Coat check |

Coat check

Laura A. Ball
Laura A. Ball/Vail DailyBrown zip jacket with white trim details, $256, P.E. 101 in Edwards.

As fashion grows up this season, chic coats make it easy to play the part, whatever part that is you want to play, and dressing up has never been so fun.

While all coats military, classic, Edwardian and retro play on opulence and femininity, intricate details like fur trim, velvet ties and brocade buttons attend to the current standards of luxury. Coat-ure

There are two types of fashionistas in this world, those whose clothes are works of art and those who cannot afford them. Fashion and egalitarianism will never mix, so if you’re going to splurge on something this season, a coat is an investment you won’t regret – over and over and over again. There’s nothing quite so warming amid winter’s chill than a jacket that makes you glow when you wear it, like slipping into an exquisite piece of costume jewelry. A few years ago I bought a gorgeous belted military-inspired tweed that flares from the waist for what at the time – in college and broke – seemed like an obscene amount of money. But I loved it and I still do. And when I put it on, I feel like a princess – over and over and over again. Even your everyday coat should be special because, well, you’re going to wear it every day.But before you hit the stores running, do a coat check in your closet at home. If you have a princess cut or a wool peacoat, consider a retro look with three-quarter length sleeves or a glitzy fur (real or faux). It’s like buying cashmere. Buy one or two fine items a year, and build your collection.

Accentuate the positiveFinding the perfect coat is all in the fit. Whether you’re straight, curvy or somewhere in between use your outermost layer to celebrate your womanly attributes. It should look fresh not frumpy, poised not pouty. And whether you’re coming or going during the high-social season, it’s the first thing to be seen.

The classic belted coats, by definition, accentuate a beautiful waistline. Just make sure the waistline represents the slimmest part of you. Think Audrey Hepburn. A belted trench looks great with just about anything, pants with heels or flats and dresses or skirts with knee-high boots. If the trench has a removable belt, mix and match for different looks.A fur capelet or velvet bolero not only adds warmth but instant glamour you’ll never want to part with. Make sure to keep the look proportioned. Wear them with a pencil skirt, stovepipe pants or a little black dress for a sophisticated silhouette. For a more casual, modern feel, put on your favorite pair of jeans. Princess cuts with a full skirt that flare from the waist dazzle in day or night. Richly romantic, you’ll feel like you just stepped off the pages of a fairy tale. Better yet, they’re flattering to any figure.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Military wear is still making a major impression this season with clean, crisp lines and bold lapels. Wear it long or cropped. For a sexy stature, pair with knee-high boots.When donning your outerwear this winter, make a playful statement. Be it an expression or reality or fantasy, no one’s checking.

Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or

Vail, Colorado

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