9 Coat Styling Tips If You're Over 60
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing the right coats for your wardrobe.
Fall is officially here, meaning that—like it or not—winter is on its way, too. During both seasons and also through spring, you need a few different coats, and outerwear can be particularly tricky to select and style. Aside from the fact that quality coats can be expensive, it's compounded by the fact that you don't want anything too bulky, especially as you get older. However, there are a few coat styling tips for those over 60, ensuring you can find the right feel and fit.
"In reality, we spend six out of 12 months a year in a coat. Growing tired of your daily go-to is a foregone conclusion, as is feeling frumpy in it by the end of the season," certified image stylist Elizabeth Kosich, founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, tells Best Life. "Variety is the only way to keep it fresh, though our cramped closets beg to differ. Coats are bulky on and off the body, so finding quality, versatile, and flattering ones is the only way to keep it chic from autumn to spring. Efficiency should be the number one quality to look for when coat shopping, so if you think through that lens you'll pick winners."
If you're looking to refresh your coat collection or for ways to spruce up those in your closet, our experts have you covered. Read on for nine tips for sporting and styling coats after 60.
Choose something timeless.
With outerwear, one of the best ways to get the most use is by selecting pieces that will withstand the test of time.
"When it comes to styling a coat if you're over 60, the best place to start is by picking a style that is timeless and that you feel great in," Siobhan Alvarez, lifestyle and DIY expert and founder of She Shines Media, tells Best Life.
A trench coat is one of the most classic pieces—which recently made a major style comeback—but you can't go wrong with a standard pea coat, either.
Reach for a belted option.
Coats can often feel boxy and take away from your figure. And as we age, the last thing we want is to look frumpy. That's where a belted coat comes in.
"Belted coats are restrained in design which makes them look timeless year after year. Find one in double-faced wool or cashmere to minimize bulk without sacrificing warmth, and a sash belt should be nice and wide for a high-quality look," Kosich says. "Wear the belt cinched to accentuate the waist, or tie it in the back with coat open to minimize bulk."
While you might not be looking at the lapels that closely, Kosich notes that they're more important than you think. "Choose lapels carefully—medium width is trend-proof, anything else—super wide or super thin—is not," she says.
Minimize bulky layers with a puffer coat.
When it gets really cold, chances are you pull out or purchase a down or puffer coat. However, while these are typically statement pieces just due to their size, they can also look bulky if they're not styled correctly.
"The voluminous silhouette can be quite chic when everything else is kept pared down, so avoid bulky sweaters, scarves, and layers underneath," Kosich says. "Also add a wooly or furry hat with height to minimize width by lengthening vertical lines."
Go for neutrals.
While it is tempting—and fun—to choose coats in vibrant shades, you probably won't get as much use out of them when compared with an option in a neutral shade.
Kosich stresses the importance of a neutral color palette for puffer coats, specifically. "Bright, bold colors push this statement look too far," she cautions.
While neutrals lend themselves to a classic and chic look, you can still add color with accessories that you already own.
"Neutrals like black and camel are easy to layer and accessorize, making them look fresh year after year," Alvarez says. "Style yours with scarves, statement necklaces, or a turtleneck with a pop of color for a fun look!"
Don't overlook a vest.
When you think of "coats," you probably envision something with sleeves for optimal warmth. However, you might want a vest (also called a gilet), which is a lighter option for those mild autumn days and when we transition from winter to spring. For those over 60, Kosich suggests one that's a bit longer.
"Maxi gilets are super chic and super versatile. The long hem creates an outside color column that flatters, plus the sleeveless design keeps you stylish through shoulder season," she says. "Gilets also have high-low versatility, so pair with suiting during the week, then jeans, sweaters, and utility boots on the weekends."
You can also customize these according to your signature style, Kosich says, noting that you can find a vest in down, wool, boiled wool, bouclé, or knit.
Consider the seasonality.
Depending on where you live, you might also need something lighter than a down coat or more insulated than a vest.
"Winter doesn't have to only be for heavy coats," Alvarez says. "If you are in a more mild climate, consider a cropped jean jacket, leather jacket, or trench coat. All of these styles work well with a variety of weather, and can be easily dressed up or dressed down."
Try a cozy sweater coat.
If you aren't planning to brave the elements and want something comfy but still flattering, Kosich suggests a sweater coat.
"Sweater coats are as cozy as a blanket. They also have drape, which is a much-needed break from outerwear's typical stiff, rectangular-shaped silhouette," she says.
These options can also help you exude that sense of elegance you may want later in life. "Pair knits with knits for a quiet-luxury vibe, choosing a cozy cashmere turtleneck and chunky knit infinity scarf styled at the neck," Kosich says.
Invest in a coat that's good for layering.
Particularly when you're over 60, layering can help you look and feel comfortable. There's truly nothing worse than being too hot or too cold during the fall when you don't have the option to take off or put on a layer. To avoid this, Kosich suggests investing in a car coat, a type of overcoat that walks the line between formal and casual.
"Car coats are the perfect grab-and-go piece ideal for layering. The short hem makes it lighter-weight, easier to move in, and less cumbersome, letting you layer up with ease," Kosich says. "Consider wearing an ultra-lightweight, high-compression down vest underneath, or a hooded sweatshirt with the hood popped in back."
If this doesn't strike your fancy, a car coat also gives you a little room to experiment. "The layering possibilities are endless, letting you experiment with different looks all season long," Kosich says.
For more style advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.