Not to sound like a broken record, but when are the cooler temperatures coming? I hate to complain about the warm weather (no I don't) especially when we've had a relatively mild summer, but I really, really miss fall and winter. Buying a new winter coat is one of those things--along with snow days--that make me sad for people who grew up in warmer climes. I know, I know--you guys got hurricane days and stuff, but it's just not the same! That said, you guys spent a lot less time scraping windows and waiting for the car to warm up, so I acknowledge there are trade-offs.
But winter coat shopping is one of those rites of passage, and something I truly miss. My mom was visiting this weekend and we reminisced about such things while we were out shopping and musing about whom, exactly, would be buying a parka for winter in Houston?
That's not to say that come December and January we don't need to keep warm, because even I have been subject to a shiver or two when the temperatures dip below 50 degrees. Here are three winter coat trends, including a lighter-weight option for wearing without sweating to death in Texas.
A military-inspired coat is "on trend" pretty much every year; this year we saw strong military inspirations on runways by Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, and Victoria Beckham, among others. Strong lines and flattering structure are two things that contribute to the continued popularity of this style. Unlike fur which can add bulk, or leather which can be unforgiving, a natural fiber (wool or cotton) military coat is easy-to-wear.
Houston-friendly version: Old Navy wool blend pea coat ($54.94): If classic navy, black, or camel are too boring for you, this lightweight version of a pea coat also comes in a bright orange and a bright yellow; a heather gray is another good option in a neutral.
Leather isn't just a trend for outerwear this year--it's everywhere. Pants, skirts, vests, jackets, accessories--you name it, you need it in black leather. Outerwear is always a safe place to make an investment in a higher-cost trend; a great leather jacket can theoretically last you a lifetime with proper care. Chose a style and weight that will give you the most mileage for your money--a dramatic, full-length patent leather trench may end up looking a little dated down the road. Vintage is always a nice option (I love mine) but you are limited by size, condition, and availability.
Houston-friendly version: Banana Republic Heritage leather moto jacket. At $298, it's one of the most well-priced items in the BR Heritage collection, and it's a great mix of modern and retro.
Alternate: This Classiques Lambskin Sleeve Jacket is sleek and eye-catching, with the torso in a white wool/rayon blend and contrasting olive-hued lambskin sleeves. $298
Chunky, preppy knits went down the runway at Pucci, Stella McCartney, and Tommy Hilfiger (of course). Outerwear is the perfect way to wear this trend when you live in Houston, and don't really require a heavy winter coat. (See: me.) Warm, cozy knits can be wrapped and draped and buttoned against the chill, and are perfect over jeans and a t-shirt for brisk Saturday mornings at the farmers market.
Houston-friendly version: MM6 Maison Martin Margiela zip-up cape ($295). A cable knit in a heather gray, with a high collar (hoods on capes look a little Harry Potter), the wide, cropped arms make this a stylish layering piece for fall and mild winter days.