How Not to Look Fat in Coats

    When it comes to coats, many default to the rule of thumb that if it's warm, it's good. But stop right there! Just because coats go OVER an outfit, doesn't mean they aren't part of an outfit. And as such, they should always be used as an opportunity to enhance your shape. Mistakes are easy in this department, so here are some visual aids.

    Liz Linder

    Amanda is super tall (5"10"), so getting the right proportion is important, as is accentuating shape, so she doesn't end up all legs. Here we see Amanda in a coat that's both too short (it cuts her in half) and too broad for her frame. It looks like she's just wearing a square.
    Coat by Anna Ren

    Liz Linder

    To balance out her long legs and accentuate her shape, we put her in this belted car coat. The built-in belt defines a waist, and the slight bubble shape of the bodice defines some hips to balance out her overall silhouette.
    Coat by Banana Republic

    Liz Linder

    We get the same effect for Amanda in this more casual wool boucle version. With her narrower frame, the bubble coat really serves to enhance her figure rather than make her look wider as it might with some stockier frames.
    Coat by Gap

    Liz Linder

    Amy suffers here from a mistake we commonly make- choosing a coat that has some good design details, but just doesn't fit her body particularly well. Flash points for ill fit: how pockets hang on your hips, where shoulders rest, where a waistline cuts, how well darts accent your torso shape. This coat is just not sharp enough to accent Amy's figure. It ends up looking a bit dumpy.
    Coat by Albert Nipon

    Liz Linder

    This tailored option from J Crew works with her proportion better, and has a belt that she can cinch as tight as she wants to get maximum waistline accent. The shoulders more squarely fit her own (a major source of bad coat woes) and the stiffer fabric is less prone to a 'slouchy' appearance.

    Liz Linder

    Amy also loves a puffer parka for playing with her son in the park, and this one from Ann Taylor has everything a puffer should: SHAPE, not too much puffy (i.e. figure overwhelming), and made in a notable color (make a warm coat count for some style!).

    Liz Linder

    Next up, our very own photographer, Liz who has a thing for (faux) fur, is petite (5'4") but chesty, so finding a coat that fits her bust but doesn't hang on the rest of her like a sack can be a challenge. This short leather fur collared number leaves something to be desired, its all pockets and snaps and panels but in the end, pretty boxy.
    Coat by Banana Republic

    Liz Linder

    We ramped her up in this longer caramel colored suede version which cinches just below her bust to accent a narrow waist and allowing for her 'furrier' taste in collars, without overwhelming her frame. With am empire cinch, the longer jacket falls away in a nice aline rather than a bulky rectangle.
    Coat by B&C

    Liz Linder

    For a more tailored look, we again employ the empire to cinch and contain a heavier chest, while not overwhelming her bottom half. By accenting a higher waistline we also make her look taller and she even gets to indulge her little fur fetish on the sleeve accents.
    Coat by Debra McGuire

    Liz Linder