How to buy a winter coat

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Has your winter coat seen better days? The January sales can be a great time to pick up a bargain - but choose wisely. A new coat is an investment you'll be wearing every day - and one you'll want to get right...

Top winter coat searches:
  1. Quilted coat
  2. Faux fur coats
  3. Wool winter coats
  4. Men's sheepskin coats
  5. Designer winter coats
  6. Pea coat
  7. Trench coats
  8. Women's winter coat
  9. Leather coats
  10. Petite winter coats
Personality
Finding a coat (and shop) that matches your personality can be difficult. Go online and see what the main retailers have to offer before hitting the high street. That way, you can narrow your search down and save valuable time and energy.

Length
Think about what you'll be wearing the coat with. If you're always in skirts find something that finishes a few centimetres below most of your outfits.

And unless you are thinking of a starring role in a perfume commercial, avoid ankle-length coats. You may think they scream glamour but if you are small it will look like the coat is wearing you. Women with an hour-glass figure should look for shapes that are nipped in or belted at the waist. This will help flatter your shape despite the layers underneath.

Trends
For 2009/2010 coats have been sporting fake-fur trims, big shoulders, and unstructured tailoring.

But before splashing out think about what you want your coat to say. Do you want something that's up to the minute or a coat that you'll wear season after season? If it's an investment, perhaps avoid the latest trends.

Size
Another thing to think of is what do you want your coat to do warmth-wise. Sounds obvious, but it can differ depending on your journey and where you live in the country.

If you are always on London tubes you'll probably just want something that fits a thin jumper underneath. But if you're walking around freezing cities up north and in Scotland, you may want something to fit your favourite woolly underneath.

So consider your needs when thinking about coat sizes, and perhaps go up a size if you need to pile on the layers.

What do you look for in a winter coat? Swap tips on keeping warm with others.