Coats are having A Moment, and not just because the temperatures are dropping. This is fast becoming the year of the statement outerwear, with enough gorgeous shapes and styles around to suit everyone. Thankfully, the options this year are both fabulous to look at and a pleasure to wear – fashion has a lot to thank the recession for, as the days of frivolous ‘It’ pieces seem like a distant memory. Invest in a great coat to see you through the season and beyond.

Trenches are perfectly in keeping with the feminine 50s silhouette as well as being eminently practical. For a harder look, try a pea coat for a military edge with an earthy palette of khaki greens, browns and navy. It’s definitely worth signing up for these army inspired structured jackets, with oversized brass buttons and lapels making a commanding fashion statement.

Alternatively, invest in a cape this season, the perfect shape to wear over layers and chunky knits without looking bulky. Channel your inner superhero with style and grace in this easy-to-wear statement piece. For a tougher edge, a shearling aviator jacket is a must have item thanks to the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection from Burberry Prorsum – it will keep you cosy and make you look like a rock star.

When times are hard fashion goes back to basics, turning away from showy glitz in favour of understated stylish elegance. The camel coat will be a favourite way to survive this winter – simple but flattering shapes and soft neutral colours are a safe bet for instant sophistication. There’s something for everyone in this style with cosy long length belted coats, pretty detailed designs or more androgynous double-breasted fits. In keeping with the simplicity of classic looks, the blazer is another option. Dolce and Gabbana showed us how to wear fitted styles accentuating the female form with nipped-in waists and sleek lines as they payed homage to this timeless classic and the benefits of expert tailoring. For more casual wear, take a trip down memory lane and revisit those playground days with the old school duffel coat. Hooded duffels are practical in saving you from a bad hair day with the unpredictable weather as well as looking effortlessly stylish.

The options are endless for the coat this season, with outerwear stealing the limelight as the main focus of your winter wardrobe. You can almost forget the rest of your outfit if you’ve invested wisely in the perfect coat. Wear your hemlines above that of the coat and keep it centre stage. Cherwell will be leading you through the outwear maze in a dedicated photoshoot in the next few weeks.

Camel cape: Topshop