by Robyn Yager | If you don’t have a trusty fall coat by now, have no fear – there’s still plenty of time and places to find one. Sourced from some of the best boutiques and shops around town here is an all-encompassing list of must have outerwear for the season. This list features coats all across the spectrum, from the trench coat to the leather jacket as well as a few more unusual pieces in between to keep you dry, toasty, and looking awesome.
1. Coloured Statement Jacket | Pink is having an unusual moment in this season’s fashions. And not just any pink. We’re talking about the pale blush variety that we’re more likely to associate with early spring. In a sea of dark colours that we’re prone to see walking the streets of Vancouver this time of year, what better way to stand out than to wear something less solemn? This Maison Scotch wool throw coat found over at Cordova’s Today You Are Special is the perfect piece to pull this trend off. The shape is reminiscent of those large, over-sized felt jackets Rei Kawakubo designed for Commes Des Garcons, but they’re more approachable. The lovely peach pink colour is on trend, but it holds some warmer tones, which makes it a little more appropriate for fall. It’s also the perfect length with exaggerated shoulders so you can wear it over layers and still look graceful.
2. The Parka | A Canadian classic, this jacket is not for the faint of heart. It will always keep you warm. People turn to it when all else fails and your patience with trying to layer and still look great has diminished. Thankfully, all style doesn’t have to go out the window when choosing to wear a parka – there are lots of great looking options that will make you feel like you’re living in a sleeping bag without looking like you are. Still Life on Main Street has really great options with brands like Canada Cross, Ganni, and Fjall Raven. I love this Canada Cross Miramichi parka with its contrasted fabric detailing on the sleeves and hood. It’s a puffy jacket without being too much of a puffy jacket (due to the cargo jacket-like front). It also gives off the mild impression of a Soviet spy, which is dead sexy. Still Life also carries parkas for men like this beige and black Dawson jacket (also from Canada Cross), which is similar to a standard down jacket but with more structure and sophistication. Feel free to wear this type of jacket over anything. If it’s really that cold, no one will judge you!
3. Boyfriend Jacket | Men can officially stop worrying about us sneakily (or not so sneakily) “borrowing” their cozy outerwear. Since the inception of “boyfriend-style”, this look has been available in nearly everything from button-up shirts and jeans to even last summer’s loose-fitting oversized shorts. For this season, we’re coveting the “boyfriend jacket”. Its allure is its casual quality. It can be worn with everything. It suits an everyday look or can be thrown over something more formal. The effect is chic insouciance, only heavy on the warmth. You can find some great pieces at Gravity Pope, particularly the Chalayan wool-blend, thigh-length coat. The trick with such exaggerated outerwear is to pair it with something slender and sleek on the bottom like slim fitting pants with a minimal boot.
4. Trench Coat | Such a classic piece! The trench coat is often advertised in the spring, but it’s a coat that can be worn year round. What’s tricky about the trench is the warmth that it typically provides. Generally, they are made with a lighter fabric which is great for those warmer rainy months. However, you can find ones in heavier fabric that lets the wearer indulge in this classic shape for both spring and fall. A perfect example is this wool-blend trench in a gorgeous beige colour by Steven Alan at Oliver & Lilly’s. It’s a hybrid of trench coat and classic camel coat. Wear it over a pencil skirt and a white button-up with a pair of classic black pumps. Alternatively, try it with a pair of wide-legged denim pants and some Converse All-Stars.
5. The Varsity Jacket | The varsity jacket is for someone who enjoys a more casual style, doesn’t mind layering up, and has an appreciation for retro looks. It’s an iconic piece associated with high school athletics. The style has come back around but has been tweaked and updated for a more modern look, yet it’s still highly reminiscent of the original. For the guys, Board of Trade offers this cool varsity jacket by Mark McNairy. It’s modern yet vintage and an all-around great option in terms of casual outerwear. The piece uses the classic fabrics of tweed on the body and suede on the sleeves, yet the structure still remains largely inspired by sportswear. Ladies: see “boyfriend jacket”.
6. Camo Jacket | The camo jacket is something that never seems to go out of style. We thought it would back in the early 2000’s, but it has yet to leave our minds or our closets. The camouflage print offers a unique pattern and can even be considered a neutral (like a leopard print). According to Leighann Boquist of Oliver & Lilly’s, “you either love it or you hate it”. We’re pretty much loving it. When worn over a heavy knit sweater with a pair of jeans, the look is complete for a day grabbing coffee and heading to and from work. On the other hand, when paired with a little dress and tights, it dresses down the outfit making it appropriate to go from place to place, like a style passport. Check out Oliver & Lilly’s new location right next to Beaucoup Bakery for this fun women’s APC Army Jacket, as well as Gravity Pope for this Maison Kitsune option for men.
7. Rain Jacket | Everyone needs a good rain jacket in Vancouver. Unfortunately, few fit the style bill. In fact, rain jackets are notorious for compromising aesthetic for function. Finding something that can perform well under wet conditions and still look great should be a no-brainer, and it is with Dace. The fashion brand is a favourite in the city as the line is both designed and manufactured locally plus it’s the perfect expression of West Coast style. This Thomas waxed cotton rain coat is perfect for wearing over a cable knit sweater and jeans on the dampest of days. It comes in three colours, but our favourite is this deep green.
8. Leather Jacket | The leather jacket is a staple in the fall closet and it’s the most bad-ass of all your outerwear options. It typically alludes to motorcycles, rock and roll, and rebellion, but it can also keep you super cozy. Mackage is Canada’s ground zero for the ultimate leather jacket. It has become one of the most prestigious outerwear brands in North America. Based in Montreal and New York, the company prides itself on creating pieces that are sexy, modern, and chic. Blubird on Alberni carries a variety by the label, from the classic leather motorcycle jacket in black to pieces that are more along unconventional lines. A personal favourite is this bright orange number with shearling lapel. The colour is spot on for fall, plus it adds some much needed colour in a cold weather wardrobe that usually leans towards darker hues. Although the colour is a bit tricky to pull off, the shearling lapel tones down its intensity. Wear it with dark denim, a basic white t-shirt and a pair of sneakers and you have the perfect weekend outfit.
9. The Fancy Blazer | Sometimes you just need that stand-out jacket that will keep you warm indoors when heavy outerwear is just too much. Consider an embellished blazer with a metallic pattern. Metallic fabrics are back this holiday season and have been seen in dresses, trousers, and shoes (even make-up). What better way to incorporate the trend into your wardrobe than in a fine smoking jacket by Canadian label Smythe? This gorgeous metallic jacket with velvet lapel is the perfect piece to layer over your party dress or used to take a day outfit into the night. Although it’s not likely to keep you warm walking around town, it’s light enough to be worn underneath at least a few of the options listed above. This one is purely for looks and it’s available atBlubird.
10. The Unconventional Jacket | Aside from all the fall trends of this season, one way to express your style through outerwear is to completely throw all popular styles out the window and try something unusual. Capes, for example, are fantastic pieces to have in one’s wardrobe. They are old-fashioned, beautiful, and elegant, plus they allow for more movement than a traditional jacket. Board of Trade carries their take on the cape, but this one by A Kind Of Guise incorporates some athleticism into the design. The German brand focuses on providing and manufacturing products that are “long-lasting with original ideas and great quality”. Their Cape Cool jacket is a double-faced navy blue wool garment inspired by the cape but with the addition of a high-rise collar, zipper closures and three-quarter length sleeves that make it a bit more contemporary while maintaining the traditional silhouette. Wear this over a neutral coloured thermal and a pair of black denim pants finished with your comfiest pair of durable boots.