Dressing down a formal coat – shop your wardrobe

A classic good quality coat never goes out of fashion. I have owned this cool brown Max Mara coat since the mid-90s. I remember buying it in the sale in their boutique in Richmond, Surrey. It seemed incredibly expensive at the time, even in the sale yet cost per wear over the years I think that I must be in credit. It was originally much longer and had a tie belt, which I still have but prefer to style it without. I had it shortened a few years ago and had a large press stud attached to the collar so that I can wear it closed if I want to. Here is how I wore it on a previous occasion.

classic wrap coat

I used to wear it for formal business meetings, first impressions count and when you meet a potential client you are normally, at least in the UK, wearing a coat. My lifestyle has changed considerably since then and so has accepted dress codes. I now style my formal coat with more casual outfits in my wardrobe.

One new piece that I have added to my wardrobe recently is this casual herringbone hoody from MeandEm. Now sadly sold out. It definitely adds a more laid back look to the coat. My side stripe trousers are a couple of years old from MeandEm this years version.To complete the sporty look I have added my tried and trusted Adidas Stan Smiths

Brown MaxMara coat

My fun earrings are from St.Tropez market. Similar US and UK

Anatomy of my outfit:

Classic camel wrap coat JohnLewis&Partners / orange wool scarf St.Tropez market / grey hoodie MarksandSpencer / black backpack JohnLewis&partners / Side stripe trousers JohnLewis&partners / Leopard trainers Boden.

All photographs taken by Laura Hines. Follow her on Instagram


  1. Wendy in York
    19th February 2019 / 15:17

    Yes , I’m feeling that my ‘ladylike’ coats need toning down just now & hoodies are good for that . I bought a navy padded quilted hood from Cos that fits in some of my coats & jackets & it seems to do the trick . Looks like an inner layer without the bulk .

    • 20th February 2019 / 09:09

      Hi Wendy
      The Cos hoodie sounds great. Must go and check out their current range.

  2. sheila coates
    19th February 2019 / 15:41

    I love you weekly posts, it makes me think how I can wear little worn clothes.

  3. 19th February 2019 / 15:55

    Love the “long” coat on you but have decided to get rid of mine. Still like them, but my life also has changed and, at my age, I need a simpler, less formal approach to fashion.

    • 20th February 2019 / 09:11

      Yes our lives do change and we need to keep our wardrobe relevant for our lifestyle.

  4. Kay
    19th February 2019 / 21:51

    Is that Hampton Court? I really like the new look of your blog.

    • 20th February 2019 / 09:12

      Hi Kay
      Yes the photos were taken at Hampton Court. Glad you like the blog I am trying to make it simpler and easier to navigate.

  5. Christine Trory
    19th February 2019 / 23:24

    As always some great ideas on how to wear what we have and give it a new lease of life.

    • 20th February 2019 / 09:14

      Hi Christine
      I think we should all get as much wear out of our existing clothes. Just adding a few new items per season we can create a sustainable wardrobe.

  6. Amara Cyrus
    21st February 2019 / 05:42

    Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  7. Marion
    25th February 2019 / 16:16

    Hi, so glad to have found your blog!! Loving the styles and how great they look. I am off to France in April for 5 days and although at last count I have over 200 items in my wardrobe(s) I am completely lost as to what to take!! I need your blog for sure so that I can de-clutter my clothes. Can you help.

    • 25th February 2019 / 17:39

      Hi Marion
      I am off to France on 14th March. I will try and put together a capsule wardrobe.

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