The Classic Peacoat

Chasing the latest trends gets a little old after you reach a certain age, and that’s when it’s time for clothes with staying power. Take, for example, the classic peacoat. A favorite of fashion icons from Audrey Hepburn to Ali MacGraw, it looks as fresh now as it did back in the ’60s. WHY IT’S TIMELESS: One reason is its optimum blend of style and practicality. The double-breasted front isn’t just a nod to military convention; it makes the coat warmer by placing two layers of fabric over the chest. And the generous collar that frames your face also provides serious wind protection. WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Peacoats normally have large anchor buttons in a color that matches the fabric, but gold buttons can be a nice alternative, since they brighten the coat (just keep in mind that gold also tends to make you look older). Otherwise, stick with tradition, which means black or very dark navy fabric. Prices run the gamut, from less than $200 to more than $1,000. But this is an investment piece, so buy the best coat you can afford. HOW TO WEAR IT: A peacoat looks great with slim jeans rolled up over booties, or a cigarette skirt that hits just below the knee and pumps. Wide pants are a fashion-forward option. Remember, classics need a counterbalance—a bit of contemporary styling to give them a fresh edge. —Lola Ehrlich and John Birmingham

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