spring, and has already taken the influencer world by storm.
Coats £375 – £569. sandcopenhagen.com
In addition to Mary Jane shoes, satchels, pie crust collars and corduroy dungarees, Alexa Chung, a poster girl for kooky British style, knows a thing or two about great coats. No surprise then that her eponymous brand ALEXACHUNG, founded in London in 2016, delivers on the outerwear front.
Equal parts prim and racy, with more than a dash of that inimitable Alexa geek chic, these are London-ready coats, just as at home at the office as in a boozer following a blustery walk on Hampstead heath. She’s even collaborated with Barbour on a range of wonderful wax jackets – perfect for festivals, dog walks or really any activity that involves the great – and often drizzly – outdoors.
Coats £229 – £625. alexachung.com
With a family in the leather fashion business, starting a pelt-centric outerwear company came naturally to Swede Nellie Kamras. Stand Studio, the brand she launched in 2014, delivers high-impact leather and faux fur in an unapologetic colour palette that stands out in the sea of black, grey and navy. From acid pastels to cracked patent jackets and chunky shearlings, these are coats full of fun and fabulousness.
Coats from £249. standstudio.com