Key trends for autumn/winter coats

Caroline Cassidy

It won't be long before the nights draw in and the temperatures begin to drop. It's time to put away summer shorts and T-shirts and reach for something a little warmer but what should you be wearing when the wind blows? You should be looking for something stylish, yet practical and of the moment so let's take a look at the forthcoming trends for coats this year.

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Camel really is going to be the colour of the winter and camel coats were everywhere in many of the catwalk shows for the Autumn/Winter 2010 shows. It is a trend that is perfectly suited to autumn's new minimalism mood and can be combined with black, navy, white or grey.

You don't have to fret about your skin tone either as camel comes in a range of hues from blonde to burnt toffee. Why not experiment by holding different versions against your neck before making your final choice? Whether you choose a trench coat, Crombie or cape, camel will be the must have colour in the months ahead.

Shearling jackets are set to make a big impact during the autumn and winter. Aviator jackets made in leather and denim trimmed with soft wools were a common sight on the catwalks. Flight jackets of all kinds will be must have items this winter, try combining with white shirts and turtleneck jumpers. Expect to see this classic look in all the department stores and take your pick from a range of variations on this popular theme.

A shower-proof trench coat is a great standby for any time of year and continues with the military theme that's characterising many designers work at the moment. Expect to see the mac in all its styles in all the stores from the mac coat, the feminine funnel neck with ruffles, the high neck military style as well as macs made from wool mixes. The mac is most certainly back. Its versatility is its strength and it works especially well, being light and shower-proof, in those unpredictable days autumnal days. You don't have to spend a small fortune either if you want the look of a Burberry or Aquascutum but without the price tag. Shop around, you'll find many of the departments stores have very passable trench coats at a fraction of the price.

Sheepskin, suede and faux fur are fabrics to look out for. You are likely to see faux fur coats and faux fur gillets making an appearance. Try to avoid black coats this season but if it's a favourite look add a brooch or wear it with a great scarf, hat and gloves. Coats with belts show off waist detail and are great for all shapes and sizes.

It's important to have a good variety of jackets and coats in your wardrobe so you can mix and match with your outfit in different ways. Don't wear the same coat to your evening out that that you have worn all day. You'll feel a lot better if you change.