How to Style a Classic Black Wool Coat | With Colour, Pattern and Texture

Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb

This is quite a muted look for me, even for winter. I wanted to show you how a classic (some might say boring?) black wool coat can look a lot more interesting with the addition of some colour, pattern and texture to zhuj it up a bit.

I must just say that apart from a couple of blazers and a biker jacket, this is the only black coat I have. Everything else in my winter coat arsenal is either patterned or brightly coloured, and last winter I had a yearning for the most classic black coat I could get my hands on. I went with a single-breasted, masculine-cut wool one from La Redoute (this one is a very close match) – and I love it.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to get into a style rut in the winter where black coats are concerned. I see many, many women who have all added jeans, black boots and a black scarf to their black coat and it gets to be quite a snoozefest. It needs to be switched up from one day to the next otherwise you’ll end up looking exactly the same every day you step out the door throughout the whole of winter. (Admittedly I’ve worn black ankle boots here, I do realise that.) But we want to have fun with our clothes all year round…!

Textures are your friend, and so is pattern. It goes without saying that colour makes all the difference! For this outfit I added a soft, fluffy blue scarf, a blue waffle knit sweater, grey/red tartan trousers and a fringed crossbody bag. Here are some ideas for bolder pairings to put with a black coat:

So in the few (hopefully) remaining weeks of winter think about how to get creative with that black coat of yours – it doesn’t have to be boring!

Are you a serial black coat wearer in the winter? Do you try to switch it up a bit or have these ideas given you the impetus to get creative? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb

Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
Styling a classic black wool coat | with pattern, colour and texture | Not Dressed As Lamb
Coat: c/o La Redoute (close match) | Sweater: c/o Damart (I like this cable knit one) | Trousers: ASOS (I like these) | Boots: River Island at ASOS | Scarf: ASOS (similar) | Bag: Accessorize (close match) | Sunglasses ASOS (close match) | Earrings: Accessorize (in store only) | Lips: Maybelline ColorDrama ‘In With Coral’ | Nails: Nails Inc ‘Black Taxi’


P.S. Like the idea of making a black coat more interesting? You might want to see the same coat featured in these posts: How to make casual pieces (distressed jeans, backpack, beanie) look smart or A silver and black Christmas party layered look

Linking up to: Style StoriesiwillwearwhatilikeVisible Monday, Shoe and TellLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle Sessions, Turning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback Thursday, My Refined Style, Passion for Fashion FridayFriday’s Fab Favourites, Fun Fashion Friday

RELATED  The Best Hat to Wear to a Summer Wedding


  1. 24 February 2016 / 2:23 am

    Interesting post–because you're right. You don't wear much black. Of course I guess I knew this but I had never acknowledged it. Hmmm. Personally I do wear a lot of black. It's just so easy in the form of a bottom or top. I do try to counter it with something fun though. Black is definitely a staple for my #ootd—the clothing I wear to work. It's Wednesday over here in HK, and I wore black pants on both Monday (brocade velvet) and Tuesday (pleather jeans). As you can read in the parenthesis I try to jazz up my black wearing ways with a little texture.

    In terms of a black coat, I have a faux fur, trench (I bought it for a witch's costume, but now it's there to stay!), and now a really cool moto (that I can't wait to write about on Kremb de la Kremb!).

    I'm not all black: I also have a red trench, faux leopard, and navy peacoat to name a few. Today I wore an ash white wrap (very Olivia Pope!).

    Despite you saying this was toned down, you are still very, very colorful–and lovely as per usual!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    • 24 February 2016 / 1:52 pm

      You're still a very bold dresser, Ann – just with black thrown in! I think it's your lvoe or sparkle and pattern that elevates the black… Those two things make all the difference. I "stopped" wearing black many years ago when I was super-poor and living in London: I couldn't afford quality clothes so I got rid of my cheap black clothes that faded quickly and LOOKED cheap and only bought brights after that. Cheap colourful clothes tend to look more expensive than cheap black ones… And I guess it stuck with me!

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, I do appreciate them! x

  2. 17 February 2016 / 9:22 pm

    Hah…I abhor black winter coats…I feel like they are that old commercial with all the black umbrellas (then you see the one red umbrella)—do you remember it or am I making it up? I think every single woman needs an interesting winter coat—either colorful or print—make it fun!!
    Disclaimer: I do have one black winter coat only because it was too small for my husband when he ordered it—and it was too much a pain to return!

