Cheryl Shops Fall Shopping Guide: Purple Coats
I wrote about purple in last year's shopping guide, and, well, for those of you who like purple, you're in luck, because it's definitely the must-have color of the season. (A fact confirmed by my parents, who reported seeing purple everywhere when they were in Italy last month.) Still. And while last year I showed everything from gloves to dresses, this season I'm focusing solely on coats, because, well, I'm in the market for a new coat, and I like to stand out in the winter--I am not only easier to find in a crowd, but finding it in the coatroom of a party will be that much quicker. Because the thing I perhaps dread most about winter is the oh-my-god-someone-left-with-my-coat paranoia of pawing through countless lookalike black coats at the end of a drunken evening.

The ultra-luxurious Mallory wrap coat from Ralph Lauren is made out of goat suede and thus completely impractical, but then again, if you're spending $5,000 on a coat, is practicality really your primary concern?

At first glance, you might say the same thing about Moschino's ruffled silk coat, but it's actually filled with goose down, making it quite warm. (But, then again, it's silk, so you'd best be sure it's not snowing when you want to wear it.)

People often ask me what designers I'd wear if I had an unlimited clothing budget; one of my answers is always Jil Sander (currently designed by Raf Simons). This coat is just dreamy: richly colored, understated, beautifully tailored, and topped with a quietly luxe chinchilla collar (hence its nearly $6,000 price tag). Hey, a girl can dream.

Over Labor Day weekend, I went into a Dillard's store for the first time ever, and I must say I was quite impressed; it reminded me of the late great Marshall Field's. I was surprised to see a lot of great designers and brands, too, like Miss Sixty, who made this coat. It's a sweater coat, so it's kind of cheating, but for my readers over on the West Coast, this would make the perfect winter coat for you.

I've been toying with getting a toggle coat for awhile. On one hand, I think the style is too preppy for me, but this A. Cheng toggle coat is purple, and the empire-waist fit is feminine, not boxy, so I think it's a surprisingly wearable update of a classic.

Another update of a classic silhouette is this Soia & Kyo military coat. I love the oversized ball buttons, and the longer top-of-the-knee length is key for keeping your legs warm in the winter. I also like the deeply saturated hue.

I bought a winter coat from Urban Outfitters several years ago (I wrote about it on this very blog) and then saw it on approximately one in every five women under the age of 30. You run a similar risk in buying this Florrie coat, but the fit looks flattering and the price is right.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying your winter coat at Forever 21, but this Annette coat would, worn with layers, probably work for this in-between time of year. It's ladylike, but in a kind of ironic way (this is Forever 21 after all).

It might not have a chinchilla collar, but Delia*s Kelsey belted peacoat has a totally adorable mod drop-waist silhouette and--this is key--a Thinsulate lining for added warmth. Currently on sale for a mere $99.50, I think it's a can't-miss bargain (and, if you're still not sold on purple, it's available in four more neutral colors).

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