Old Coat, New Looks: SUPER Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Outerwear

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how to upgrade your old winter coat

Man, I am OBSESSED with coats. It’s obviously my winter fashion staple because um, hello, I live in NYC and it gets disrespectfully cold here at times, but also because a cool winter coat can make any outfit infinitely more “fashion.”

In the past I think I’ve bought some sort of new coat each winter, but in recent years I’ve slowed down. Mostly because I really, really, REALLY love the coats I own and also because anything else I could possibly fathom is waaaaay out of my price range. But at the same time, a girl’s not trying to be bored to tears with her outerwear and a girl watching her budget can’t be going out to buy a new winter coat every five minutes. So what’s a girl to do? A girl gets to styling!

urban outfitters tan maxi coat
Photos: Nasilele Photography

I bought this tan maxi coat from Urban Outfitters about three years ago on sale. LOVE. THIS. COAT. I’ve worn it a gazillion times since I bought it. It’s a pretty basic coat and I’m sure you might have something similar in your closet (use your imagination). Without some badass accessories and styling, this coat could get pretty boring pretty quickly. And we don’t need boredom in our wardrobes—especially not when we’re trying to maximize our pieces and stay fly without minimizing our bank accounts.

fur trapper hat zara booties

I have had a thing for statement accessories for as long as I can remember. If I see an interesting piece that’s within my budget that I know can be used a gazillion ways, improving upon my existing wardrobe, I’ll definitely get it. I encourage you to do the same within your own personal styles of course. Find great statement pieces that fit your style that are practical and can be used again and again. This is something you have to constantly keep your eye on because you won’t find these items all at one time or even all at one store. Think outside the box—I shop EVERYWHERE to find what I need in my wardrobe. I start with inspo from high fashion magazines and also Pinterest and then I set off on the lookout for similar pieces that are priced within my budget.

tan maxi coat

So here’s some super EASY ways you can give your old winter coat some new looks. If you want to see a video of these plus MORE looks, make sure you subscribe to my Youtube channel.

Add some (faux) fur

asos fur caplet

Channeling both my inner Coming to America and June Ambrose, I LOVE faux fur accessories. I have a ton of items I’ve bought over the years: faux fur stoles, faux fur gloves, faux fur everything! A cute stole can be added to your old outerwear to create the appearance of a cool collar.

Add a belt

bcbg feather belt

Cinch that waist, honey! A cute belt can do wonders for styling your years-old coat. This is something I look at high-end designers and fashion magazines for inspiration and then seek out similar looks in my price range. Two places I personally love to browse every now and then for cute belts are BCBG and ASOS with BCBG being my first choice since they always have GREAT belts that you can catch on a good sale (which is exactly the case with the belt I have pictured above). You’ll want to make sure your belt is long and wide enough to work with your coat’s style of course—maybe even going up a size or adding extra notches to ensure a great fit.

Pair it with statement accessories/shoes

statement shoes

I had wanted a big faux fur trapper hat for the longest—I’d see them around but most of them weren’t big enough (I wanted it to be June Ambrose big) or they just didn’t fit my head. Hey, weave or no weave, my doom is pretty healthy yo…lol. I found something I liked on eBay a while back and took a chance and thankfully it paid off. It’s a men’s hat—which I’m accustomed to anyway—like 98% of my hats are from the men’s section. Adding accessories like this, statement boots/shoes, or even a brightly colored or cool textured bag can add new life to your outerwear.

Change the buttons/add a brooch/get it tailored

how to upgrade old coat

Sometimes really great coats come with really plain hardware. Head over to your local fabric shop (or search online at places like eBay and etsy) for unique buttons and brooches. An upgrade like this can be done in mere minutes.

Also consider getting your coat tailored or repaired especially if it’s still generally in good condition but might need some sprucing up like repairing the lining, fixing a hem, or adding some cool fabric to it.

tan maxi coat upgrade winter coat
Photos: Nasilele Photography

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Photo: Nasilele Photography

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EASY Ways to Upgrade Your Old Winter Coat

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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