The Complete Guide to Winter Coats!

Winter is here! Somehow in Brisbane-town, we went straight from sunny warmness to winter chill! All of a sudden we’re unpacking the winter clothes, getting things to the dry cleaner and evaluating options for new cosy pieces to tide us through the next few months. When it comes to cosy, there is no piece more central to keeping the cold at bay than the winter coat. Stores everywhere are in winter-coat-promo mode, and I’ve scoured the options to bring you the best of the best! But first! Lets talk pre-game preparedness!

Fabric – not all coats are created equal 

The fabric used in your winter coat will dictate its durability, warmth and care requirements. Most winer coats will contain a combination of the following:

  • Wool, known for it’s warmth, can have a coarse or smooth soft finish depending on fabric and design. It’s often blended with other fabrics, 100% wool is warmest, blends with other fabrics will be less warm.
  • Cashmere, wool’s luxurious older sister, is a fine, soft blend of (goat) wool that provides great insulation and durability. Lovely and cosy to wear!
  • Polyester is a dominant fabric used in outdoor gear, it’s tightly woven fibers prevent moisture from getting through. It lacks the density of wool, so on it’s own won’t keep you as warm.
  • Silk, as a layer against the skin, will keep you toasty warm. The fabric absorbs moisture and helps the body maintain even temperature when transition between warm indoor and cold outdoor temps.
  • Nylon (or polyamide fabric) is often mixed with wool – it’s extremely hard wearing and fire-resistant.
  • Cotton is highly absorbent and will soak up moisture until it’s in the right conditions to let it dry, so less-perfect for guaranteed warmness.

Styles – get the right shape for you

Winter’s the time when we layer up – but it doesn’t have to mean a bulky look. Consider the best shape for your body type in order to look your best layered up. Some suggestions:

  • If you carry your weight around your middle (‘circle’ or ‘apple’ body shapes) opt for something that gives your waist some room. A swingy cape can be a winner (and will show off your lovely pins), or a looser cut with a strategically placed belt.
  • If you’re bigger on the bottom than the top (‘a-line’ or ‘pear’ shapes), look for coats with a little flare or swing to them, and be sure to get something that nips in at your little waist.
  • If you’re broader in the shoulders (athletic, or V-shape), look for something that narrows your shoulders and highlights your middle and legs. Pea coats or straight up-and-down styles with big collars are the go.
  • For the curvacious amongst us (hourglass figures) choose a belted coat to cinch your waist and accentuate your fabulousness
  • If you’re straight up and down (ruler, column shapes) the coat world is your oyster! Look for interesting seaming, belts or embellishments like big buttons to add some structure and make sure your coat doesn’t swallow you up

Show me the coats already! 

Okay! Our friends in the northern hemisphere have very little to offer us while they bask in the sunshine, so it’s a nearly exclusively local collection today. In this edit, I’ve stuck with coats and capes and avoided jackets and trenches (which I really think deserve their own collection!). Review won the coat wars this year with an absolutely gorgeous collection of coats at reasonable prices! Check some of their styled pics out here:

Review Model Coat Review Model Theodore Review Model Willowfull-steam-ahead-to-autumn-winter-2014-01 full-steam-ahead-to-autumn-winter-2014-02

Jigsaw came in second with a truly admirable collection of high quality pieces in lots of cuts and colours. If you’re looking for your coat on foot, check Jigsaw and Review first. Without further ado, here’s the full wrap-up!

Winter Coats

1. Alannah Hill The Lovely Silence Coat, $449; 2. David Lawrence Ombre Long Coat, $499; 3. Oxford Anna Leather Trim Coat Black, $399; 4. Jigsaw Chesterton Coat, $499; 5. Target Wrap Coat, $69

Winter Coats4

1. C&M Camilla and Marc Montmatre Coat via David Jones, $269.25 (on sale); 2. David Lawrence Long Sleeve Collar Coat, $499; 3. Herringbone Charcoal Twill, $799; 4. Rhodes and Beckett Louse Charcoal Houndstooth Coat, $699; 5. Jigsaw Owen Coat, $499; 6. Review Mallorie Coat, $299.95; 7. Witchery Trim Wrap Coat, $299

Winter Coats8

1. Saba Brooklyn Coat, $629; 2. Rhodes and Becket Grace Wool Coat, $749; 3. Cue A-Line Boucle Coat, $449; 4. Marcs Italian Melton Retro Coat, $399

