Styling a Winter Coat | Nordic Blanket Scarf & Bright Tote | Grey, Cobalt Blue & Black

We maybe over the hump of Winter but in many parts of the world, Spring is still a way off, even if the daffodils have started to pop their yellow heads through.  We may have escaped snow in London but we’ve had freezing temperatures and when you’re out and about in your Winter coat, you want to feel both warm and stylish.

Now I adore colour but not everyone wants to own a brightly coloured coat.  And even I, the colour lover that I am, sometimes want to wear a neutral colour in my outerwear.

If you own a neutral coat, and by neutral I’m meaning black, brown, grey, you can either wear it as a statement piece in its own right or let it be a blank canvas to decorate with brightly coloured accessories.  Then you have versatility.

I deliberately kept my canvas neutral for two reasons.

First, because the decorative colour would then be more striking.
Second, because I wanted to show that even keeping the canvas to one colour – in this case, grey – I could still gain light, texture and depth.  I’ve used not quite 50 Shades of Grey (!) but at least 3 shades of the grey palette from

the silver of my beret,
the pewter and suede of the boots,
to the darker charcoal grey of the coat.

From there, it was dead easy to take two simple accessories in a bold colour, to elevate my neutral Winter coat:

a blanket scarf – a big trend this season
a brightly coloured tote – a classic bag

The cobalt blue of the scarf and the tote I chose, really makes an impact with a little assistance from my polka dot gloves.

I’ve loved seeing all my fellow bloggers wearing colourful blanket scarves the last few months. It seems this past season, we’ve all gone ‘mad for plaid’; me included!  I went especially LARGE with my ‘mad for plaid’, in that last Autumn I bought a plaid wrap, which I’ve worn several times now on the blog (including Autumn Pastels,  Denim Skirt & DM’s and Plaid Accents).

However, if you’re feeling plaid is slightly passé, go nordic!

Now you might think wearing an item with reindeer on (or elk, or caribou or moose or any of the other 9-13 subspecies there are apparently of reindeer; I profess to not being an expert on what exactly the quadrupeds are on the scarf), would feel silly in February, but not at all.  The blue and the pattern is far from Christmassy in my eyes.

It’s only a recent addition to my expanding collection of scarves and I spied it shortly after Christmas and it’s from Tu at Sainsbury (sold out online now, sadly).  Supermarkets really are doing some great pieces at the moment and when the colour caught my eye, I really did ask myself;

‘Do I need yet another scarf?’

‘To which, of course, the answer is no’, replied small voice of reason.  ‘But that’s never stopped you before!’

And indeed it didn’t!

In my defence, it is reversible.  Turn it over and the blue becomes black and the black, blue.  A striking way to wear it for evening trips out.

To pick out the lighter grey in the scarf, I topped with my silver, wool beret which has delicate clusters of beads over it; a subtle touch of texture and detail.

Although the blanket scarf and bag are the stars of the show here, let’s not forget the coat!

Rather like the story behind the scarf I wasn’t intending to buy another coat when this popped up in my e-bay feed several months ago.  I’ve already got a workhorse coat for everyday, a couple of coloured coats and various jackets so I’m well kitted out coat-wise BUT…

this gem was new with tags on

is wool and cashmere, so uber light yet warm


is Minuet Petite, so fits perfectly on the shoulders, has the perfect arm length and hits just below the knee… yup… so is the perfect length!

Perfect circumstances I think you’ll agree in which to purchase?

It would have retailed for £160.00.

I could’ve bought it for £55 but I offered £30 to the seller and 


if that coat wasn’t winging its way to my wardrobe.

You’re darn right I’m looking so pleased!  

It’s why I never mind taking a chance on e-bay.  You can snap up some extraordinary bargains if you know what you’re looking for, or, in this case, at!

I’d been casting my eye about for a while, for a pair of grey boots.  I fell in love with the Margot Boot in Granite Nubuck, from Rag & Bone, but fell off my chair at the price!  Got a spare £375??? No, neither do I!

But then I found these on Boden.  

Full price they were a nudge over 3 figures (£110) but in the sale they dipped below (£83.30), and into my online shopping cart! They have a leather/rubber sole giving them a good grip; useful on potentially slippery surfaces in Winter.

