Sunday, July 21Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The struggle is real

The struggle of finding an affordable, stunning, and practical winter coat is no myth, it is very, very real. One is left with just two choices; either freeze to death looking fabulous or brave the cold dressed as a bear.

The problem is that most of the coats on the high street look similar: they are either sleek and skimpy, or big and snug. The purchase of a coat requires an informed decision, as this will be a statement piece within your wardrobe throughout the winter season. This is particularly the case in a country like England, whereby the weather requires any nice outfit to be overshadowed by a coat. Everyone’s advice is to wait for the winter sales, however, it is well known that people either at the larger or smaller ends of the size range do best in sales; anyone with what you might consider an ‘average’ body will ultimately lose out to keener shoppers.

Therefore my advice would be to take advantage of what might seem like annoying junk mail from shops like Miss Selfridge, but what is actually quite helpful discount-code-possessing little gems. The most difficult part of coat shopping is the decision between being risqué and getting something colourful, or playing safe and purchasing the coat that you are sure will compliment most of you wardrobe. Although I love a pop of colour, this new trend of wearing bright pink coats and blazers, regardless of whether Prada do it or not, is painful to see; especially when paired with something even more bright and obscene. Call me a grandma, but I do appreciate coats that are versatile, something casual enough to wear to the library but then that can be shown off at a house party. Could a parker, for example, be worn to an elegant dinner date or could an ‘Olivia Pope’ type blazer be thrown on to dash to a lecture that you’re running late for? My most favourite thing about coat shopping is the cute accessories one can buy to match; the item that seems to be everywhere at the moment is the fur collar. A black fur collar just seems to enhance an ordinary coat into something fabulous.

So I ask, is there a strategic way to go about buying the prefect coat, or will we always have to compromise and compensate with accessories, rather than a coat which might transcend the need of additional pieces?