I have always been enormously stressed and freaked out by the purchase of a winter coat – especially in recent years. There’s always an “IT” coat – usually with giant checks or fondant pink or some huge teddy bear belted thing. But the financial commitment always scares me; a winter coat is the fashion equivalent of buying a sofa. What if I get sick of it?

But in recent years, with the discovery of all things capsule, I have realised that you only need 5 jackets and coats in winter, most of which you probably already have.

1 A smart town coat in grey, navy, black or camel. Mine is this exact one – it was £99 when I bought it – their new version is £109 and very warm.

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2 A leather jacket. We have discussed this subject at length in previous posts, but most people go to All Saints for a leather jacket. I would always say, go for as few zips and buckles and crazy shit as you can but lay off the shawl collars or anything “waterfall”.

This one looks nice to me:

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It’s a bestseller for a reason. Get it in black, do not muck about with khaki or brown or anything.

3 A raincoat (see previous post on this subject)

4 A slim puffa from Uniqlo, that you can layer under any of the coats above on really cold days to add protection. This will really change your life as it transforms any coat you’ve got into something extra warm and cosy.

There are loads of colour options available so you can match the puffa liner to the colour or your coat. If you need to be super-smart, you can buy this Uniqlo puffa-liner without a collar, so it doesn’t show above the collar of the coat you’re wearing.

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5 VERY warm playground coat. This is any giant, very warm parka you like the look of. I treated myself at massive expense to a Canada Goose Kensington parka a few years ago and I love it beyond all reason. PLEASE do not lecture me about the fur trim, I’ve been lectured about it at length by others and I don’t know what to say… I’m not going to take it back, am I?

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For something less stupidly expensive, Superdry has good ones, like this one.

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(Optional) 6 I have a black dress coat, by which I mean it’s sort of flared and belted with a fake fur trim, which I wear about twice a year to smart parties. It’s almost identical to this one:

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By all means, if you want a giant squashy teddy coat in fondant pink or windowpane check or leopard print, get it. If you love it, you will look fab. This and ALL capsule posts are not about trying to squash your innate style, I’m trying to say if it’s not a Hell Yeah then keep it simple and you can’t go wrong.

Which reminds me, I also have a lot of time for classic pea coats – there is a nice one here.

So if you’re looking at all the winter coat options in dismay and are starting to panic slightly that you ought to be walking around in fun fur like a Sesame Street extra because all newspapers and magazines and shops are telling you to BUY YOUR CRAZY WINTER COAT NOW!!!!! then I refer you to the above list.

Of course, do not be a massive weirdo about this – you ought to know by now what sort of coat suits you, if you suit a belted thing, or double breasted or a cocoon coat or whatever. All I’m saying is: you do not have to buy a crazy coat in order to be chic and look lovely. We are not Olivia Palermo at New York Fashion Week, we are just trying to get from one end of the day to the other.