This London Fashion Week the city’s most stylish show goers went to battle with the storm - and emerged looking chicer than ever. The secret to serving street style worthy looks in the face of a weather warning? It all lies in the perfect coat …
It’s official: nothing comes between a fashion editor and their front row seat. Despite its best efforts, not even Storm Dennis could throw London’s street style set off the mark, as they navigated the worst of not-so-great British weather with seemingly effortless elegance.
If, like us, you find it impossible to step out in the rain without returning to your desk looking like a one-woman production of Worzel Gummidge then you’ll be wondering how to crack this code.
So, how exactly did fashion’s finest really master the art of storm-proof dressing while still looking impossibly chic? With a little help from the heritage check coat, of course. Proving its credentials as the all-weather staple that belongs in every woman’s wardrobe, this season the check coat cemented its hero status and proved itself to be the style saviour of London Fashion Week’s show goers.
Seriously snug, the check coat is the ultimate wet weather armour and now it comes with an impressive sartorial edge too. Whether you want a streetwear style in a 90’s-inspired puffer jackets or are dreaming of an office-appropriate take on the trend, as LFW’s show goers proved, there really is a check coat for every occasion (including ones with truly tempestuous weather).
While this classic print has been on blazers and tweed jackets for years, thanks to the attention of fashion powerhouses such as Gucci, Balenciaga and Miu Miu, check has broken out of its shell and is breathing new life into our winter wardrobe as it makes its foray firmly into coats.
Forget any thoughts of checks feeling old fashioned and scented with mothballs, this new generation of checked coats remixes the best of the heritage-inspired print on new-season silhouettes. Here are the styles that have already got the fashion pack’s seal of approval.
The puffer check
When you think of a heritage check you could be forgiven for only thinking of structured tweed jackets (leather elbow patches optional) but the next generation of check coats is more streetwear than stately home. Case in point? The ultra-practical puffer jacket, given a heritage remix courtesy of a grey check print. Proving once again that sometimes more really is more, this puffer jacket is elevated from statement piece to stand-out look with the addition of coordinating check jacket, trousers and baseball cap. It’s Saville Row style, but not as you know it.
The statement check
Want to coordinate with stormy skies? When grey weather calls, the style set answers with bold, colourful checks that spark joy whatever the wind chill. A vibrant yellow check immediately revives an all-black outfit and makes a pair of colour-clash pink shoes pop. Already mastered the statement coat? Add something a little extra to bring layers of texture to your look with an oversized scarf in a contrasting check print for a directional outfit that is (incidentally) wonderfully cosy.
The check trench
Of course, the classic wet-weather staple is the timeless trench coat. Give this classic piece a new-season spin by opting for a design in a crisp check print. Look for long-line styles with a belted waist and tailoring-inspired lapels to add an androgynous edge that looks sleek from 9-5. Want to take your hardworking trench into the weekend? This brown and red-toned pattern pairs perfectly with warm caramel tones and tan accessories for a laidback weekend look that is elegant enough to take you from Saturday night drinks to Sunday morning markets.
The check blazer
Thinking ahead to spring? Master the art of trans-seasonal dressing in a super chic check blazer. Choose a blazer with an oversized fit to wear with wide-leg trousers for a fashion-forward spin on office-appropriate dressing or keep it classic by pairing a fitted blazer with blue denim (structured skinny styles work best) and a bright white T-shirt. Keep it fun by throwing on a pair of contrasting check heels into the mix to co-ord with the blazer.
The contrast check
Head-to-toe check isn’t the only way to make a statement with this print. Contrast a patterned sleeve with a block-coloured coat for a look that turns heads for all the right reasons. Want to add to the drama? Opt for a style that offers texture with a clashing quilted fabric and plays with proportions thanks to an oversized fit. Everyone will soon stop talking about the weather when you walk in wearing this.
Mother of Pearl
Can outerwear ever be sexy? Thanks to the luxury sustainable womenswear brand Mother of Pearl, the answer is yes. The structured 1950s-inspired silhouette of this check coat feels as elegant as evening wear, and a subtle band of pearls on the upper sleeve is the kind of detail that elevates this piece from every day to exceptional.
Make a statement with a colourful spin on heritage check, courtesy of Rejina Pyo. This vibrant green shade feels spring ready, even when the storm clouds show no signs of clearing.
A smokey grey check feels like an entirely grown-up take on grunge. The double-breasted fit, tailored lapels and top-stitched pockets make this coat sophisticated enough to wear to the office. Pair with a black stomper boot for a look that means business, but definitely not business as usual.
This ultra-warm wool coat is the perfect everyday piece, made style style ready with an Instagram-worthy spin thanks to Ganni. Cocoon sleeves, a boxy silhouette and a khaki plaid elevate this wear-everywhere wardrobe staple to new heights of cool, and is effortlessly easy to style for any occasion.
This long-line take on the trend offers serious office interest with a sleek body-skimming fit and double-breasted detailing. During the colder months wear yours over a colourful cardigan for a cosy but chic look, and come spring belt yours over a crisp white shirt.
Images courtesy of @NoorAndZee & brands.