A Winter Outfit Hack I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

As a byproduct of becoming Man Repeller’s Accidental Street Style ReporterTM, I’ve had the opportunity to keenly observe the mini-trends that sprout like dandelions between the sidewalk cracks, and I noticed a big one over the course of New York Fashion Week wherein denizens of the shows were wearing incredibly energetic coats over deliciously lazy outfits.

When I say “incredibly energetic coats” I mean coats that convey a loud sartorial proclamation followed by multiple exclamation points. Notable examples include: ankle-length burnt orange leather trenches, fairy-princess pink coats trimmed in matching pink fluff and royal blue sleeping mags moonlighting as magnificent puffers.

When I say “deliciously lazy outfits” I mean outfits that look so relaxed you could easily spend a day watching Netflix on your couch in them, or jog to the pharmacy to pick up your forgotten prescription in them, or even fall asleep in them. Notable components include: sweatpants and sweatshirts, jeans and jean jackets, head-to-toe black, dad sneakers galore, elastic-waist trousers and leggings.

After studying this mini-trend under a mental microscope, I’ve developed a hypothesis about why it germinated in the wonderful petri dish of popular consciousness with so much vigor. Incredibly energetic coats have the remarkable power to make ANY outfit look like a statement — even, as demonstrated, an outfit that would otherwise come across as “home clothes.”

The advantages of this magic combination are two-fold: Not only is your outfit a showstopper, but it is also warm and comfortable. It’s a true winter style hack that takes you straight to Full Look without any fuss about accessories or extra layers or scarves or inappropriate shoes. It’s so easy it almost sounds too good to be true, but the proof of its efficacy is in the street style pudding. If the outfits didn’t have a strong visual hook, they wouldn’t have garnered the attention of a camera flash.

I’m a little mad I didn’t put the pieces of this puzzle together until the end of February, but hey, at least I have a whole year to stock up on coats that speak exclusively in enthusiastic punctuation.

Photos by Simon Chetrit; follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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