A quick word about the boots, if you’re the same size as me and thinking of buying.  Mine are a UK size 3 / EUR 36  BUT the fit is more a 3½ . Technically, size 36 is a UK size 3½, which is why I love Marks & Spencer’s footwear so much, as their size 3 is a 35½.  A proper fit for my narrow, petite feet.  However, I slipped a half insole inside and that solved the problem of them being a teensy bit loose.

Minute Wool & Cashmere Coat (ebay)
Precis Petite Wool Coat currently in the sale.  Regular Phase Eight Asymmetrical Charcoal Coat also in the sale.
Wallis Coated Jeans.  H&M Coated Jeans or Next Black Coated Jacquard Leggings sold out in petite but available in regular.  For petites here are Wallis High Waisted Jeggings available in the sale.
Accessorize Beret (old)
Tu at Sainsbury Nordic Style Blanket Scarf.  Sold out  Etsy Nordic Blanket Scarf
TKMaxx Cobalt Blue Tote (old) Cobalt Blue Crossbody Handbag
Camaieu Polka Dot Gloves.  These are cute with a little bow Ladies Polka Dot Gloves
Boden Pewter Boho Boots  Currently in the sale and available in size 3.  Also available in Black and Navy in a few other sizes.

Moral of the story is two fold.

You’re far from fading to grey, if you play with your shades of grey.  In fact, grey is a more forgiving colour to wear for many skin tones, especially so for those of us t’other side of 40.

Reindeer are not just for Christmas but for life!

How do you style a neutral coat?
Do you keep it as a statement piece, or do you let your accessories do the talking?

Linking with Visible Monday / #iwillwearwhatilike / Creative Blog Hop / Bloggers who’ve Inspired Me / Confident Twosday / Turning Heads Tuesday / JerseyGirlTexanHeart / Colorandgrace / ProjectSisterAct / High Latitude Style / Daily Style Finds / Fashion Should Be Fun / Fabulous Friday / Flashback Friday / Style Stories /


  1. February 22, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Now that's a way to take a neutral coat and make it fabulous!! Of course I wear a scarf around my neck, but I'm not sure I've thought about draping it over the top of the coat—it's pure smartness!!
    And I love those boots—I usually like my boots slightly larger anyways since I'll be wearing one or two thick pairs of socks with them!! jodie

    • February 22, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Pure smartness!! I love that phrase, Jodie! Glad to have given you another idea to play with. I often wear my scarves under my coat to block out the draughts but this scarf just cried out to be worn over the coat.
      The boots are pretty cool, aren't they? I'm so pleased a found a pair at a sensible price!

  2. February 22, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    This is so inspiring – to accent a neutral coat with a bright and animal-loving scarf! You look fab, thanks for linking xox


    • February 23, 2016 / 5:15 pm

      Thanks Patti. It's good to mix your scarves up so it's not always the same design!

  3. February 22, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    That is a clever way to have a more interesting coat! Well done! I really love that scarf, it is so striking! Hurrah for the bargain coat!!!!x

    • February 23, 2016 / 5:16 pm

      Thanks Kezzie. I'm so glad I did buy the scarf as it's already proved its worth with casual outfits too. And yes, a big hurrah for the bargain coat. I really didn't think I'd get it for that price!

  4. February 23, 2016 / 1:10 am

    I have a very similar gray coat, it's the one that gets the most wear and I love it for the same reason you do. It's so easy to spice it up with scarves and whatnot. And your blue scarf with a herd of happy quadrupeds is perfectly fabulous! My coat is actually a replacement too…I wore the first one to the point that I literally gave it to my dogs to use as a mommy snuggle blanket on their futon. Yes, my dogs have a futon…don't judge me…lol!

    • February 23, 2016 / 5:17 pm

      Like minds then! The happy herd is definitely eye-catching and certainly made me smile. Ha, ha, I expect your dogs to have nothing less BUT a futon, Debbie!

  5. February 23, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Cobalt blue and grey are so cool together.
    I love the subtle textures with the spots and beads and suede combined with the inyourface scarf pattern and the cruisy coat.
    Beautifully done!
    Love your boots but can't wear heels 🙁
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    • February 23, 2016 / 5:19 pm

      They work surprisingly well together. Thanks Jazzy.
      I have to say I can't wear very high heels. They are probably about as high as I can comfortably go!

