Make a statement via your outerwear this season. Lisa Haynes reveals the cover-ups to covet

Wave goodbye to the Indian summer. Instead, shift your focus to the serious business of buying a winter coat.

This is an investment you'll be stuck with months, if not years, so don't splurge on a whim. Scan the key seasonal looks and pick a shape and colour that suits.

The coat aisles have just about every trend covered this autumn, from G.I. military chic to floaty fairy tale capes.

Pick your cover-up and get an instant outfit upgrade every time you pull it on.


Sometimes, a coat is more about the colour than the silhouette. Step forward this season's flurry of Pantone-inspired cover-ups, in jewel bright and icy pastel hues.

A colourful coat is the ideal option if your wardrobe is jam-packed with neutrals and dark tones, to add a splash of interest.

If you wear a lot of grey and navy, a pastel cover-up is the perfect contrast - try lavender, bluebell or rose pink. If you veer more towards black or beige, add a jolt of colour with a bright red, cobalt or yellow.


Shun coat traditions this season with an arm-free option. If you regularly hop in and out of the car and don't need excessive insulation, longline, sleeveless wool coats are a chic choice. Layer a chunky rollneck underneath when temperatures plummet.

Capes are another armless wonder, setting your limbs free. Opt for a sleek minimalist style, or make a statement in a whimsical embroidered cape that accessorises your shoulders.

This season's blanket ponchos can be worn draped over shoulders or around your neck. Don't even think about borrowing the dog's blanket. Look for bold checks or Navajo prints in rich hues.


Strip back the detail with the minimalist wave of fuss-free coats. That means no belt, no buttons, and in some cases, no collar. If you want some form of fastening, try a coat with a simple zip for a hint of metallic hardware.

The dialled-down detail makes these coats perfect for eye-popping prints and colours, but for ultimate minimalism, work a neutral hue like grey, camel or navy.

If you don't fancy ruler-straight lines, try a curved cocoon coat for a slightly softer silhouette.


The antithesis of minimalism, gargantuan shaggy and furry coats are bigger than ever this winter. Glam them up with an evening gown, or pare down with jeans and boots.

Best reserved for colder days, these cover-ups are all about touchable textures. For a denser effect, opt for this season's teddy bear textures, or go wild with overgrown sheepskins and shaggy faux faurs.

Dusty pastel and pale tones are the coolest tones to go for, but if you want more of an impact, brave an unexpected bright colour or animal print faux fur.


The perennial parka has come a long way from festival cover-up - and Liam Gallagher. This season, the hooded coat has had a glamorous makeover. Think luxe faux fur trim and eye-popping colour.

If you want a traditional take on the parka, opt for utilitarian khaki, deep pockets and a generous hood. Play on the casual androgyny by layering over a feminine dress or tailored trousers with heels.

For a parka with a twist, look for an upbeat colour, like hot pink or zesty mustard, that's sure to kick-start your autumnal wardrobe.