Say what you will about autumn fashion, but all the cosy knitwear and do-it-all midi dresses takes a back seat to your choice of outerwear. Whether you like to bundle up in faux fur, belt an oversized trench or shimmy into a sleek wool overcoat, your outerwear will define your outfits for the next several months. A hardworking fashion friend, you need something that you can slip on without a second thought, safe in the knowledge that it’ll keep you toasty on frosty mornings and is roomy enough for all those layers of jumpers and scarves later in the season. You might want pockets to stuff your gloves, purse and phone in; maybe you want it to stand up to a downpour if you forget your brolly? It should be stylish but not so trendy that you'll be sick of it come Christmas.
So, not a fashion choice to be taken lightly nor a simple one to make. Autumn and winter coats, after all, are often the most expensive pieces in our wardrobes — seasonless, year after year quality can be costly. Luckily, we’ve scoured the high street, our favourite independent designers and luxury brands to bring together an edit of the best this season has to offer across a range of price points. Whatever seasonal classic you're after, there are plenty of options here. Those who want to make a statement will also find plenty of rainbow shades and unusual cuts shaking up traditional styles.
Ready to find your perfect autumn warmer? Read on for seven of classic coat trends keeping us cosy for years to come.
Wax jackets have been a staple in British fashion for decades now — once loved by sailors in the 15th century braving stormy seas, the iconic design has become a fashion girl's favourite for drizzly, grey days in the city (see Alexa Chung as inspiration). And now, elevated iterations of the style are making their way onto the runway thanks to a collaboration between British designed Erdem and Barbour. Whilst our budgets won't quite stretch to designer prices, we have our sights set on one of Barbour's classics — the Beaufort Jacket, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year. Or, as a high street alternative, head to ASOS.
On a bitterly cold morning, a good quality puffer jacket is the second best thing to staying in bed. Thick and padded, these coats will keep you toasty, shield you from the wind and are often waterproof, making them the most practical choice on this list for soggy British autumn.
Recalling silent film stars and hardboiled detectives, a rain-soaked Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Burberry at its very best, a trench coat is perhaps the most iconic outerwear in history. You really can't go wrong with it. From classic beige to khaki, greys, blues and black, it adds a touch of old school elegance to any outfit. Sure, it's not the thickest nor the warmest coat on this list but it'll do perfectly as autumn transitions into winter, layered over knits: great for chilly mornings and sweaty commutes alike.
Longline wool coats
Boxy, structured, masculine, workwear-inspired wool coats are a hit year-after-year. Slip one on and you'll instantly feel more grown up and put-together, even if you're wearing sweats underneath and popping to the corner shop for yet another packet of Hobnobs.
Combining the edge of a leather jacket with the cosiness of fuzzy borg material, a shearling coat is the best of both worlds, offering style and substance. It'll keep you cosy on your early morning coffee run but also looks effortlessly stylish, especially when paired with autumn/winter's other essential: chunky ankle boots.
Faux fur coats
Super soft, thick and fuzzy, these faux fur coats will have you feeling like you're wearing a blanket out of the house. Faux fur is nothing new, of course; we see iterations of the stuff year after year. What we're excited about is the sheer amount of choice out there. You've got options of every length – from longline coats to cropped jackets – simple, block colours and funky prints and patterns. The world is your faux fur oyster.
Not a fan of the puffer's thick padding? Why not try a quilted jacket? It's the puffer's slimmer, more streamlined cousin and is just as warming and cosy. It's less '90s pop star, more your nan on the way to the shops (in a cool way, of course — especially if you opt for pretty floral pattern).
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.