How To Buy a Coat

Contributed By Mary Michele Nidiffer, founder of

‘Tis the season for wearing a coat! But having the right coat is just as important as having a coat at all, and with the prices dropping up to 75 percent off, now is the time to fill in the gaps. 

When buying a coat, you want to consider several factors:

Occasion. Where will I wear this coat? If you need a dressy coat for special occasions, that will be much different from your go-to coat to wear with jeans and casual clothes. Most coats fit into these categories:

Casual day coat

Dressy coat

Coat for business


All-weather coat

Lightweight versatile coat

Heavy winter coat

Personal style. What’s right for my style, at my age? Your coat can make or break your look, so know your style. If you’re dramatic, you’re going to want a very different coat than if you are classic. Know your style and buy accordingly.

Budget. How much do you want to spend? Current sales mean now is a great time to invest in a quality coat without the hefty price tag. Buy the best you can afford so that you can get maximum usage from it.

Fit. You want a coat that fits your body and flatters you without making you look like the Michelin Man. Be sure your coat is sleek where you aren't and isn't a heavy, bulky fabric that adds on pounds. Also, be sure you can lift your arms and that you can layer underneath without it being too tight.

Color. Black isn't always the best choice. Think about your personal coloring and choose a hue that mimics your hair, your eyes or brightens your skin tone.

Nidiffer recently launched her own clothing line, called Mary Michele Beautiful U. For more information and style tips, see

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