A Coat Collection

If you live in a four-season climate, you may have more than one coat in your wardrobe. They take up a lot of space in the closet and use up a significant chunk of your clothing budget, so it is wise to take your time deciding on a new one. I consider my climate as well as the fabric, color, and style before making a purchase. As with most clothing choices, I intend to wear my coats for years.

I have been looking for alternatives to my dark-colored trench coat for the past three years. On cold clear days, I prefer a brighter coat or a light gray one. I kept searching until I found the right transitional coat for me.

Color and length were my priorities. Tan trench coats wash me out, and I didn’t want a full or mid-calf length. Above the knee is a much better choice since I plan to wear my coat with pants. I also wanted a more fluid rather than stiff fabric. This one is made from cotton, viscose, and elastane. It gets extra points for matching high-quality buttons.

When I saw this pale gray trench, I knew it was the one. I bought a size large so that I could wear it over a sweater or blazer. Here is a similar trench coat. Mine is by Club Monaco, but it is sold out now.

I will only tie the belt (never use the buckle) in front when the rain is pouring down. These pictures reminded me that I should have already tied the belt in the back, as shown above. This is a more casual way to wear a trench while slightly defining the waistline.

This casual Sunday afternoon look includes a silk twill scarf, which inspired my other color choices. Similar items: Trench CoatSweaterJeansBootsBagScarfSunglasses.

On Thursday, I’ll share a more tailored wool coat. It has been in my collection for a couple of years, and I wear it often. I’ll talk about the features that make it a good choice.

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  1. I love this coat! I moved years ago from NJ to CA and no one could understand why I had so many coats and jackets. Now residing in North Florida, with much fewer jackets/coats; I love the idea of this coat as it seems perfect for colder days here and my trips up north. Thank you for sharing; I always love your advice. We just drove through Johnson City last week on our way to Pinehurst; wish I had spotted you along the way. Best wishes.

  2. I love this trench coat, I am happy to see the gray color, I believe they are adding more gray for us gray haired gals. Or I just haven’t shopped much lately? Everything in the trench departments used to be tan or black.
    Thanks Susan

  3. Wow! A grey trench! I still have my traditional light tan trench from years ago when my hair was dark brown but just can’t stand the way it looks on me now that I’m all silver haired! Need to get rid of it but hard to let go since so many say it’s a staple piece for all. May be, but not for the silver haired!

  4. My very first job at 15 in the 1970s was working alongside my father finishing buttonholes at different factories in New York. I would often be given sample pieces of clothing, including coats, and my father would point out well made details like fabric and stitching, but I was also keenly aware of distinct buttons such as fabric, leather, jewelled and metal. Thank you for pointing out high quality buttons in your post today.

  5. I have a camel trench coat by George that has a beautiful lining. It is 3/4 and I wear it often. I bought a pair of leopard rain boots to go with it a few years ago. It keeps me warm during the mild Winter weather we have here and makes a great raincoat. Do you use an umbrella or rain hat? I usually get caught in a sudden shower here on the coast so I keep one of those tie on headscarf’s but I hate those. Any ideas on how to look chic in the rainy weather.

  6. I have a black trench coat that I love! It washes up beautifully and still has the rich black color. It is that little extra covering for a little extra warmth but not too much. Thank you for the post and love the coat, makes me think about purchasing a lighter coat as well for other times. My family makes fun of me for the different assortment of coats, dress/casual, cold/warm……

  7. Love your coat! I live in NZ in a four season climate so have many coats. I have many weights, colours, lengths. Too many for sure!

