Winter Traffic Stoppers!

OMO Norma Kamali Striped Sleeping Bag Car Coat

Bill Cunningham famously observed: “Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” Nothing has more of a potential to be that armor than a coat. I am always a big believer in investing in coats, and I’ve collected many exceptional ones through the years. I actually love when the weather turns cold because I get to wear them.

The most exciting things happening right now in fashion are coats.

Marylou Luther

Your coat is the first thing or the only thing others will see, especially in the winter months. Coats add instant panache. You can wear the simplest wardrobe staples, but you are instantly pulled together if you top it off with a great coat. There’s a reason Anna Wintour and many high-profile public figures are almost always photographed with their coats on, even if it’s just over the shoulders.

Norma Kamali put the sleeping bag coat on the map in 1973, and they remain as relevant and chic today as back then. Norma uses the NASA method for warmth; each coat is actually two coats sewn together with air pockets in between. It might be mild now, but the cold weather is coming. Stay warm and look fabulous in Norma Kamali’s Classic Sleeping Bag Car Coat in graphic black and white diagonal stripes (see opening shot). Priced at $715, it is for sale at

H&M Oversized Puffer coat in Cerise

H&M’s oversized padded jacket in cerise-jacquard weave recycled polyester is from the brand’s just-launched Innovation Circular Design Story. Everything in the collection is made of recycled plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in the ocean.

This jacket features a high collar, snap fasteners, and discreet side-seam pockets. The large padded scarf can be worn as a belt. Best of all, it’s priced at only $349 and available at and select H&M stores.

Rick Owens Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear

The market is admittedly flooded with puffer coats, but you will not likely see many that look like Rick Owens’ Geth Coat from Rick’s Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear collection, presented on Lido Beach in Venice Italy. This lightweight nylon unisex coat has the drama of an haute couture cape, and while it was shown over an evening ensemble, it is really meant to be worn around town.

The fact that it will invariably drag on the ground and pick up dirt, soot, and everything else for that matter, is not deterring men and women who have purchased it in both black and in off-white. In fact, I called the Rick Owens Manhattan store on Howard Street and was told they are sold out of the style in the store. However, it is now reduced 30% from $4364 to $3055, and there are still a few online at

YEOHLEE Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Courtesy YEOHLEE

Yeohlee’s stunning Black and Steele Grey Graphic Cape in PVC is genderless, one size fits all, and roomy enough to wear over anything. Priced at $1290, it was first shown for Fall 2020 and is available at YEOHLEE NY, 12 West 29th Street, 212 631 8099, and online at

As a longtime city dweller, I have regarded coats as my portable environment. This is very much in keeping with Yeohlee’s idea of dressing the “Urban Nomad,” a phrase the designer coined when she conceived of her Fall 1997 Ready-to-Wear collection. Indeed, it is all about finding sartorial solutions that work on various practical and psychological levels.

Roberto Cavalli Shearling Jacket Fall 1999

This fabulous Roberto Cavalli shearling coat, from 1999. features bright hand-painted leather with a peacock print and long-haired neon fur. It is reversible and can be worn on both sides. The shearling coat is handcrafted with intentional raw edges, asymmetrical pieces, and splashed paint. It is size medium and in pristine condition. Priced at $6800, it is available at

House of Poiret Oversized Cocoon Coat

This oversized dramatic demi-couture cocoon coat is from the House of Poiret. It is fashioned of deep rich navy blue and acid green in a custom jacquard print. The full sleeves are adjustable at the wrists, and it has a wide collar finished with a raw-cut tri and open front entry.

This is an eye-catching head-turner that can quickly go from day to evening. Priced at $4750, it is for sale at

Gabriela Hearst Jensen Coat

Whether designing for Chloe or her eponymous line, Gabriela Hearst always puts the spotlight on artisanal craftsmanship, and her coats are always exceptional. One of the best I’ve seen is the Jensen trench which marries a masculine feel with a subtly feminine edge. The coat is made of black lamb leather.

It is detailed with a delicate, broderie-Anglais-like laser pattern on contrast scallop-edged strips that run vertically through the back and enhance the epaulet and cuff- tab details. Priced at $9900, it is for sale at

2010s Etro Jacquard Wool Multi-Color Long Coat

This rare Etro jacquard wool coat from the 2010s illustrates the Italian house’s colorful, luxe boho aesthetic. Knitted in their signature multicolor patterns, it gives “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” a run for its money. Priced at $1,8227, it is for sale at

Torso Creations Ecuadorian Coat

From the Torso Creations Atelier comes this Ecuadorian-made, ultra-soft woven wool blanket designed into a hooded, double-zip front unisex jacket with pouch pockets and trimmed in lush ombre rayon fringe. The bold motif in traditional Ecuadorian design is woven in earthy colors with red, orange, and turquoise accents.

The woven blanket was thoughtfully cut and pieced to showcase the beautiful design. Elbow-length sleeves feature turquoise triangular patches on shoulders trimmed in ombre fringe. The oversized hood is also trimmed in ombre fringe. Priced at $1200, it is for sale at

Vintage Christian Dior black and white shearling jacket with panels

From the Christian Dior Fall 2001 Ready-to-Wear Collection, this highly textural black and white lamb shearling jacket features a multicolor sheer panel overlay at the waist, both front and back, and sleeves with chevron stitching. Sized 38, it is in excellent vintage condition. Priced at $4250, it is for sale at

Coats shield us from the elements, and they serve as a protective cocoon. Why shouldn’t they also be sensational, if not traffic-stopping, as well?

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.