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Fall Coat Trends: Bright, Bulky and Belted

We all live with our fair share of regrets. For some, it's picking the wrong major in college, sticking out a rocky relationship, or eating last night's bad sushi. My regret? Waiting until mid-October last season, when it was really cold outside, to look for a new coat. The chill is the only consistent thing about San Francisco weather, and so I assumed that  stores were bound to keep an array of key outerwear pieces in stock year round. Wrong! Instead, I went through the fall and winter months desperately sorting through picked over, not-my-size overcoats, never satisfied and eventually going without that much-needed update to my wardrobe. I learned my lesson, and have consequently been on the prowl ever since for that perfect cool-weather addition. Thankfully, local stores are just now unpacking those fall/winter collections and the selection looks promising. Here are a few key coat trends I’ve spotted to help you navigate the season ahead.


Courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Forgo basic black for a jewel-toned or brightly colored coat that will have you standing out from the dark, muni-riding masses. Jessica Simpson back-pleat, wool-blend coat ($268) at Nordstrom, 415-243-8500.


Courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Can’t decide between a chunky cardigan or a long coat? Combine the two in Nanette Lepore’s truly functional “Kiss Me” coat ($650), which also has a built-in scarf. Available at Nordstrom.


Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim

If you simply can’t get away from the practicality of wearing a dark hue, go with  Phillip Lim’s chocolate brown wrap coat. The wide belt gives your waist instant definition. 3.1 Phillip Lim wool-blend coat ($625), available at Nordstrom.