    • 18 February 2016 / 4:06 pm

      I was pretty much the same as you, Jodie – hence me not owning a single black coat! I don't remember the commercial (I think because you're not in the UK, you saying "commercial" rather than "advert" gives it away) – but I know exactly what you mean. I really like my black coat, but it certainly won't be my go-to for everyday wear. I guess it keeps it a bit more "special" as well then…!! x

  3. 17 February 2016 / 5:50 pm

    Love the look with the plaid and then the soft color of the blue near your face my friend. I dont wear alot of black , but you know how to do it! Yes, color . love this look!
    Thank you for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
    jess xx

    • 18 February 2016 / 4:04 pm

      I definitely think it's a good idea to keep the black away from my face Jess – the blue scarf does this perfectly! Thank you my lovely xx

  4. 17 February 2016 / 11:30 am

    Ooops, am commenting a wee bit late on this. I was making this point to my boyfriend yesterday that although I love my Reiss black winter coat it would be so easy to put it on over a black dress etc on the days when you're running out of the door. I love black and in fact most of my twenty-something punky wardrobe was in that colour, but you can drown in it. Thank goodness then for green dresses, red dresses and various tartan scarves!

    • 18 February 2016 / 4:03 pm

      Haha I was the same when I was at college, Emerald (early 90s) – as grunge was in and I was at art college I was in black ALL the time!! That may be why I grew to have an aversion to it as I got older…?! And yes I agree, yay for bright dresses!! x

    • 15 February 2016 / 8:59 pm

      Hehe you sound like me, Ana – I realised one day that I just didn't own a black winter coat and it seemed so weird!! x

  5. 13 February 2016 / 1:42 am

    I searched 40+ blogger and yours popped up first. I really do appreciate your dedication on all the posts. I, myself, am 40+ and just started blogging less than a month ago. I would appreciate it if you can give me some advices on how to market my site and how to gain more viewers. I am a rookie in this industry and any tips from you would be greatful! By the way, I reside in
    California, United States. Thank you!
    my site is

    • 13 February 2016 / 9:30 am

      Hi Ellen, it's nice to e-meet you – thank you for the kind words!! The best post I have is called How to Generate an Audience and Increase Interaction – you'll find it (and lots of other similar tips posts) on my Blogging Tips page, under Categories. Hope you find it useful, and good luck with the blogging, I'm sure you'll love it! C x

    • 13 February 2016 / 9:33 am

      Oh and many of the other fabulous 40+ bloggers you should connect with (and learn from!) are on my Blogroll, also under Categories x

  6. 13 February 2016 / 1:18 am

    How are the tables turned, my friend!! For someone who's still somewhat petrified of colour, I don't own a single black winter coat. All my coats are either colour blocked or in prints or in colours other than Ebony. So odd GRIN and I never would've pegged you to be the owner of one yourself, Catherine, for some reason, I always assumed that anything completely black would be somewhat of a sartorial taboo 🙂 xoxo

    • 13 February 2016 / 9:26 am

      Hehe it's true I do own very little black, Sheela – I rearranged my wardrobe the other day (by colour) and looked at what was hanging: Black was about three items, the rest was all colour and pattern. So yes it is unusual for me!! x

  7. 13 February 2016 / 12:24 am

    That sky blue is lovely on you and definitely jazzes up the black coat. My fav winter coats are red and leopard, but I do have a plain black one too. Thanks soooo much for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, Catherine!

    Dawn Lucy

    • 13 February 2016 / 9:25 am

      Thank you Dawn Lucy, you too!! I love that your fave coats are so bright, I guess this black one isn't my favourite as I have so many bright ones too but it's nice to wear something different (for me) for a change…!!

  8. 12 February 2016 / 12:32 pm

    Black jackets and coats are an easy go-to, especially if you travel or live in a city. You've made this one special with that lovely scarf and sweater. xox


    • 13 February 2016 / 9:24 am

      Thank you Patti – glad you liked it! x

  9. 11 February 2016 / 9:39 pm

    You look amazing in the blue scarf – it's such a great color on you!

    I love how you styled the black coat – textures and colors make such a difference!

    I don't own a black coat, but I do own a grey one, and it's easy to look the same every day and blend in with everyone…

    • 11 February 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you Andrea – that's very kind of you to say! Textures and colours really do make all the difference, don't they…?!! x

  10. 11 February 2016 / 4:35 pm

    Catherine…you are soooo right! I looked down at myself the other day as I was leaving the house and realised I was head to toe in black! Your post was perfect timing! X

    • 11 February 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Oh I'm glad, Kareema – although all black can be a very sleek look I think it definitely needs jazzing up if we go out every day like it…!! xx

DISCLOSURE: Items marked* are PR products (I never accept anything I wouldn’t choose for myself) and my opinions are 100% honest. I also use affiliate links where I may earn commission if you click through and buy, at no cost to you.