  6. February 23, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Your patterned wrap adds so much to your grey coat,you would now really stand out in a sea of grey, just the way it should be, well done. I do like those grey booties too.Hope the first signs of Spring brighten the grey days.

    • February 23, 2016 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you Jill.
      Yes, Spring is just beginning to weave it's web and bring things back to life.

  7. February 23, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    What a score on that classic coat!

    The scarf and bag really add some pop to this outfit.

    I love your dotty gloves.


    • February 23, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      I know! One of my best buys. I fairly rubbed my hands with glee when my cheeky offer was accepted!

  8. February 23, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    That bright bag and scarf really spice up your winter coat! I need to try wearing a scarf like that! Very cute!

    • February 23, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks Laura. I just love cobalt blue because it's so striking. Do try wearing one like this – a tip though – avoid doing so on a windy day! Everytime the wind blew, whoosh it went into my face!!!

  9. February 24, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    This is a great look, love your scarf and bag. The pops of blue are beautiful 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

    • February 24, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      Thank you Clairejustine. Sometimes you only need a pop of colour to make an impact and this scarf and bag tick that box!

  10. February 26, 2016 / 8:23 am

    Wool and cashmere, mmm. Reindeer are the new blue. ???!!! And the bag is divine in blue as well. So this is a great style lesson for me here. Do not be afraid of neutrals. They are like pasture waiting for grazing by, um, quadrapeds? It's like frigging poetry.
    Love your outfit I what I'm trying to say.

    • February 27, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Reindeer truly are the new blue! I always shied away from neutrals but used as a canvas for a standout item, well, they come into their own and in this case for a herd of happy quadrupeds! Thanks Melanie for your turn of phrase – wonderful.

  11. February 26, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Cute reindeer. I've always steered clear of anything 'Nordic', for fear of appearing a bit cliched (being Nordic myself…), or offending the Sami (= people in Lapland, they herd reindeer) and I think I've only ever come across reindeer in a restaurant, on a plate…

    • February 27, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      Totally understand why. It would be like selling ice to the Eskimos! I certainly wouldn't want to offend the Sami. I learned quite abit about them visiting Sweden a few years ago. Fascinating.
      Don't think I've had reindeer. Venison yes – quite delicious!

  12. February 28, 2016 / 12:02 am

    What a fabulous idea of how to jazz up a neutral coat! I really like your colorful scarf and how you draped it. Also, congrats on the new coat – great deal. I have one neutral coat and the rest are bright or patterned, so I am definitely going to give this a try with my charcoal coat. Thanks!

    • March 1, 2016 / 12:10 am

      I couldn't believe what a steal it was, Jennie! And the bonus of a neutral coat is all the different accessories you can wear with it.

  13. February 28, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Love how you've dressed you coat up here, and shown us how you could revamp this time after time – very clever Jacqueline. I'm about to showcase my new winter coat which is quite a different story, but you'll have to wait until mid week until you catch a glimpse of it. The Boden boots are such a great investment. I'm a Boden girl when the paycheque allows (or eBay provides) and have never regretted a single purchase. Oh, and the tote in that beautiful cobalt is divine. Lovely post x
    Anna's Island Style

    • March 1, 2016 / 12:12 am

      Looking forward to it Anna. Yes, Boden really do some great pieces if your budget can stretch. I always keep an eye on their sales as it's just that bit more accessible price wise and I'm right with you on e-bay too! Thank you, as always, for your kind words.

  14. February 29, 2016 / 6:01 am

    Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Another great beret! How many do you have!

    • March 1, 2016 / 12:13 am

      My husband would probably reply too many! I think it may be hovering near the 20 mark!!

  15. March 6, 2016 / 9:44 am

    What a fun and super styled outfit. I love how wonderful it feels to have everything aligned right? I think my favorite part is the beret–it's so precious. But then when I saw the close up of the trousers, I was like, Oooh! Edgy too!

    Jacqueline, thanks for coming over and linking to the Kremb de la Kremb Style Stories No. 12 Link Up.

    Love, Ann

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