How to choose the perfect winter coat


It’s hard to overstate the impact a good coat can have on your wardrobe. Without one, even the most beautifully organized outfit can be marred. And you might be cold.

“A coat is the first and last item people see on you, so it has to look good,” says Bojana Sentaler, founder of the Canadian outerwear brand. Sentaler. This is your first and last impression. It’s your punch. You want to be excited to appear and show off your outfit with your coat, instead of running to the locker room as fast as you can. ”

Meghan Markle in Sentaler on Christmas Day 2017.

Getty Images

Sentaler, who was encouraged to pursue a career in fashion by none other than Mr. Karl Lagerfield, launched his first collection in 2009. The brand has grown steadily over the past 12 years, partnering with from big retailers like Saks 5th Avenue and Nordstrom, and winning the devotion of famous clients like Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Anya Taylor Joy, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Indeed, the style worn by the Duchess of Sussex for her first Christmas with the royal family in 2017 (aptly named “the Meghan”) remains the first seller of the brand, thanks to the Meghan Markle effect. As recently as last week, Halle Berry was seen wearing Sentaler on three separate occasions.

“I think coats fall under the classification of shoes and handbags. You have to have good shoes, you have to have good handbags, and you have to have good coats.”

Sentaler says she’s learned a lot about the art of tailoring (and wearing coats) from the early days of her business, back to when she was a one-woman show working directly with clients. And it is indeed an art. Choosing the right coat for you – a good quality, a good fit, a wearable style – requires some consideration. Instead of just picking out whatever is on sale or looks “good enough,” here are some tips and tricks on how to pick the perfect winter coat, from the expertise of Sentaler.

Adjustment comes first.

“One of the main things I learned was the importance of fit,” says Sentaler, who has trained his entire team to teach clients how to best wear their coats and how to fit.

bojana sentaler
Bojana Sentaler is the President and Creative Director of Sentaler.

Courtesy of Sentaler

“When I designed Sentaler 12 years ago back then there were a lot of squarer options, so I really wanted to bring femininity back into outerwear. It was about creating silhouettes that perfectly hug a woman’s body in the right places. ”

When looking for the right sleeve length, the end of the cuff should directly touch the crease between your thumb and forefinger when your arm is by your side.

Belt buckles, ideally, should fall over your natural waist, which Sentaler says will complement and lengthen the body. All belt loops and sleeve lengths on Sentaler coats are easy to change, so consider bringing a coat to a seamstress for minor changes that can have a major impact.

For women’s coats, look for styles that have a vented back hem. Not only does it add a touch of femininity, but it also offers a more comfortable and functional fit.

Remember to check the shoulders when purchasing a coat. , says Sentaler. “Not too wide, not too narrow.” It should fit perfectly on your shoulders.

Comfort is crucial.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it is absolutely essential that you really feel comfortable. resistant your coat. “The key is to go for a coat in which you feel aesthetically good, but in which you also feel physically comfortable,” says Sentaler.

The right size and fit will play a big part in this, but so will the material. Sentaler coats, for example, are all made with alpaca fibers, which are extremely soft and light while still being super warm. Avoid coats that are stiff or too heavy.

Versatility has value.

The best choice is versatile, so look for coats that can be worn in more than one way. As some of Sentaler’s celebrity spotting evidenced, the right high-quality coat can be dressy (a la Duchesses) or paired with chunky sneakers and athleisure, according to J. Lo.

“The coat’s versatility is what makes it such a key investment,” Sentaler explains. “Especially as a luxury purchase as you can wear it with many different outfits for many different occasions.”

royals attend the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey
The Duchess of Sussex wears a navy Sentaler coat for an official Remembrance Day appearance in 2019.

Marc CuthbertGetty Images

You can ensure a basic level of versatility by choosing a base color. According to Sentaler, these are black, gray, camel, garnet and olive green.

If you’re looking to purchase a new coat (or a bullion coin), Sentaler recommends a wrap-around style, which Sentaler is known for. “It is completely normal for a woman’s body weight to fluctuate. The beauty of a wrap coat is that it is so generous. So, at those times when our body is fluctuating, you can roll up or unwrap it. as much as you want. As a woman that’s one of the key things I’m looking for. ”

Buy with intention.

As the consumer culture becomes more conscious, Sentaler urges customers to be selective about the brands they buy from.

“Learn about your product. Learn more about the material your coat is made from, where it’s made and how it was made,” she says, noting that their products are ethically sourced. “It’s very important these days that brands are transparent about where their products come from, and as customers we should be asking ourselves these questions. Read the labels. Get to know the brands you wear. Wear brands that have a cause. ”

For its part, Sentaler has two charitable partnerships. Through Forests for the future, they donate the proceeds of each coat purchased at the tree plantation. For the past six years, they have also partnered with SickKids, Toronto’s first children’s hospital, which has been repeatedly named one of the best in the world. With # SENTALER4SickKids, the proceeds of all Sentaler ribbed scarves, hats and gloves are donated to SickKids Foundation.

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