17 coats for your delectation

Here is one item I think it’s always a good idea to invest in, because it is so easy to feel shlumpy in drab winter outerwear, and a nice, snappy coat makes you instead positively exude chic. I have more coats than I know what to do with, but was sorely tempted by a lot of these, starting with this one, which has such excellent lapels.

From APC: a nice herringbone tweed that’d look great with jeans or more dressed up.

This is Rachel Comey and not cheap, but I really wanted to include a couple of colorful options and they were in short supply. Also, it’s got a really appealingly nubby texture.

Nothing cozier than a hooded faux fur coat.

The stripe at the hem here adds just the right amount of interest.

A classic shape, and a perfect tomato red.

A little on the crazy side, but good crazy, I think.

This is alpaca, which always looks so great, and I love the idea of a creamy white coat.

The oversized lapels here are so damn chic.

I had to include a leopard choice, of course.

I just think this duffle coat is the most stylish thing ever.

I like the subtle military look here.

Such a perfect, blazing autumnal color, and I really like the texture.

The ribbed, knit cuff is what makes this faux fur standout.

Just a really good houndstooth.

Why not something sweet and peachy pink?

Just as elegant as the day is long.

Totes don’t have to be black and boring

 

I’ve included some black totes here because they’re so functional, but they’ve all got something a little interesting going on. Personally, I prefer totes that pop a little, even if they’re in neutral colors, like this excellent grey one with stripes from Clare V.

I also like the idea of carrying something summery, like this one from Antonello, all winter long.

This is Isabel Marant and it exceeds the GOACA price limit, but I am in love with the print on the strap.

Nothing all that unusual here, just a really good grey.

I love the color block business going on here.

Just a bright, vibrant red.

 

This is actually a baby bag, which just means it has a million convenient interior pockets, and I’m crazy for the quilting.

This costs more than it should but it is so damn cute in the denim.

The shape here is cool.

Remember always, ladies, that metallics are neutrals, and love this Baggu tote as I do.

The chain handle here is so chic but slightly un-functional, so it’s nice that it comes with a shoulder strap for convenience.

This croc-embossed option is so fancy-looking.

This isn’t the biggest tote of the bunch, but I do love the way it looks.

The slightly weird mustard-y hue on this canvas bag appeals.

Taking requests: Lace-up boots

“So for whatever reason (midlife crisis?) I’ve been painfully missing my 90s Doc Martens 8-eye boots,” writes a reader named Sara. She wonders if she should buy herself a black pair, or “is there a more grown-up, chic alternative?” I love the idea of the GOACA army decked out in Docs (and I know that quite a few of you still wear and love them) but the notion of a more polished version also appeals. This suede pair from Vince would look so great with skinny trousers.

Here is a very splurgetastic but also quite chic pair from Ann Demeulemeester that I have lusted after for ages (pretty much every season she does a slightly different version).

The lug soles on this pair would make them great for trekkingin the snow. Also, they’re kind of tough-chick-looking.

A pre-worn option, for those of you who enjoy such things.

I’d love to have the nerve to wear a to-the-kneee lace-up.

This just looks eminently cozy.

The most feminine choice of the bunch, with a nice wedge heel.

I like the ever-so-slightly platform sole here.

These brogue-style boots are actually Doc Martens and I think they’re wonderful.

Dresses with grown-up hemlines under $100

A very feminine dotted number with some frilly business at the chest that might typically turn me off but that I really like here.

The knotting at the waist is nice and figure flattering.

I’d wear a long-sleeved tee or a turtleneck with this wrap dress when the weather turns cool.

The slit sleeves here are an interesting touch, and it’s such a good blue.

Such a pretty, sweet velvet dress with cool black-on-black dots.

I like that the puffed sleeves here are not too puffy, which would overwhelm this otherwise nicely streamlined dress.

I usually don’t like sweater dresses, but this is so sexy.

I love that the zipper allows you to choose your own neckline, and also that this option looks so damn comfortable.

More black-on-black dots, this time on a lovely, flowy confection.

I like when an otherwise straightforward dress has one or two interesting details, which is how I feel about the contrasting belt and asymmetrical hemline here.

This feels wearable for weekends or work.

And this feels very work-to-evening.

Top 5 of the week: Business casual

This is actually a request, from a reader named Meghan, who writes, “I’d like to know your ideas for business casual. I’m packing for a conference in Chicago and kicking myself that I didn’t ask about this sooner!” This is a tough one, as it has been seven years since I’ve worked in an office, and from what I understand, things have gotten much more dressed-down since then. Which is cool, but can be confusing when you want to look on point. My advice is to play things pretty straight: it’s a look I like anyway, and one you can’t really go too far wrong with. I’d start off with a nice cashmere V-neck.

And then I’d go for some tailored-but-casual trousers, like these chinos from Vince.

Under the sweater I’d layer a cotton button down like this one.

I’d have a little fun with footwear and go for these burnished metallic boots. (Here’s a cheaper pair I  like too.)

And—just so I wouldn’t come across too preppy, I’d throw on this faux fur jacket.

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