Winter Coats6

1. Jigsaw Kipling Coat, $449; 2. Jigsaw Shakespeare Melton Coat, $499; 3. Review Willow Coat, $299.95; 4. David Jones Single Breast Funnel Neck Coat, $149.25

Winter Coats5

1. Alannah Hill Summer Romance Coat, $449; 2. Sportscraft One Button Melton Coat, $399; 3. Jigsaw Austen Coat, $449; 4. Review Willow Coat, $299.95; 5. Veronika Maine, Wool Flannel Pea Coat, $314.30 (on sale!); 6. Review Theodore Coat, $299.95; 7. Sara Coat with Front Pockets via David Jones, $139.95

Winter Coats7

1. Alannah Hill Given Half a Chance Trench, $389; 2. Carla Zampatti Raven Faux Croc Coat, $999; 3. Cue Soft Pixel A-Line Coat, $449; 4. Jigsaw Hopkins Tweed Coat, $499; 5. Review Willemina Check Coat, $299.95; 6. Italian Wool Stretch Leather Coat via The Iconic, $790; 7. French Connection Speckled Belted Coat, $299.95; 8. Scanlan and Theodore Drape Front Coat, $800

Winter Coats3

1. Roma Leatherette Trimmed Coat via The Iconic, $169.95; 2. Zara Crewneck Coat, $139 USDs; 3. Alannah Hill A Wonderful Thought Coat, $429; 4. Marcs Tex Wool Collarless Coat, $349

Winter Coats2

 

1. See by Chloe Cape via Shopbop, $667.23; 2. Daydream Cape via The Iconic, $149.95; 3. Ginger and Smart Trapezoid Cape, $499; 4. Country Road Reversible Contrast Cape, $249; 5. Bebe Sydney Schiffer Poncho via The Iconic; $119.95

 Some purchase and styling suggestions!

  • A good winter coat is an investment and as you gather from some of these prices, it can be a hefty one! Be sure to invest in dry cleaning as needed and always at the end of season before you put your coats away in order to ensure they’re looking great next winter.
  • If you’re lovely and long-limbed or perfect and petite, be sure to have your coat altered to suit you best. If you’re unsure about the ability to do so, ask in store before you buy. Some stores will even offer the alteration service for you!
  • A winter coat is a perfect spot for a gorgeous brooch! Brighten up a cold winter morning with something bedazzled on your collar!
  • If you’re going for a collarless jacket, consider a scarf if it’s going to be cool out!
  • If  you work in a super corporate environment and will need to be wearing your coat during your workday, consider a longer option like those sold by Rhodes and Beckett and Herringbone. Don’t believe what you hear in the “short skirt, long jacket” song, a long jacket paired with a polished dress for work makes for a super refined look.
  • If you’re going for a cape, pair with a slim silhouette on your lower half; pencil skirt or tapered jeans/pants will balance you out.
  • My forever-style advice; don’t be afraid of going for a bright hue! If you want a go-with-everything bright colour, choose red!

And there are DEALS! Deals to be had! 

At the time this post goes live, the following deals are available:

  • David Lawrence is doing $50 off Jackets
  • Oxford is doing 50% (!!) off Jackets
  • Saba is doing $100 off Jackets
  • Sportscraft are doing $50 off $150, $100 off $300 and $200 off $600 for VIPs! (Free to join)
  • Review have got $100 off when you spend $250

How good is that!? (The prices included in this post are the full-price prices, except where a permanent markdown is happening)

May the perfect coat be but a few clicks away, sublime seekers, and may you feel on trend and cosy during the coolest of winter days ahead!

♥AS

Found a favourite coat this season already? Tell us below! 

The secret’s out: VS Curl Secret review!

Straight-haired dames who never quite got the hang of the GHD curl… rejoice! Our curly-haired prayers have been answered! After spending A MONTH on the waiting list, finally in my hot little hands is Vidal Sassoon’s latest and greatest styling tool: the Curl Secret. 48 hours in I’m singing its praises and declaring it to be a super sublime find!

Curl Secret

Back up, what’s the Curl Secret? 

