Shopping your closet – a classic coat

Shop your closet - a classic coat



I am starting my “Shop your Closet” or as we say in the UK “shop your wardrobe”  post with a MaxMara coat that I think I purchased in about 2005. I was still working as an image consultant and coach in the corporate market. I wore jackets and formal clothes most days. I remember that this coat was a major purchase at the time and although I bought it in the sales it was still expensive. The fabric is divine, wonderfully soft, 70% alpaca and 30% wool.

It used to be longer about mid-calf; and I always wore with the tie belt. I had it re-modelled about four years ago as it was beginning to look like a dressing gown. I had it shortened to just below the knee and added a popper fastening at the top, so that I could wear it loose. I still occasionally wear it belted but think it looks more modern without the belt.



Shoo your closet - a classic coat



I have deliberately styled my coat to look casual and less corporate. I often wear a colourful scarf, however on this occasion I decided to try a tone on tone colour scheme with a pair of dark grey trousers, grey cashmere sweater and muted grey scarf. I deliberately wore my new Stan Smith sneakers, I was determined to experiment and  try  this look. I know this style is not for everybody.  I could just as easily have worn one of my black ankle boots for a more classic feel.



Shop your closet - a classic coat




MaxMara coat worn with white jeansHow I wore my MaxMara coat with white jeans in November 2014.

Photos kindly taken by my friend Caroline.




White Stan Smith sneakers available at Nordstrom and Farfetched and MyTheresa (UK).

My coat is my MaxMara very similar one at Jaeger.

Similar coats at Net-a-Porter in the sale 








  1. 23rd January 2016 / 10:31

    Hello, have only recently started following your blog . Good advice . Love the Stan Smith look
    But agree it’s not everyone’s cup of tea !
    A big fan of Sports Luxe look
    Not sure when a wardrobe became a closet though ‘ do you have a lot of American followers ?
    Thankyou enjoying your posts

    • 23rd January 2016 / 11:16

      Hi sarah
      Thanks for your comment. Yes I do have a lot of American followers. I try and mix up the “languages” if I use the english “wardrobe” I get comments from my USA readers

  2. Kathy
    23rd January 2016 / 11:28

    Love your coat! Even in the photos you can say that it is really a quality article. Great investment piece.

  3. Susan (une femme)
    23rd January 2016 / 13:29

    Gorgeous coat, and I really like the grey scarf with it. Gives a sophisticated-casual vibe.

  4. AnneD
    23rd January 2016 / 14:29

    I was so pleased to read this post. I have a MaxMara camel coat that I bought as an investment piece in 2000 in Italy, they were still using the Lira then! it is beautiful quality but wearing it recently i realised how old fashioned it felt and looked. It’s calf length with raglan loose sleeves and though a size 8 is more like a 14 being very loose. You have inspired me to go get it cut shorter and maybe have the 4-button double breasted fit altered too. It’s unfortunate that my well-used good tailor has just closed but I have a couple of recommendations. Yours looks so lovely and modern now!

  5. Eleni
    23rd January 2016 / 15:20

    Your altered coat is beautiful. Looks wonderful, belted, and with white jeans.

  6. Libby Wilkie
    23rd January 2016 / 16:03

    You certainly got just the right light in those photos! I agree with some, that the casual, sneaker look is not for all of us: it just does not do well on me! But I am envious of those (you) who can carry it off. Looking forward to more of these posts!

  7. Jane
    23rd January 2016 / 16:55

    Happy New Year Josephine! In the spirit of shopping my closet I have also been perusing my husband’s! He has a gorgeous, full length Hugo Boss classic, taupe wool coat which he no longer wants. It’s not that much too big for me but do you have advice on re-styling coats? I’m thinking a slight hemming and possible taking the sleeves up a tad just to prevent me from looking like I’m swimming. I want to maintain the over-size feel. Love your pics here, goes to show your great taste is timeless!

    • 25th January 2016 / 15:32

      Hi Jane

      I think that altered mens coats can look great on women. I think that it is important to get the sleeves the correct length and to shorten. Also I think that if the shoulders sit well it makes a difference. This however can be a tricky alteration.

  8. Bobbi
    23rd January 2016 / 19:58

    Thanks Josephine! You inspired me to consider shortening a coat. Love the sneakers. may give it a try.

    Agree that an excellent tailor is critical to re-styling clothing. I have made a few mistakes (now unusable clothing) but found a great tailor who will advise me to tailor or not to tailor.

  9. Pam@over50feeling40
    23rd January 2016 / 20:23

    Love these neutral styles…great coats!

  10. Rita
    25th January 2016 / 15:15

    The white jeans with white shoes & white t-neck makes me wonder if you you’re on your way to the hospital for your other job!

  11. Rita
    25th January 2016 / 15:16

    Oops! Please forgive the extra “you”, I don’t know how that got in! “The white jeans with white shoes & white t-neck makes me wonder if you you’re on your way to the hospital for your other job!”

  12. Sue
    27th January 2016 / 01:25

    Good idea to have such a beautiful coat updated. Personally, I like it better belted.

  13. Highland Fashionista
    27th January 2016 / 05:12

    Max Mara really makes beautiful coats…it’s an Italian thing…all that wonderful stitching. This one looks downright luxurious.

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