Searching for the right Winter Coat...
August 26, 2011 4:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm about 5'4'' - 5'5'' and want to buy the right length coat.

I obviously don't want to look lost in the coat, but I do tend to like some fabric over my bum to avoid the dilemma of winter air finding the gap between my pants and my sweater/whatever.

I'm a pear shape, if that matters, though my question isn't really about style, per say.

Help? I'd really appreciate some examples (your experience and/or pictures of, you know, celebrities or some such)
posted by DisreputableDog to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What size are you...? I found, over a postpartum weight gain and subsequent loss, that as sizes go up, length also tends to creep up. I'm 5'4" and when I was larger, I was getting good fits out of the 'petites' sections -- now that I'm a very small size, I keep returning non-petite stuff for being too short.

That aside, I have winter coats (smaller but non-petite sizes) from J. Crew and Lands' End Canvas and they are just right, length-wise (even though LEC is a bit of a repeat offender for XXS defaulting to too-short).
posted by kmennie at 5:17 AM on August 26, 2011

Response by poster: I'm a skinny pear, heh. 32/33' bust, 27' waist, 36-37' hip. That's skin or clothes measurements, so I guess a coat would have to be a little bigger?
posted by DisreputableDog at 5:25 AM on August 26, 2011

What kind of coat are you talking about? I think that just about everyone looks great in a single-breasted wool coat that hits right at their knees, in a color flattering to their skin tone. But it sounds as though you have in mind something shorter. Are you thinking about a peacoat or a ski jacket or something?
posted by decathecting at 5:33 AM on August 26, 2011

Response by poster: (Sorry to thread sit)

I like double-breasted jackets or coats, often but not necessarily military style.

Again, I'm really just looking for a good length for me.
posted by DisreputableDog at 5:34 AM on August 26, 2011

The length is really going to depend on the cut of the coat. In double-breasted, you likely will need to go on the shorter side. Since you're pretty small, all that extra fabric in front may overwhelm your frame if the coat is longer than about hip length. In fact, it may be overwhelming at any length, given your size. A puffy down coat will look good in a different length than a wool coat, which will look good in a different length than a trenchcoat. And within that, it depends on the style. Here's what Google has to say about the right length for a double-breasted wool coat. As you can see, there's a lot of variation.

It might help us if you posted pictures of some coats you're considering trying on. But your best bet is probably to go to a store and try on a hundred coats until you find one you like.
posted by decathecting at 5:43 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm about your size & proportions, and I've been really happy with the coat I bought last winter. It's a double breasted tweed coat that hits right at the knee, as suggested by decathecting.
posted by bibliophibianj at 5:45 AM on August 26, 2011

I'm a fat 5'5" pear, and I really like the coat I bought a few years ago--36" inches, in a "swing" style that tapers out slightly, hits me somewhere between mid-thigh and above the knee (I've got a long torso, though). It's long enough that I can wear it with a long tunic/leggings, but short enough to keep the look quite casual.
posted by drlith at 6:01 AM on August 26, 2011

If you are pear shaped I would avoid anything that stopped anywhere between your hip to the bottom of your bottom as this is your widest area and a coat that stopped there would accentuate that with a horizontal line.
So then that means you'd have to go longer, but not too long or else you will look short. So I woud say in terms of length, something between the bottom of your bottom but above your knee would be most flattering.
Double or single breasted, just make sure it has enough material so it does not gape towards the bottom, so a slight A-line and not straight cut.
In terms of style, details at the top will draw the eye upwards (ie nice big buttons, epauletes, even a fur trim).
posted by like_neon at 6:17 AM on August 26, 2011

I would be most concerned with getting the upper body to fit right. If the coat has a waist, make sure it hits at the right point for you. Depending on whether you are long-torsoed or long-legged, at 5'4" your upper body might work better in petite proportions or in regular.

Then get the coat let out or shortened to the height you prefer.

General style notes: I think a single-breasted coat is much easier to wear and more classic (double-breasted goes in and out like every couple of years—peacoat styles always look good, even when they're not trendy, but they're short, just to the hip). A coat is such an investment that you'll want to wear it for several years running. Go for simple and sleek—true waist, lapels or a collar. I kind of hate J. Crew, but their Lady Coats are awfully good examples of a simple coat shape that basically never looks bad. Have the length tweaked to hit *just* above your knee or just below it, depending on the length of the skirts you usually wear (if you wear skirts). Right across the knee tends to make everyone look wider.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:14 AM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older "Halo is like, 8 million Pongs"; help me find...   |   Most influential short stories and novels in terms... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.