It should come as no surprise that I want to include the camel coat among my essentials, even though I will stick to the grey coat as a favourite. It’s a true collectors’ piece that transcends every decade and trend. The camel coat polishes absolutely everything, and, as far as I’m concerned, with blue jeans it’s a match made in heaven. It has that sense of class that makes it ageless and makes you pulled together without much effort.
The purveyor of the camel coat is Max Mara, as you probably know. The classic double-breasted overcoat in camel-coloured wool and cashmere was designed in-house in 1981, as model number 101801, and it has practically remained the same ever since. Why change something that is perfect? “The design came naturally, in the sense that there was not a specific inspiration behind it. When it was finally made, the proportions and the lines were so perfect that season after season they presented it again and again and again,” says Laura Lusuardi, fashion director of Max Mara. There have been some improvements though, like changing the lining from viscose and cupro to silk – because a timeless item of style has an evolutionary advancement, which tends to be apparent only in the details.
Whether you can afford a Max Mara camel coat or not, there are many other perfectly good options you can choose from, and I, for one, always love the challenge of finding something affordable, but equally stylish. From a mannish double-breasted loose fit tailoring, to a single-breasted, more feminine silhouette or the classic wrap, here is my camel coat edit for the season, from high-street to high-end labels.