10 slimming winter coats

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Best coats for winter

Pear-shaped? Petite? Don't put the brrr in boring this winter — and definitely don't settle for unflattering outerwear.

You're still daydreaming about your mom's Thanksgiving turkey — even if you can still see that meal lingering somewhere around your hips.

And, on the worst of days, those extra layers protecting you from the increasingly chilly weather don't seem to cover up a thing. (Yes, even the most confident — not to mention fashionable — of ladies feel like stuffed birds sometimes.)

Just in time for the holidays (re: gingerbread cookies and more of your mom's cooking), stage a winter-vention with your cold-weather wardrobe. This means you need to stop greeting your reflection with a hearty "gobble, gobble," and, instead, give a little credit to the ultimate season staple: the coat.

With the right style, layering up will leave you looking slimmed down way faster than it takes to roast the perfect poultry.


"A coat is your investment piece," Stephanie Solomon, Bloomingdale's fashion director, tells Yahoo! Shopping. "This is the first thing people see on you. This is the item you want to make a statement with."

So brrr-ing (that's Winter for boring)? We think not. Yahoo! Shopping is breaking down the best coats for your body, so you can look hot no matter how cold it is — and no matter how much you indulge in your mom's specialties this season.

Shoulder detail

(Photo: Bloomingdales.com)

Figure it Out

Sure, a coat leaves a lot more to the imagination than, say, a bikini — but that's no reason to ignore your body. Consider your figure and which of your features you want to show off.

Pear-shaped? Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt, a New York-based personal fashion stylist and author of "Secrets of a Fashion Stylist," recommends choosing a coat with shoulder detailing that balances your bod by widening your shoulders (On right, $177, Bloomingdales.com).





Avoid double-breasted design

(Photo: Bloomingdales.com)

On the busty side? Avoid a double-breasted design that will draw just a little too much attention up top, and choose a more clean-cut silhouette, like this Calvin Klein tweed pea coat (On left, $248, Bloomingdales.com).













Double-breasted for athletic types

(Photo: LightInTheBox.com)

On the contrary, athletic body types trying to create a few curves should reach for coats with volume-enhancing additions, such as pockets and shoulders pads, recommends LightInTheBox.com chief editor Ulan Tuya.

A double-breasted style, such as this statement-making stunner (On right, $52.50, LightInTheBox.com), will accentuate your, um, assets.









Jessica Simpson jacket

(Photo: Zappos.com)

Curvy coat-shoppers should wear silhouettes with defined waists, Greenawalt says, such as this Jessica Simpson jacket that cinches your center (On left, $65, Zappos.com).












Knee-length coat for petites

(Photo: Coldwater Creek)

Petite ladies can play up their height with knee-length and fingertip-length styles (On right, $179.95 – 189.95, Coldwater Creek).

"Avoid anything too long that might take over," Solomon says.











Get in Shape
Vince Camuto quilted coat

(Photo: Zappos.com)


When the weather outside is particularly frightful, we, too, would wrap our bodies in our duvet covers if it meant staying warm — while looking like some form of snowman monster, no less.

Of course, there's no need to wear formless fashions (or strip your bed) to keep cozy when the temperatures dip, whether you're petite or curvy.

"Heavy winter coats are a necessity for most of America, but it doesn't need to look shapeless and bulky," says Marie Kojitani, Zappos.com style editor.

Try on a trench-style coat, like this Vince Camuto quilted number (On left, $140, Zappos.com), to accentuate the waist and give the illusion of an hourglass figure.

Kojitani dubs the trench "the most universally flattering coat for all body types." Of course, it won't matter what you buy if you buy the wrong size. "If you have an ill-fitting coat, it can potentially make you look like you're borrowing your boyfriend's coat," adds Kojitani.

Vans jacket

(Photo: Zappos.com)

The Rule of Thirds

Your winter ensemble should be a triple threat: a camisole, a sweater and your coat, that is. The cami functions as a bulk-less base, Kojitani says, explaining, "The trick is to bundle up with less layers but in warmer, insulating fabrics." To make the most out of your outwear layer, keep cozy in wool, like this Vans jacket (On right, $139, Zappos.com).

But just because your coat is on top doesn't mean it's the most important outfit component.

"When trying on a coat, think about what you will be wearing underneath it," she says. "Try on the coat with something that you typically wear. That way, when it comes to actually wearing the coat, it won't be too tight or too loose."


Coat with belt to cinch

(Photo: Coldwater Creek)

Layer Up – with Accessories

Still cold? Instead of immediately piling on another layer, try accessorizing with a scarf, hat or pair of gloves.

But the most important accessory for pulling together your winter look is the same one that pulls in your waist: the belt (On left, $249.95 – 259.95, Coldwater Creek).

"Look for a winter coat that is belted or add your own," says Jerome Jessup, Coldwater Creek president and chief creative officer. "This will help you define your waistline, which can easily be lost under all the layers."




Coat with belt to cinch

(Photo: Bloomingdales.com)

Adds Solomon: "Belts are a great accent to help diminish the bulky look." Define your mid-section with a buckle belt, like the one attached to this red head-turner (On right, $325, Bloomingdales.com).



Gold buttons

(Photo: Zappos.com)

Less is More

"Ask yourself, 'Am I wearing this coat, or is this coat wearing me?" explains Greenawalt. Too many touches, like buttons and embellishments, can overwhelm even the most slender of frames.

Instead, focus on an attention-grabbing detail, like gold buttons (On left, $139, Zappos.com). The right coat, after all, is as good as gold.

"Like a good pair of denim," Kojitani says, "you'll know when you've found the perfect coat when you find yourself reaching for it all winter long."


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