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Favorites Include Trench Coats with a Twist (December 14, 2006)

The ribbon around the waist is a neat touch. (Blue East)
Winter, the season when no one leaves home without a coat, will soon be in full swing. In keeping with the current trend for traditional, conservative fashion, coats such as the windbreaker and the down jacket are giving way to more sophisticated styles of outerwear. A conspicuous sight on the streets this winter will be the trench coat. Although this style of coat has become a fixture over the past three or four years as part of the military look, this season's trench coats have taken on an elegant air with the addition of frilled collars; checks, polka dots, leopard spots, and other patterns; ribbon belts; and the use of satin and other fancy fabrics.

Colorful trench coats (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)
A Heyday for Dress Coats
Even more popular right now is the cute yet elegant style known as the dress coat. As the name suggests, dress coats are typically form-fitting on top with a clearly defined waistline and a flared hemline. The preferred way to wear them is buttoned all the way up for a sleek silhouette. Dress coats are selling briskly at department stores and "select shops" (a Japanese term for independent boutiques). Prices are relatively reasonable, starting at around ¥40,000 (about $350 at ¥115 to the dollar). The main fan base is female office workers in their twenties and thirties, who see dress coats as an easy way to incorporate this year's dress-up style into their wardrobes by donning a single garment.

Coats Become a Focus of Fashion
Other coat styles reflective of the current fashion trends are also cropping up. On this season's fashion menu are classic 1950s-style short-sleeved and no-collar coats; bulky knit coats; coats in purples, yellows, and other vivid colors; and coats with fur-trimmed collars and sleeves.

Fur-accented coats are also popular. (Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College)

In the past, coats have been relatively high-priced garments, particularly considering their very short wearing season from late November through February. Understandably, consumers have tended to choose coats of basic, high-quality designs that never lose their appeal and to hang on to those coats for many years. However, the coats on the racks this season are modestly priced and quite trendy, and attitudes toward coats are changing.

This year's weather forecast calls for a mild winter, which ordinarily could be expected to have a dampening effect on coat sales. But interest in these new coat styles is running high, and the wearing of coats more as a fashion statement than as a response to the weather is a trend that appears likely to grow.

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Copyright (c) 2006 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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