Cover up in style with a winter coat

When it comes to shopping and style, fashion guru Lloyd Boston wants us to get the biggest bang for our buck - especially on necessities such as winter coats.

His advice: Go for a basic, dark overcoat that can take you from desk to dinner date.

And once you've got that sartorial situation handled?

Think about buying another coat!

Boston is host of the Fine Living Network show "Closet Cases." He's also the style expert for Jones New York, and he visited Macy's in Troy, Mich., recently on behalf of the brand.

In other words, Boston, who has written three books on style, knows what he's talking about.

On preparing for winter: "A lot of ladies don't realize the power of a great statement coat. A statement coat is really one that stands out in the crowd - something like faux fur or a shocking lipstick red, which is a hot color this season. It could even have metallic shimmer built in to a tweed or a texture. A statement really does almost the job of an outfit."

On the biggest mistake women make when it comes to winter coats: "Women tend to buy their coats last or they tend to invest in a coat after their coat of many years has fallen apart. They wind up buying them as a last resort. I think you want to invest in your coat first."

On choosing the right coat: "If you're petite, it should be no longer than the knee. If you are average-sized or missy size, it can be a full-length top coat or overcoat."

On getting your coat to fit just so: "Make sure that that shoulder seam is on the natural shoulder point of your shoulder. From there, everything should fall into place. You don't want a coat that's going to add an extra size to you visually, and you don't want a coat that you feel you can't eat dessert in either."

On minimalism for maximum style: "You want to find some type of overcoat that is clean enough ... and has classic lines so that you can either belt it with a belt that may come with it in the same color or you can belt it with your own belt that's contrasting."

On updating what you already have: "Most women have the standard dark overcoat; they just don't know how to make it relevant for fall. I suggest bold, wide belts. That's an easy way to not spend a lot of money but to be right on trend for fall. Statement gloves, whether they are short driving gloves in colors like corn or mango or persimmon or Kelly green. Don't forget about fingerless gloves - opera-length gloves that come up to your elbow. These are inexpensive gloves that can wake up your closet classics."

- Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press