How to Fit a Coat

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When shopping for a winter coat, wear seasonally appropriate clothes underneath for a more accurate fit.

There are no shortcuts to finding the correct fit in a coat. You will probably have to try many coat styles and silhouettes before finding the correct fit. A cold-weather coat capsule will generally require more than one coat to accommodate the varied occasions, activities and outfits of winter. Here are some guidelines for finding the right fit by checking:

  • Length and proportion. Proportions ultimately determine a coat’s potential longevity. Check the
    coat’s length against skirt/dress hemlines, from minis to maxis and those hemlines that fall in-between. Does a pant leg’s width and fullness fill the coat’s bottom opening or hemline? Generally, a knee-length coat pairs well with the majority of skirts, dresses and pants. Does the coat’s silhouette provide a vertical, unbroken line for your frame?
  • Shoulder line and sleeves. The coat’s shoulder seam is important in creating a good fit. The shoulder seam of the coat should meet the edge of your shoulders. Are the sleeves of the coat covering the top of your hand or glove?
  • The collar. Does the neckline (collar and lapels) of the coat complement your facial shape?
  • The closure details. Can you comfortably button, zip or tie the coat front? Are there any X-shaped or stress lines forming on either side of the fastened closures? If so, try the next size up. The coat should skim the contours of your frame.
  • Mobility. Reach, lift, stretch and move! Coats have to provide ease of movement for walking, driving, reaching and carrying. Can you raise your arms and cross them in front of you? If you feel tightness through the back and/or shoulders, try a larger size. Check overall proportion, length and drape, as well as the touch and feel of the fabric, for peak performance and ideal fit.

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