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One of the many things I was excited about when moving back to Canada was the opportunity to layer my outfits. After 6 years of tropical heat, I was thrilled to go shopping for sweaters, scarves, boots and jackets (and then wear them all at once).

In my opinion, Victoria’s mild-climate provides us with the ideal winter for cold weather clothing; although bundling up in a parka isn’t necessary, it’s still cold enough to need some kind of jacket. I love styling outerwear and layering to my heart’s content, so sharing my must-have long jackets for winter seemed like the perfect topic for my next segment with The Bay Centre.

Not only is there something for everyone in The Bay Centre, but there’s something for every occasion. With this in mind, I decided to branch out to five different stores to style five different coats for five different occasions. I’m sticking to longer hemlines this season because not only are they in-trend and super flattering, but they’re traditional enough to transcend into the coming seasons as well. Talk about a win!

Without further ado, here are my five must-have long jackets, how to style them and where to wear them. All available at The Bay Centre and just in time for winter!

The Trench Coat

Hudson’s Bay Company – The Bay Centre

Product details: Highline Collective belted drape trench coat, Highline collective pleated metallic a-line skirt & Lauren Ralph Lauren ruffled cotton stretch tunic

Made originally from heavy-duty waterproof fabrics and worn by officers in the army, the trench coat has since evolved into an iconic outerwear staple. One of the recent adaptations has been a movement away the traditionally semi-structured trench coat to ones of a lighter variety. Although it’s no longer waterproof, a lighter trench coat will drape nicely with the body (great for blog photos) and is far more comfortable for the wearer.

Add a feminine touch to this traditional menswear item by pairing your trench coat with a skirt. Great for a short walk to the office, trench coats will also look chic as you transition into sneakers and tights for your evening barre class.

The Camel Coat

Dynamite – The Bay Centre

Product details: belted maxi wool coat, front knot bodycon dress, multi-chain choker necklace, knit pompom beanie hat & quilted faux leather gloves with zip

Every F/W season there is talk of how camel coats are back in-trend. Since we’ve been hearing this year after year, I think it’s safe to say that the camel coat is here to stay.

I’ve met countless women who say camel isn’t their colour, but since not all camels are the exact same colour (lol), I’m a firm believer that there’s a variation of the shade for everyone. Olive skin goes great with softer tones of camel, but go for a richer shade like this one if your skint tone is fair like mine.

Although the boxier camel coats are being worn a lot this season (and last), I would stick with a more traditional, tailored fit if you’re looking to have a style that lasts.

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The Bridge Coat

Le Chateau – The Bay Centre

Product details: cashmere-like shawl collar wrap coat, abstract print woven lightweight scarf, gabardine flare leg pant & leather-like flapover cluth

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What is essentially a longer variation of the pea coat, the bridge coat is double breasted, made of wool and extends to the thighs. Similar to the trench coat, the bridge coat has military roots, but has evolved to become a staple of modern outerwear.

One of the more versatile outerwear options, as well as one of the most-worn here in Victoria, the bridge coat is perfect for both professional and social occasions. I have a weakness for lighter grey wool because it can be paired with pretty much anything. For a modern touch, try one with a belted waist.

My family still has some of my parents’ childhood pea coats at home, which my little sisters wear to this day.

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The Sweater Jacket

Migration – The Bay Centre

Product details: grey cotton long sleeve t-shirt, silver jewelry, cotton drop jogging pant, woven sweater jacket & recycled leather bag

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Perhaps one of the coziest things you will wear this winter, the sweater jacket is basically a wearable blanket. We all know I love my knits, so choosing one with a beautiful, yet timeless print like this black and white chevron is the perfect way to make a casual outfit chic. What is essentially my off-duty wardrobe, a plain tee, tailored jogger and cozy sweater jacket is a great way to stay comfortable, yet look fashionable.

Whether you’re running errands or grabbing coffee with friends, this look is the closest you’ll get to feeling like you just rolled out of bed. The key to chic is finding a sweater jacket with a little bit of structure like this one, which provides a tailored silhouette while feeling as cozy as ever.

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The Greatcoat

Club Monaco – The Bay Centre

Product details: Byannca coat, Garend pant, Archibelle sweater & Raden hat

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Yet another piece of outerwear with military roots, the greatcoat is made from a thicker wool than the bridge coat, is double breasted and falls just below the knees. The greatcoat traditionally included a short cape over the shoulders, but can also be identified by its large lapel.

Structure is key when it comes to the greatcoat because its thick wool will keep shape when worn. Given that tailoring plays such an important role in how our eyes perceive an item of clothing, the greatcoat will make a substantial sartorial statement, so wear it anytime you want to get noticed.

I love the idea of pairing this coat with a cropped trouser and heels, for a simple look that allows us to focus on form.

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If you enjoyed this post today, please drop a comment at the bottom because I read each and every one of them and I love hearing your thoughts.

Stay stuned for more fashionable content in partnership with The Bay Centre soon. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing how you rock your jackets this winter!

Photography by Alana Kumar.

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