  8. Looks very nice on you. I have a beige trenchcoat, with a zip out lining. Since I live in South Texas the Winter weather and temp is quite changeable and my trench is always one I turn to……also, I was lucky and found a Petite…on sale…and it is a perfect fit. Love your posts. We almost moved to Johnson City, years ago. My hubby is now retired, but he was a Math Professor and interviewed at East Tennesse State. We both were born and raised in Tennessee…me in Memphis….my hubby in McKenzie. Tennesse is a beautiful state, especially East Tennessee. Enjoy your beautiful photos. Stay well

  9. I live in Southern California and previously lived in Las Vegas and Texas, so winters are mild. Yet I have coat collection because I visit weather. I have puffer coats of varying lengths for when I travel to cold places. Over the last three years, I purchased three wool coats – a grey peacoat, red dressy coat, and a royal blue dressy coat. I have a lighter black and white plaid coat that I wear a lot because it is lighter for the Southern California climate. I also have anoraks for casual looks.

    This post on the trench is timely – I just ordered a charcoal grey London Fog trench coat from Nordstroms – it is the first time I saw a trench in gray. It is double-breasted so I won’t know if it works until it arrives. If not, I think I might look for a traditional trench in red or burgundy, two colors I love to wear. I already have leopard print trench and a black trench. I think the beige trenches make me look tired.

  10. Hi Susan,

    Love your trench coat! I bought a very similar one twenty years ago when I first ‘came out’.
    I still have it and wear it mostly in Spring and Fall. Here in Chicago our Winters can get pretty cold.

    Love, Katie

  11. Susan, a long time ago you mentioned a site that you used to draw a circle around your address within x miles. Do you still have that site ? During these times, we’d like to travel close to home (as you do) and it would be interesting to see places within 50, 100, 200 miles of home.

    I continue to enjoy your site……….Stay safe, Connie Briggs

  12. Love your coat Susan! I have mine, exactly like yours, but in the original beige colour. It is now at 40 years old, original London Fog. I have had it shortened recently to the length you are wearing. Because I live in Canada, my season for wearing this is limited, hence, I still am wearing it.
    Looks great on you 🙂
    peggy ann budd.

  13. I love the gray trench coat. I have been trying to incorporate gray more into my wardrobe. It’s so versatile and a much better choice for me with my coloring.

    Thank you again for a helpful post. Have a great week. Hi to Mr. Mickey.

  14. Love your style and your pictures of where you live. I live in the UK but have spent time in US for many holidays. I’ve been to Asheville and the mountains. Wish I could get out to dress up and wear nice coats, we are in another lockdown here and only allowed out once a day to exercise and to shop. A reason why your posts are so inspiring. I love your food and meal posts too, always look delicious. Thanks

  15. Susan,
    You always look great and classy. I think if you ever were looking for added income I’d hire you in a second as a personal shopper/ closet audit specialist /what to keep, what to toss and why and what I should look for.
    You’ve got an eye for it.
    Thanks for your posts.

  16. What a sharp trench coat, looks great! I have one in a nice dusty rose which is awesome for spring here in Michigan. (Yes, we have to have a variety of coats for the extreme temps!) Love your purple sweater and this entire outfit, I have pinned it. Looks so sharp! Thanks Susan.

  17. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many coats and jackets I own. Where I live, more days than not require outerwear. A coat or jacket often becomes the focus of my look for the day, often more important than what is worn underneath, hence my love of variety of style and color. I have basic black in all styles from casual to dress and for all seasons. I also have color in all weights. I consider a red topper an essential for a jolt of cheer on our many cold, gray days. Accessorizing outerwear is a creative fun expression of personality.

  18. Hope Club Monaco makes that pale gray trench again, it is so flattering. I love your blog because you know what looks good on you and wear it well. Your blog has really helped me to realize that buying things that I like because they look wonderful on a young skinny model and then wearing them because I like them, whether they are flattering or not is not a good plan. We share similar coloring and shape so your blog is a terrific example for me.

    Thank you, Julie

  19. I do enjoy seeing your post, I have learned a lot from you. I don’t see your blog like I used to- your harder to find now

  20. Hi Susan, it’s winter here in Australia and I would like to buy a down puffer jacket but not sure what length- the longer length is fashionable here now- Uniqlo and Kathmandu sell all the puffers I am looking at. I remember your rule of thirds – should I buy the longer style? I will wear it with jeans. Please advise. Thankyou for all your posts- I love how you look and everything you wear, and your kind tips.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.