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One Coat, 7 Styles - How To Wear The Same Winter Coat In SEVEN Different Ways

If you enjoyed my gargantuan roundup of the best winter coats, then I’m happy to tell you that I’m not quite finished with my winter coats obsession just yet. But this post is going to be a little different. Instead of showing a multitude of coats and a whole host of outfit combinations to pair them with, I’m going down a different path today and focusing on just one coat.

I know I may have gone a little crazy with 16 of my favorite winter coats in the last post; and although I love each and every one of them because they all bring something different to the table, I know that it is also possible to get through the entire winter with just one coat too. Yes, you read that right, just one coat.

 

Women’s Winter Coats

Sometimes, we don’t always have room in our closets or suitcases, or even the budget for a multitude of different winter coat styles. And I want to prove that it is possible to have one hero piece – in this instance, a coat – that can be easily adapted and dressed up and down without looking boring.

The coat I have chosen for this experiment is a gorgeous plaid blazer coat that you may recognize among the sea of other winter coats from my previous post. So without further ado – one coat, seven different ways. Challenge accepted!

 

 

The Best Winter Coat

Before we go any further, I wanted to talk about the coat that I have entrusted with such a task. There were a lot to choose from, but this tweed jacket – also known as the Hammer plaid blazer – ticks all of my boxes; and then some! It really is a very versatile piece in terms of color, style, length, and warmness, which are all things I think we need to consider when searching for that “does it all” piece. And I think a lot of it is down to the gorgeous plaid design. Or do I mean tartan? No, I definitely mean plaid.

 

What is the difference between plaid and tweed?

Ok, I have a confession – I am one of those people who didn’t always understand the difference between the terms plaid and tweed. I did have some vague understanding, but if something was mislabeled as plaid or vise versa, I wasn’t going to question it. But I didn’t want to be that person anymore and once my children went to bed, sat down with a glass of wine to really try and learn the difference between plaid and tweed and even terms like tartan and check print so I could really differentiate between them all. And as there’s no time like the present, I wanted to share what I found out…

Plaid vs tweed is quite a common comparison, but it turns out they’re not really comparable at all since one is a fabric and one is a pattern! Let’s start with tweed…

Tweed is traditionally made from pure wool tightly woven in a plain weave, but also commonly in twill, herringbone or houndstooth patterns. The wool is dyed while it’s raw (if you remember my tie-dye post you’ll know how intrigued I am by the dyeing process!), then multiple colors are combined during the spinning process to create a whole host of deep and interesting shades. The end result is the fabric renowned for its warmth, water resistance and durability that we all know and love. It was actually originally developed as a weatherproof fabric for rural workers, and has since been adopted by followers of all kinds of outdoor activities, not forgetting those fashion forward individuals looking for rural-chic pieces!

Plaid on the other hand is a pattern with combinations of vertical and horizontal lines where fabrics are woven together at 90 degrees to each other. There’s no limitation to color combination or size, so you can have large multicolored square patterns or smaller repeating check patterns (yes check is a sub-category of plaid!). As long as those lines are perpendicular, the world is your plaid-patterned oyster!

 

And where does tartan fit into all of this?

What’s the difference between plaid and tartan?

Another great question that I myself only found out the answer to very recently. Differentiating between plaid and tartan is interesting. Tartan is a type of plaid; and while all tartans are plaids, not all plaids can be tartans. Have I lost you yet?


The History Of Tartan

As a self-confessed history nerd, I love learning new things and found the history of tartan very interesting.  At first, I thought tartan was simply what people across the pond referred to as plaid, but it’s actually so much more than that. Thanks to luxury brands such as Burberry and Vivienne Westwood, I’ve always associated tartan (the word and the pattern) with Great Britain; and there’s a good reason for that.

Scottish Tartan

In Scotland, they take tartan very seriously as you can imagine, and tartan actually has to be registered in order to be official. It hasn’t always been like this though, as tartan had been worn for centuries in Scotland (earliest example dating back to 3rd century AD) with various colors and designs being produced by local weavers based mainly on what local dyes were available (imagine not being able to choose whatever color you wanted?)

Tartan as we know it today wasn’t really around until the 16th century, and there were actually attempts to ban the wearing of tartan in the 1700s after it was associated with soldiers fighting against the monarchy but this was eventually dropped and instead became the national dress of Scotland.

Registration of tartan patterns began in 1815, although many clans did not have an official color scheme but they submitted their designs anyway and today there are thousands of recorded designs to choose from! Anyway, history lesson over! The important point is, you can’t call something an official tartan unless it’s been registered, which is why genuine tartan pieces with actual Scottish heritage can set you back quite a bit.

I don’t know about you, but having an officially registered piece of tartan in my wardrobe sounds pretty cool. If you’re planning a trip to the UK, it would be foolish not to swing by Scotland and invest in a genuine piece of Scottish history.

Styling The Tweed Blazer Coat

I love a challenge, but it actually wasn’t that challenging to showcase just how versatile this coat is. It can be used to elevate the most casual of outfits, and also to further complement an existing style-savvy ensemble.

Thanks to this coat, I’m now going to have a lot of fun searching for more “wear with everything” coats, because this way of shopping will definitely come in handy if I’m packing for a vacation or if I ever consider downsizing and don’t have enough closet space.

