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How To Wear Women's Plus Size Coats

Updated on September 1, 2011

Plus size coats can be a beautiful addition for your wardrobe. A stylish coat can be a signature piece for any woman and being plus size should not be a barrier to looking and feeling great.

Designers are beginning to pay more attention to the plus size market - thankfully - and it's becoming easier to purchase the coat you want, in the style you want, at a price you want to pay.

How to wear plus size coats shouldn't present a problem. Needing larger size clothing isn't a barrier to looking good and feeling great. Providing you apply your own sense of style and personal taste, you can look just as fab, whatever your size and body shape.

What's good to know is the fact that plus size coats come in a wonderful array of styles and lengths. Do you want a jacket or a full length trench coat style? Whatever your choice, you'll find you no longer have to struggle to find the particular type you're looking for.

A good piece of advice, especially if you want a coat that not only looks good but remains on-trend, is to pick a style that's a classic shape or color:

  • trenchcoats
  • peacoats
  • wool coats
  • black coats - always good to suit anything you're wearing

A coat that's a classic shape will remain evergreen for years to come. More so if you choose a quality cut, fit and material. Fashion is great and who doesn't want to keep up with fashion but it's surprising how many classic styles are simply revamped and sent back onto the market.

Better that you pick a classic style to start with - as the basic shape will not change.


Plus size winter coats can be any style or color. From wool to padded designs, as long as it's warm and looks good, you've got the two main bases covered.

Most plus sized women steer clear of padded styles but there are some that really don't make you look as though you're out walking around in something you've pulled off your bed.

Make sure it's longer than thigh length, i.e. mid to calf-length, not too padded and has an 'A' line cut. There's also a lot of mid-length double and single breasted jacket styles. Some have a military feel, others a more casual appeal.

And as it's winter, factor in more than the inclement weather. What will you need it for? Work, going out, general day-to-day wear? Tip: Make sure that what you're looking to purchase is practical and fit for the purpose for which you intend to wear it.


Plus size pea coats are a great addition and a truly classic cut. They're based upon the coats/jackets worn by sailors in eastern European navy units. They're usually to be found double-breasted, large, wide lapels and have slit pockets on the vertical.

Of course the original style has been modified somewhat - to stay abreast of fashion trends - but they're a great 'evergreen' cut and will never fall off the fashion band-wagon. There tends to be two lengths, of which the shorter one is nearer to the original design.

The slightly longer versions are based more upon a similar style, known as a 'bridge' coat and these were only manufactured and worn by officers. Either style is still classed as a pea coat and you'll find a lot of choice, color and prices within the cut.

Plus size wool coats are a true classic and can be worn (in most areas) upwards of three seasons a year - autumn, winter and spring - depending upon the weather. There are a huge range of styles and cuts, from long to short, single to double breasted, trench-coats to blousons and more.

The cut and feel of a wool coat is timeless and if the style is a classic one, it will afford both a luxury appearance as well as retain it's 'wearability' down the years. It's worth remembering that wool clothing, whether a mix or 100%, can be an expensive purchase and a great tip is to check the label.

Many coats are sold as 'wool' but they may be a 50/50 or 70/30 blend. This doesn't necessarily lower the quality - some blends are purely for the purpose of adding to the length of time the coat will last. Plus a designer label will always inflate the price and a 'named' brand doesn't always reflect the quality of the product.

Oft times, it does but ... don't be fooled by the name - check the cut, the quality of the material, the fit and then measure those points against the price, wearabilty and usability of your prospective purchase - be honest and spend your money wisely. Don't end up either giving your wool coat away or, even worse ... never taking it out of the wardrobe!

How To Choose A Plus Size Coat

By paying attention to the following points, you'll be able to choose the right plus size coat that both fits and flatters your size:

  • your body shape - e.g. 'A' line styles flatter most shapes
  • your height - if you're plus size and short, a longer length will swamp you
  • your coloring - don't buy a color that simply doesn't suit you
  • don't buy a coat that simply 'covers' you. Buy one that fits well and makes you feel and look good
  • use your best attributes - if, for e.g., you're plus size with a small waist, buy a belted coat and emphasis your waistline
  • remember to consider what you're buying your coat for. Don't splash out on a fab wool coat when what you need is something classy and wearable for work

Don't let finding the right plus size coat become a chore. Look good and feel great!

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