A perfect seasonal transition piece, the women’s cashmere coat is dressy and elegant for special occasions yet suitable for everyday wear. Echoing larger statements on the runway, coats this season get upgraded from traditional cuts and palettes to edgier designs in bold hues with cape-inspired lines and high fashion draping.
At the Christian Dior Fall 2011 ready to wear show, models paraded down the catwalk in an assortment of vibrant jewel toned creations, adorned with rich detailing. The first look of the night featured a dramatic floor length charcoal cashmere cloak, with a hood and neck clasp. Another model showcased a coat with an empire waist, single breast pocket, and sweater sleeves cuffed with fur. TSE presented a cashmere cape that sported a blue underside, while Donna Karan’s Pre Fall collection contained a topper in classic auburn, re-imagined to include a loose square collar and longer hemline.
Whether you’ll be purchasing from designer collections or your local department store, four key trends are pivotal for fall cashmere coats. First, the longer, the better: length is big for fall 2011, so look for coats that hit below the knee. Second, go for vibrant color. While it is always useful to have neutral outerwear, now is the time to indulge your love for color. Teals, berries, reds and fluorescent shades are wonderfully on-trend. Third, look for nontraditional silhouettes. Diagonal zippers, shawl collars, embellished cuffs and hems, and chunky belts update a normally subdued wardrobe staple. Finally, be inspired by Red Riding Hood. Capes, capelets, and loose-fitting cashmere coats are of the moment, and they will suit fall’s moderate weather.
You can find cashmere coats at virtually any store selling sophisticated outerwear, but online retailers like Luisa Via Roma, Net-a-Porter, and Matches Fashion stock dozens of high fashion designs. For more budget conscious items, search Macy’s, Bluefly, The Outnet and Yoox for discounted designer items and cashmere-blend outerwear.