 

1. Let’s stick with tradition and start with an effortlessly stylish, casual look.  Without the jacket, this jeans-and-tee look is arguably one of my more casual ones, especially with the baseball cap and sneakers (albeit YSL sneakers) added in there. However, with the inclusion of the super-versatile and outfit-enhancing jacket, the look is instantly transformed and mimics off duty model style – and that’s exactly what a hardworking item, be it an accessory or a piece of clothing, should do.

    My gap flare jeans and graphic tee are also pretty hardworking too, and I love mixing and matching them with high low pieces throughout the seasons.

     

    Stylish Mom Jeans 

    2. I’m reaching for mom jeans and a button down a lot these days, and not just because they’re super easy to throw on and style; not to mention super comfortable too. Akin to the majority of my looks, the little details really make this outfit pop – and the hardest worker is without a doubt, the blazer. The blazer adds another dimension to the look – as well as extra protection from the cold – and also provides a much needed splash of color and texture.

    As well as the tweed jacket, I’ve accessorized my mom jeans, with a staple ribbed tank, a denim button down, my favorite slouch boots (you may remember them from my previous post… and you’ll probably be seeing them a lot on my Instagram and Like To Know accounts) and topped off with Chloe sunglasses (because it’s still sunny in the winter!) and a chic and cozy Chanel beanie.

     

    3. I can’t help but beam from ear to ear when wearing this outfit. The blazer really complements the rest of the monochrome hues, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone thought I bought this blazer with this exact outfit combination in mind. Truth be told, there aren’t many outfits this blazer doesn’t go with, and after my recent epic 16 coat extravaganza, I really had to rein it in and stop myself from photographing every single piece in my closet. I know this post only features seven outfits, but I’m confident that it will go with at least eighty percent of my wardrobe.

    Adding this blazer to my Gap straight leg jeans and simple boucle sweater tank instantly breathed new life into the pieces, as did the added accompaniments of a bucket hat and Dior espadrilles. As long as the weather allows for espadrilles, this look will be recreated multiple times over the next few months, and also well into the spring too with a cooler tank in place of the boucle sweater tank. 

     

    Women’s Leggings 

    4. I love leggings, and sometimes think they have a bad reputation as they are only regarded as a piece of workout-wear or something to put on when your jeans and all other pants with a zip and a button have given up. And that’s just not true, as I think the right type of leggings – and more importantly, the things you accessorize them with – can actually be used to make quite a smart/casual and dare I even say style savvy look too. I know this post is all about the blazer, but I must give credit where credit is due. I’ve raved about Spanx leggings before and I will continue to do so, as they are so well made and really do a great job of tucking you in in all the right places, guaranteeing a flattering silhouette every time.

    Not Just Gym Leggings 

    This look is a prime example of leggings being so much more than something you wear to the gym. Thanks to the chic Tweed jacket, and their velvet material which is great for winter as they warm my legs up in ways that cotton leggings can’t, my Spanx velvet leggings are already looking quite impressive. Add a crisp white button down, a stylish rancher hat, and some Chanel boots, and no one can question your style prowess.

     

    Winter Mini Skirts 

    5. Who says you can’t wear a mini skirt with bare legs in the winter? I think rules are sometimes made to be broken (sartorial rules that is, just in case my kids are reading) and I love wearing things outside of their season. Case in point, a mini skirt. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way though, as I don’t think this mini skirt would have been made in this warm suede material if it wasn’t designed for a colder temperature. Besides, that’s also what super-warm black over-the-knee boots are for, am I right?

    I’m getting serious preppy chic/Cher Horowitz vibes from a mini skirt teamed with knee high boots and a tweed blazer; and I’m here for it! For this Clueless inspired look, I’m wearing an inside out pullover, a lace layering top, a gorgeous suede mini skirt, and my Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots that you’ll recognize from virtually every single blog post. I love how the blazer complements a multitude of different outfits, and in this instance, it really is the perfect fit.

    Women’s Winter Dresses 

    6. I love how effortless throwing on a dress is, especially as it eliminates the need to ensure your top and bottom match and complement each other. Every little thing helps when you’re a busy mom, and as well as going for dresses when I just can’t find the matching top to something I want to wear, another styling trick which I can’t take any credit for as it’s one that everyone knows, is sticking to one color. And it’s usually black. No one can say your clothes don’t match when you’re wearing all black, which is why I always love to have a few black hero pieces for each season and for each occasion.

    In this instance my black ribbed sweater dress is the piece I reach for when I want to throw something on and head out. It’s perfect for this time of the year and this temperature, especially as I can really layer up and wear it with warmer pieces to accommodate for the weather. Teamed with my Chloe boots in a matching shade of black, the look really needed something extra to make it stand out, and you guessed it, the failsafe tweed jacket, alongside my Chloe sunglasses, was all it needed for an instant transformation.

     

     

    The Classic Hermes Silk Scarf 

    7. It was only a matter of time ‘til a Hermes silk scarf made an appearance. Since we are talking about something you can wear with a multitude of different things, it was only right to include another piece that served the same purpose. I’ve transformed my couldn’t-be-simpler Gap skinny jeans and a white ribbed tank look by smartening it up with the tweed jacket, and made the look my own by personalizing it with the Hermes silk scarf.

    Although the BV stretch pumps contribute to the casual aesthetic, I think it’s impossible not to give off some subtle class and glamor thanks to the blazer and the Hermes scarf, so this look is definitely one of my favorite smart casual/high low looks that I swear by.

    Has this post convinced you that you can indeed get through the whole winter season with just one coat? Which outfit combination is your favorite? 

    Happy New Year to all of my lovely readers! 

    Love, Lily x x