Photo by Dvora @Fashionistable

‘There is no such thing as bad weather,’ said, Alfred Wainwright,’ only unsuitable clothing.’ And I’m with him on the weather-appropriate gear. Getting it right reduces the Faff Factor. This duvet coat (a very generous gift) from new London label Year One Collective has been seeing a lot of action lately. And not just because the boiler has packed in, in the office I share with a friend. Brrr… The wraparound, supersized design is reminiscent of 1980s Yohji Yamamoto and perfect for the freezing temperatures we’ve been experiencing, both inside and out.

This kind of oversized silhouette looks best with slim-leg jeans or leggings. I’m wearing an old pair of Eileen Fisher coated jeans (about four years old and still going strong) but there are similar HERE and HERE. The duvet coat can be reined in with a leather belt, if like me you travel on public transport and prefer not to take up two seats. To keep things sporty, add hi-tops (the ones I’m wearing are from super-comfy Scandi brand Ecco) or trainers – though occasionally I’m inclined to go for French Fashion Editor Chic with black, low-heeled ankle boots. Trés Emmanuelle Alt.

Should you be looking for something a little less voluminous – in a small shop the other day I was convinced the owner thought I trying to shoplift – Uniqlo is the place to go for the best ultralight down coats and jackets. These are reasonably priced and perfect for layering. M&S has a similar padded jacket and Mango also has a decent selection of duvet coats and shorter jackets, including a fabulous polka dot style. The Mint Velvet quilted jacket is available in navy and chalk, Everlane has a lightweight Puffer Jacket and longer Puffer Coats and Moncler is de riguer for those heading to Davos.


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17 thoughts on “How to wear a duvet coat

  1. Lovely photo Alyson. Blue sky strong shadows so rare here in mid-winter greyness. I like the contrast pullover against the black clothing. I agree about the usefulness of duvet coats of all types. I have several Uniqlo ones with and without sleeves, in different colours and degrees of fit. Very useful to layer over pullovers indoors, wear under wool coats and for long haul overly air conditioned plane journeys. They compress into small pouches which can be stored in a tote bag. I also own several longer length ones which are variable in bulkiness. Best one being a mink brown one which folds into a small bag from Max Mara shop at Bicester village. None of these are new but keepers. I recommend as an addition to any wardrobe. Also they can be dressed up or down. Ideal for blending into the crowd on public transport since everyone of all ages wears a similar garment these days.

  2. I absolutely love the one you showed. I am not suited to tailored coats so that one seems divine to me. I own and live in a slightly more tailored M&S one, which I personalise by not doing up all the tabs and leaving the zip undone (think it’s broken, anyway). Having said that, I have got weary of black duvet and just acquired a classic lilac tailored wool coat that I’m debating but not sure about… but am tired of winter darkness.

  3. That’s a great looking coat, Alyson. Some of the duvet coats I’ve seen in pictures are so huuuge, they look as if they might be a driving (and maybe even a walking) hazzard. But in really cold weather there’s nothing like down. It’s so light, and warm.

  4. He was a good ‘un, that Alfred Wainwright. I have an ancient North Face long coat which is still going strong. Duvet coats are definitely a good long term investment and the navy Mint Velvet one is lovely.

  5. YOUR SKIN IS GLOWING…………maybe from ALL that HEAT from the COAT!??!!!
    Gorgeous YOU!
    Pop over and meet JILL……….YOU will LOVE what she DRAWS!!!!!!!!!!L O V E!

  6. Hello,
    I am an aspiring vegan (I give in to cheese sometimes) and am longing for you to give a nod in the direction of animal welfare. Most duvets are produced in fantastically cruel circumstances…and much as I would love one it’s become impossible. I really enjoy your articles and fashion advice but would like more non animal versions of what you show. I’m 61 incidentally and a recent convert to veganism after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

    1. Hello Emma, thanks for your message and I will look into this. I’m vegetarian and have been all my adult life, though I do wear leather and couldn’t give up cheese. Leave it with me…

  7. Looking great…of course. Uniqlo U range had more a more modern duvet coat from the last season. Great silhouette and very cosy. I find the range designed by Christopher Lemaire fantastic for sporty, modern, well designed and well priced ‘basics.’ Perfect for those of us on a budget… but I am coveting your version though, as I am snuggled up at the station awaiting my delayed train.

  8. Was just in Washington DC. It was freaking cold. Wore a brown puffer coat with a warm red soft wool scarf every day. Slim black jeans and black knee-high boots. At that point, you’re desperate to keep warm. I was thrilled to be comfortable, except for my face. At times like that I just can’t worry about “French Fashion Editor Chic.” As a Southern Californian who NEVER has to wear a puffer coat, it was interesting to see how everyone dressed the same to stay warm.

  9. Alyson, you do look great in this rig. I’ve missed seeing you strut your own stuff lately on your blog. You do it so well. 🙂

  10. Good to see a sensible winter coat. I live in my large fake fur from La Redoute from about November to early March, taking it each year to the dry cleaner to be spruced up when the sun starts to shine. It looks smart if out and about in urban settings and is completely brilliant for long, muddy country walks as nothing sticks to it. Big pockets too. I have recently been irritated by seeing how badly women dress for winter here in the UK, a country where we can pretty much guarantee cold and wet for our winter months. Really tired of short puffy jackets with hoods (which are rarely used) and which are always worn too tight over jeans, the worst trouser for any wet days. My personal view is that, come winter and summer, many women here cannot grasp the essential need to dress for the climate, not for a perceived view of sexy which translates as: get it out, show it off. Bring on babuschka. And drop the sundress. Lecture over, hope you have all taken notes.

  11. I agree with Catriona about basic pieces of clothing from Uniqlo. I wear many of their t-shirts : with Lycra/cotton long, three-quarter or short sleeves to gym. Also their cashmere range, heat tech vests in addition to their down jackets and gilets. Then now do a click and collect service which is useful. If it doesn’t fit when you collect refund is done straight away. I haven’t bought any of the new U collection but have some knitwear from the regular Ines de la Fressange design collaboration. She does some basic linen also for summer.

    With regards vegan non-down alternatives there are many puffer style coats out there with synthetic filling rather than down. One needs to check content label to see whether down included or not. The cheaper versions tend to be down free. I bought an attractive dark olive coat by Michael Kors quilted and with polar fleece lining and synthetic filling last year from TK Maxx. Always worth checking their racks.

  12. These coats are all very lovely…. and undoubtedly warm enough for Europe where Winter has been mostly banished to the mountains, but in most of Canada, one must wear (or at least have at hand) a technically constructed, wind proof, deep cold temperature rated jacket or coat. I once made the mistake of buying a lovely (we call them puffer) coat in Europe, only to find that I could only wear it during what we call our winter thaws. If I had worn it while waiting for a bus or cab I would have perished. I did get a lot of complements on it, when I was able to wear it.

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