I replace my winter coat every six years or so. I try to buy the best quality and always choose a washable coat to keep it in the best shape.
My former coat still looks nice, but the top toggle will no longer connect across my chest. I chose a new style and measured myself. That was the most painful part about shopping for a coat!
I took the largest measurement and ordered the coat in the size that would accommodate it. Normally, I wear a 10-12 and imagine my surprise when I found I actually needed an 18! That may seem like overkill, but I wanted plenty of room to wear a sweater and a jacket comfortably under the coat.
I have a “long-waist” and even though I am only 5’5”, I have to order the tall sizes.
When my coat arrived and I tried it on, I thought it was huge, but it was really comfortable. I no longer felt the tugging across my back and shoulders. My former coat felt like a straight jacket.
The only problem was the sleeves were three inches too long! I took the coat to a local seamstress and tried it on with a jacket on underneath it. She said the waist hit exactly right and the shoulders fit nicely. The only problem was with the length of the sleeves. I paid less than $20.00 to have her shorten the sleeves.
The coat is part fabric and part fake leather. I did not want to try to work with those materials. She is an expert who alters wedding dresses and when I got the coat back you could not tell the sleeves were shortened.
I have received so many compliments on my new coat and I know it is not because of the style; it is because it fits me. When you buy a major piece of clothing, like a coat, always buy the one that will fit you everywhere and then have someone tailor it in any areas that are too large.