In a world where the classic woollen coat has limited appeal for women who want practicality in their outerwear (hoods, roomy pockets, padding, zips et al), we’ve seen traditional coats sitting stubbornly the rails while parkas, or more recently, puffers, have flown out the door.
But while both those latter options are great for the darkest days of winter as protection against the driving rain/snow/wind, they can be a bit OTT for the slightly-chilly days of early autumn or early spring.
Which is why the pre-collections are such a great source of transitional outerwear ideas. They may be called ‘resort’ or ‘pre-summer’, but make no mistake, these collections are custom-made to get us all through those in-between times when the season’s weather doesn’t quite know what it wants to do but we all need something to take the chill off.
The solution from the pre-summer 18 collections is denim, denim and more denim. There are plenty of fitted and cropped jackets but perhaps the most practical piece of outerwear is the roomy denim jacket. Elongated into a parka style, it’s a true coat, roomy enough to be thrown on over a chunky sweater and usually unlined, but it can also morph into full winter coat status with a heavy or padded lining.
Oversized jackets are a strong alternative too, boyish and casual, they’re a kind of coat for coat-phobics and many have a vintage look that adds a don’t-care edge to outerwear dressing.
Designers have been putting their backing behind ultra-wide-cut-but-shorter jackets. Based (albeit not very faithfully) on the classic denim rider jacket, they’ve loosened up all over with roomy sleeves and dropped shoulderlines giving us a hint of the 1980s.
The basic silhouette of most of the jackets is remarkably unfussy and many get their interest from the simplest of details like topstitching, drawstrings, frayed edges and contrast buttons. But there’s also a tendency to more complex style statements with asymmetric styling, powerful fabric contrasts and statement layering.
Whether the look is simple or not, it all adds up to yet another way in which denim is taking over the world…