SISTER, it's getting cold outside, but with the latest looks in fall and winter coats, you can slip into something warm and still look piping hot!
The hottest styles in coats are available in a spectrum of colors and cuts to fit your mood, complement your body and amplify your attitude.
Fur and fur-trimmed styles (genuine and faux fur) are popular with Beyonce and Lil' Kim's hip-hop generation (both divas sport fur fashions) as well as with their mothers' peers. At times, every woman wants to feel extra special and dress the part.
Other trends to watch this season are three-quarter-length styles, rich corduroy fabrics, vibrant colors and surprising variations on traditional leather and suede coats.
With so many styles to choose from, selecting just the right coat can be fun. Find inspiration in the coats modeled here by professional Sisters as they showcase some of the coats that are all the rage--and that are hard to upstage at work or at play.
Cheryl Davis, a design director for General Motors in Warren, Mich., showcases Elie Tahari full-length, sand-colored suede coat with crochet fringe. The coat is perfect for late fall or warmer days of winter.
Makeup for Detroit: Rosecile Smith/Valerie Fuller for Fashion Fair Cosmetics Coats: Marshall Field's/Kathy Remski stylist Photography: Vandell Cobb
Davis (right) proves that keeping warm can be a beautiful experience, especially if you're wearing a gold sheared-mink jacket with lynx collar and cuffs. Naimah Allen-Ratliff (far right), a mortgage broker in Southfield, Mich., shows that getting down to business is a cinch in Max Mara rich brown wool coat. (Marshall Field's)
Ann Walker Marchant (below, l.), a communications executive, and Vanessa Elam, an image consultant (both of the Washington, D.C., area), dazzle in camel and black Marvin Richards wool coats with fox fur-trimmed collar and cuffs. (Hecht's)
D.C. Makeup/Hair: Maeion Bryant for Fashion Fair Cosmetics Styling: Irie Harris Coats: Hecht's Photography: Frederick L. Watkins Jr.
Allen-Ratliff (top photo) is confident in Ellen Tracy citron pea coat, which turns heads in any setting. Above, she shows off trendy Sienna Studio embossed leather coat with fur collar, topped with August Accessories black hat. Davis (left) battles frigid temperatures with glamor in periwinkle Anne Klein coat, worn with removable Dena faux fur stole. (Marshall Field's)
Davis (top, left) looks great in Ellen Tracy Company lavender corduroy coat with belt. Allen-Ratliff (above, l.) is sporty in mustard-hued Eileen Fisher double-faced wool short coat. Harriet Whirred-Kirby, a student public defender in the Detroit area, shows that animal prints are as popular as ever this season in this fun, funky Marc Jacobs corduroy animal-print belted coat with matching skirt. (Marshall Field's)
Fabulous funky black and white leather patchwork coat (above, right) sets Marchant apart on the streets of D.C. (M.G. Ballard Designs)
Elam (right) steals the show diva style in Giacca oatmeal-hued faux fur-trimmed long coat. (Hecht's)
The best way to get good mileage out of your favorite coat is to take proper care of it, and some coats require more care than others. Here are some tips to help keep you and your coat looking great for many seasons to come.
** Always hang your coat on a sturdy or padded hanger to help maintain its original shape and prevent irregular stretching.
** Immediately repair tears, missing buttons, sagging hems.
** Fur costs, as well as fur-lined and fur-trimmed coats, require special attention. A fur coat needs ample space in your closet to prevent crushing; and always place it in a cloth bag--never plastic. In the off-season, store your fur with a reputable furrier to assure it is properly cleaned and stored. Have tears mended immediately and avoid excessive use of purse straps while wearing your fur.
** Caring for leather and suede can be tricky because some leathers are more resistant to fading and staining than others. Leather experts advise using a suede protector spray on your coat to help prevent staining. If you get a stain that can't be removed with a damp cloth, the garment should be cleaned professionally. To keep leather coats and jackets from drying out, store in a cool dry place and never in plastic.