The Curl Secret is a heat-based hair styling tool that turns straight hair into curly hair in a matter of seconds, by automatically drawing in hair to curl it, heating the curl through, then releasing it. It is a major step forward in the world of hair-curling as it’s the first tool that doesn’t require you to twist your hair around the tool/roller, or twist your wrist in circles around your hair (GHD stylz). Its brushless, has a double heating system to create your curl faster and uses a series of beeps to let you know when your curl is ready so you don’t overcook it!

Check it out in this 37 second video:

The Curl Secret has three settings according according to how tight you’d like your curl to be (loose, medium or spiral), and two settings that relate to how hot the curl chamber gets (easy-to-curl/fine hair or hard-to-curl/thick hair). I found that the amount of hair you asked the curl secret to curl in one go has a big impact on the curl you got back (more hair = looser curl).  

But does it really work? 

YES. For the benefit of this review I captured my first Curl Secret experience in pics!

1) I washed my hair, put a bit of mousse through it and blow-dried it straight. Mousse was a bit heavier than is ideal but I’m yet to source another product. Observe: straight, underwhelming hair + underwhelmed expression (try not to observe my super-flushed post-blow-dry face).

photo 1

2) I presented my hair to the Curl Secret, it slurped it in then… voilà! Curls! It took about half an hour to do my whole head as the curl chamber (it’s a thing, I swear) can only take little pieces of hair at a time. Observe: post curling Shirley-Temple-esque locks!

photo 2

3) The curls need a bit of shaking out to look natural so that’s what I did before heading out today. I was nervous about the curls falling out (though I didn’t need to be!), so I did a little half-up, half-down do. Observe: styled curls!

photo 3

4) Nine warm, coastal hours later the curls had dropped a little but have left in their wake some kinda sexy bed-hair (I mean this figuratively, I’ve never quite understood who actually has hair that looks like this out of bed?!). Observe: 9-hour-later hair and how I wish my hair looked like out of bed:

photo 5

I’m worried my hair might get stuck in it! Will my hair get stuck in it? 

I want to say no. Before getting the curl secret (in a rather cavalier manner) I declared “surely not”! I continued to believe it wouldn’t when I first started very cautiously trying it out. But then I got a bit lax with my approach and my hair did get stuck in there… three times. *major wince*

The Curl Secret comes with a set of instructions. It includes things like; make sure your hair is straight and doesn’t have lots of flyways, make sure there are no knots in your hair, hold your hair before it gets suckered into the curl chamber. I (foolishly) interpreted some of these as general recommendations rather than specific instructions.

The first time my hair got caught it had a teeny tiny knot I hadn’t noticed in the strand I was feeding in, my hair was tacky from the mousse and it all went wrong. The second time I had the curl secret at an awkward angle and wasn’t holding my hair straight. The third time I didn’t clamp down on the curl properly and it twisted my hair instead of sucking it in. I know it sounds scary. It was scary.

But my struggles will not be in vain! You will benefit from my learning! Here’s what you won’t read on the box… some tips on how to get your hair out if it gets stuck:

  • Don’t panic (I tried panicking, it didn’t help).
  • Turn the Curl Secret off. Your hair is trapped in a super hot thing, you want that hot thing to become less hot as quickly as possible. And you maaay have to stick your fingers in there!
  • Stop and look. Where is your hair really caught? Time spent planning is seldom wasted.
  • Gently, gently unhook it. A little bit of tugging, a little bit of unhooking and your hair should come free without too much hassle.

It’s important to note: none of these omg-my-hair-is-trapped incidents would have happened if I’d followed the instructions properly. It was user error. Keep your head in the game and you’ll have pretty locks sans the hair-caught drama.  It really is very very easy to get very lovely looking curls. And there’s pretty much no chance of burning yourself like you might with a GHD. Winning!

I want one! How much and where from? 

The RRP is $172.95, but you should be able to pick one up for $150ish at one of the Australian stockists: Shaver Shop, Priceline, Big W, Myer, David Jones, Target, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, ry.com.au. I’ve added links to those online stores who look like they’ve got stock – lots of places are sold out. The Shaver Shop were taking orders for their next shipment in mid-Feb!

And you don’t want to wait ’til Feb, sublime seekers. If you’ve been lusting after curls and never found the right gear to get the look you want – give the Curl Secret a go, follow the instructions and be delighted with the results!

♥AS

Tried the Curl Secret? Want to try it? Tell us below!