On Monday 12 October, Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier system to enforce local lockdown measures in England to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
Naturally, there are restrictions on socialising in every tier. While those living in “medium” areas can meet up with people in other households both indoors and outdoors in groups of six or less - so long as they maintain social distancing - those living in tiers 2 and 3 can only socialise outside.
But unlike during similar restrictions in March and the summer months, the weather in Britain is getting colder and darker by the week.
Regardless of where you live, social butterflies among us are going to be spending more time outside, given that it’s one of the safest ways to meet someone, and maintain a social distance from them, during the pandemic.
It’s only natural, then, that our thoughts would turn to how we can dress for such an occasion - not least because it’s one of the only occasions we can dress for.
That’s where coats come in. A staple in every woman’s winter wardrobe, of course, but this season, one that has acquired elevated status considering it’s the only item of clothing we’re likely to be seen in for the next few months.
Thank goodness that this season’s coats are more than making up for the social shortfall.
This winter, statement outwear brands have upped their game. While Scandinavian label Saks Potts has released new colourways of its signature fur cuff coat (worn by Kendall Jenner, Daisy Lowe and Lady Gaga), British brand Charlotte Simone has launched new capsule collections comprising shaggy faux fur collars and 1960s-inspired silhouettes.
Additionally, as part of a more sustainable business model, each Charlotte Simone collection will be limited edition and any materials unused in the first collection will be repurposed for the next capsule drop.
From coats for parks walks to pub garden sessions, here are the coats you need to know about this winter.
British designer Hannah Weiland has become a juggernaut in the outerwear sector thanks to her signature faux fur coats.
This season, Weiland’s playful brand is serving up a mix of glamorous fur-trimmed, double-breasted designs that come in deep navy blue, emerald green, and of course, leopard print.
The belted design creates a feminine silhouette while also providing an added feeling of snugness and warmth.
For those that want to channel some 1920s Hollywood nostalgia, consider the faux fur Vincent coat that mimics the distinctive stripes of vintage mink outerwear, complementing the look with scalloped hem and sleeve openings.
The Scandinavian duo behind Saks Potts are quickly becoming one of the most successful outwear design duos thanks to their signature fur and shearling-trimmed leather coats.
With belted waists and retro buttons, they offer a very flattering fit, which is perhaps why they are such a favourite among Jenner and the rest of her model set.
But this season, they have brought out new styles, too. Some are glossy and vinyl, others are made from heavy wool, but almost all of them are an outfit in and of themselves and will most certainly pack a punch whether you wear it to the park or the supermarket.
Ganni is no newcomer to outerwear, or to our winter wardrobes, for that matter. The Danish brand is a favourite among the street style set at this time of year, and is famed for its chunky boots, statement T-shirts and leopard print, well, everything.
But its coats are worth of attention, too. Particularly now, when there are so many snug and stylish options available. For those seeking a warm but fitted coat, look no further than Ganni’s wrap-around coat in textured boucle wool, which you can wear open or cinch in at the waist using the belt.
The real highlight this season, though, is Ganni’s full-length puffer jackets, which come in beige, khaki and black. These long down puffer coats are made using tech fabric that is about as warm as walking around in a duvet.
You can either wear it as an everyday coat, or unzip the sleeves to remove them for an outdoorsy vest jacket that can be worn as a layer over jumpers.
Another Scandinavian outerwear brand to note this winter is Stand Studio. Founded in 2014 by Nellie Kamras, the label was launched as a way of championing high fashioned leather pieces at an accessible price point.
Since then, Stand Studio has gone on to become one of Instagram’s big hitters, with fashion influencers Lucy Williams and Camille Charriere alike singing its praises. And for good reason. Stand Studio’s coats are quite something.
From Zebra-print button-downs to checkered faux fur styles, there’s an eccentric style to suit every taste.
What’s more, every piece is exquisitely made, meaning these coats won’t just last you the season, they’ll stick around in your wardrobe for countless winters to come. Let’s just hope we aren’t still living through a pandemic for all of them.