9 Tips For Shopping For A Fall Coat

Fall is that magical time of year when it's still warm enough for skirts but also cool enough to buy a darling new jacket. If you're ready for action, but uncertain of how to shop for a fall coat — today the stars are smiling on you. Alexandra O'Hearn, Lead Stylist at Stitch Fix took some time out from making women look fashionable to give us her expert take on getting the right garment for the season.

While you may not have thought about a jacket all summer long, let me remind you: A coat is an extremely important part of your wardrobe and unless you have a Carrie Bradshaw-esque walk-in closet, chances are, you don't have room for many. For this reason, investing in one or two well-made, yet fabulous and fashionable coats is important. But how do you sift through all of the coats, both in store and online? How does one go about picking the perfect fall coat?! That's where O'Hearn comes in.

Whether you're updating your fall wardrobe with a single new coat, or ready to buy the runway, read along for O'Hearn's industry insights on the best fall trends, silhouettes, and colors. She has all the hot tips for all the hot coats this fall.

1. Don't Be Afraid To Experiment With Bold Trends

ASOS Coat in Oversized Fit with Hood, $83, Asos

"Since fall weather is more temperate, fall coats often come with a friendlier price tag—making it the perfect time to experiment with the fun fall trends we'll be seeing," says O'Hearn. "I love the new boyfriend-inspired silhouette for fall coats. This "borrowed-from-the-boys" look is perfect for rounding out summer and heading into fall. A slouchy boyfriend jacket looks great with skinny jeans, loafers, and a rich cozy sweater." Comfy, loose-fitting coats? Count me in! "I also love the plaid coats we'll be seeing this season. As your go-to outer layer, a coat should make a statement, and plaid is an on-trend way to make an entrance."

2. Invest In A Puffer Coat

Marc New York Eva Coat, $128, Nordstrom

"We started to see slimmed down puffer coats last season and the trend is continuing this season as well," O'Hearn tells us. Hooray for the poofy-but-slim silhouette! This year we will also see longer puffers with lapel collars as well a more athletic-inspired styles like a puffer hoodie. In addition to puffers, fur and leather accents are another trend we are seeing again this year. This little detail can really take a basic coat to the next level, adding that touch of luxe to your outer layer."

3. Classics Are Always A Good Idea

Coat with Seam Detail in Hairy Wool, $46, Asos

"I love the oversized boyfriend styles," O'Hearn repeats. Guess that means we should really add one to our closets, ladies. She also loves "classics like the trench, pea coat, and moto styles."

4. Opt For Colors

BB Dakota Catina Coat, $140, Zappos

"Pops of color are going to be huge for the season. We'll see lots of jewel tones including burgundy, mustard, and forest green—as well as brighter pops of coral, fuchsia, and yellow," O'Hearn says. Now would be a great time to finally invest in that bright red or yellow coat you've been eyeing if you haven't already!

6. If You Buy A Coat Online, Size Up

Stadium Impact Jacket, $298, J. Crew

"Make sure when you are buying a coat online that you consider the layering factor," O'Hearn suggests. "Consider sizing up if you love chunky knits and lots of layers to make sure you still have the mobility and comfort you need in your coat." But how do you go about measuring yourself? "I may be biased, but Stitch Fix is a great way to find the perfect fit for your fall coat! Our stylists can choose the right style, cut, and size for you based on your needs. Since your coat will make a statement, make sure that you get the proportions right."

8. Shawl Collars? IN.

Parklette Blanket Coat, $298, Anthropologie "Shawl collar coats are going to be a big trend this season, and the oversize collar should be used strategically. Use it to balance out your figure by drawing the eye up to the neck and bust," suggests O'Hearn. "Bomber jackets can be a trickier fit for taller gals, so be sure to look for bombers that aren't too cropped and hit at the hip."

9. Make Sure You Consider The "Warmth Factor"

Madden Girl Transit Coat, $89, Modcloth

"Make sure you are choosing the right warmth factor. If you live in California or Texas, you probably won't have the opportunity to wear that fur-lined puffer you have your eye on, but a fur-lined boyfriend anorak will be perfect for your mild climate," O'Hearn tells me. "Similarly, if you live in Colorado that plaid mohair coat won't withstand the snow, but a plaid lined trench style will keep you warm and dry. Color and pattern trends will be seen across the board when it comes to size, shape, and warmth, so you can rock any trend in your climate!"

Images: Courtesy of Brands