Look: in an ideal world we could all afford a MaxMara coat, and spend winter swathed in Italy's finest, but back in recession world, some of us are going to have to compromise.
In my book, there's nothing more crucial to an outfit than a great coat. It's the quickest route to chic that I know. (Which is why my airline luggage was 50lbs overweight last time I covered the European collections.) Find one with a quirky detail, like the collar on this Wallis number and not only will you make a great entrance at smart restaurants and parties, but you can use it it at weekends to cover up your grungiest slob gear and NO ONE WILL KNOW.
This coat isn't going to last for ever, but the wool nylon mix should give it some longevity and it's camel - can't go wrong with a camel coat, especially this season.
Length 89.5cm 80% Wool,20% Nylon. £85 Wallis
AND - for just £7.50, they will deliver to the US