Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How to Wear a Red Coat in a Capsule Wardrobe

Nothing seems like a better idea this time of year than a red coat - it's bright, on these darkest of days, it stands out in a forest of black, and it throws a flattering rosiness onto any complexion. But how do you make a red coat work well with your chosen neutral color?  As always, I have suggestion!

  • Grey Neutrals
I believe that any of us who deal with long winters deserve at least a couple of pairs of gloves, a couple of scarves, and more than one hat, so I'm showing multiples which can be worn in a variety of combinations. 

For gloves or mittens, it makes sense to me to have one pair that matches your coat as closely as possible, and another pair that are your neutral.

I think patterned scarves that pull the colors of your capsule wardrobe together are handy, and they bring a touch of focus and attention to your face (which is always where you want people to be looking!). There are a WORLD of scarves available - if you're looking for a particular color combination, just be patient and keep thinking of new ways to describe your online search. I believe that there is no combination that doesn't exist somewhere in the scarf world!

And hats? I'm a big fan of earmuffs, because I have voluminous fluffy hair that is crushed horrendously by regular hats. But I of course will show you some cool hats too, in a wide variety of styles. Again, it makes sense to look for both your neutral color and a color to match your coat, if you see them available and sufficiently irresistible.

Grey wool baseball cap – Stella McCartney, fringed scarf – Yasuyuki Machida, red gloves – 
Brooks Brothers, coat – Eastexgrey crew sweater - Dear Cashmeresilver grey trousers – 
Viyellaearmuffs – Lauren Ralph Lauren, silver grey trousers – Viyella, plaid scarf – Mr Start Woman
grey knit gloves – Stefanel

  • Navy Neutrals
As with all things navy, make sure you've got a swatch or something with you when shopping so that your "navies" blend well. 

While I'm not usually a big fan of leather coats, this one was impossible to pass up...

Navy knit cap – Comme des Garcons, square silk scarf – Valentino, red leather gloves – Isotoner, 
leather coat – Current/Elliott,navy cashmere turtleneck – Jil Sandernavy trousers – Viyella
navy faux fur earmuffs – Ted Baker, checked scarf – Linea, navy leather gloves – Brooks Brothers

  • Black Neutrals
Always the easiest to find! If you're in the market for a duffle coat, make certain that the very pronounced trim on the front of the coat is in a color that will work well in your wardrobe. For example, if you don't wear black, this coat is NOT going to be happy in your wardrobe. There are coats made that have beige, tan, or horn trim - they would be much better with brown and beige neutrals.

Rippled silk scarf – KathKath, red beret – Armani Collezioniblack mittens – Dorothy Perkins
duffle coat – Gucci,black v-neck sweater – Vince black linen trousers – Viyella shearling 
earmuffs – Ugggraphic print scarf – Etro, black gloves – Lauren Ralph Lauren

  • Camel Neutrals
Red does a great job brightening up camel! Remember, if you're really stuck for a scarf, to consider both Missoni and Etro; they're expensive, but often available at deep discounts, and they do an amazing job with colors. Keep an eye on Yoox, the Outnet, and Girissima for markdowns - they move fast, but the discounts are significant.

Camel hat – Portolano, checked scarf – Jaeger,tan mittens – Ralph Lauren, coat – Dash
caramel tee – Hallhuber, copper twill trousers – Lands’ Endshearling earmuffs – Ugg
zigzag scarf – Missoni, fleece lined gloves – Dents

  • Brown Neutrals
Fake furs, and some of the best paisleys around... plus you have the benefit of wearing a color combination that's always unexpected, and always tasteful. Stand out in that crowd!

Faux fur hat – Harvey Faircloth, striped scarf – Artillerylane, brown leather gloves – Apt. 9
parka – Woolrichbrown sweater – Gestuz, brown jeans – Viyella, red trilby – Planet, paisley 
scarf – Rosamunda in Blu, red leather gloves – UR

  • Olive Neutrals
Anything involving olive green is going to be difficult to find - it's just not a color that's available frequently. But when you do find something, it's always so deep and rich looking, and so just plain different from usual that you realize that it was worth the hunt. Don't forget to check men's stores for scarves and hats - they often carry a different array of colors, and the quality that you get for the price is generally better than you would get in a women's store.

Kangol cap, print scarf – Chesca, wool gloves – Barbour, coat – Dorothy Perkinsgreen cashmere 
sweater – Jason Wu olive trousers – Isabel Marant Etoile red beanie – Schah
fringed scarf – Yasuyuki Machida, red cashmere gloves – Armand Diradourian



  1. The inspiration on how to build a gloves- and hats wardrobe was just what I needed right now. It's easy to end up with a bunch of completely unmatching items, just because you were cold and grabbed the first thing that looked warm and cosy.

  2. Thanks for the reminder about Brown and red. I keep forgetting about that combination, and you are so right about olive. Great ideas as always.

  3. I LOVE my red coat! Always cheerful on cold, grey days.

  4. I am always impressed and inspired when I see people willing to part with nicer things than those I'm hanging onto. So tempting (esp the pendant).

    1. Believe me, a part of my heart really wants to keep EVERYTHING! But I have to be realistic, both about finances and about how much space I have, both in my closet and in my brain. It's so much easier for me to part with things when I know that they're going to someone here - it's like I know that my beautiful things will go to a new home where they will be loved and appreciated. It's still not always easy, though!

  5. OMG a Gucci duffle coat. I have an enduring passion for these coats, and this is a beautiful expression of the genre.

    1. Uh huh... I swear I'm going to buy one next fall when I'm in England... but this one is SO gorgeous...

    2. PS. True Confession: A red leather jacket was one of the most shortsighted buys I ever made; it showed everything and soiled rapidly. (Not as much as white leather, but I had been used to black, and what a shock.) Red leather is like certain men, sexy but ultimately trouble. (YMMV) Now seeking wine or maybe dark caramel. Some leather looks good with some wear on it, but red does not.

  6. Ah, I love red and brown together, I love paisley and I love November.

    November wears a Paisley shawl
    To keep ker sagging shoulders warm.
    Her bonnet's decked with rusty flowers,
    An apple basket's on her arm,
    And with a dusty, rustly sound
    Her wide skirts sweep along the ground.

    She trudges up the sunset hills,
    In spite of winds a-blowing,
    To seek a shelter on beyond -
    She must know where she's going -
    For, wrapped in Paisley red and brown,
    She rustles, rustles through the town.

    (~Hilda Morris)

  7. Well, you just keep upping the ante for yourself and for us. Each combo is beautiful and would brighten up any winter day. Of course, I love the brown and red one but the olive is mighty fine. I love all the red coats.

    Deb from Vancouver

  8. It would be a sumptuous choice if I won the lottery!

  9. I thought I loved the 1st collection til I saw the 2nd, then the 3rd...


  10. Hi Janice Thanks so much for using our KathKath Marble Scarf, loving the duffle coat BTW!