Your new season checklist for buying a winter coat.

A good coat will be one of the highest ticket items in your wardrobe and a daily companion from May through September. Follow these quick tips for coat acquisition success.

1. Buy the best quality coat you can afford: Generally, the more expensive a coat, the longer it will last due to its wool or down count. Cheap coats, made from cheap fabrics, never hang as well on the body and crumple more easily too.

Pictured: Paula Ryan 100% Merino Ruffini coat with zips, $790

2. Check the label: Assuming you want to achieve warmth from your coat, if the fabric label reveals anything under 50 percent wool content - leave it on the hanger. Better still, a cashmere/wool mix delivers extra softness without the heavy bulk. Cashmere is the softest natural fibre against the skin and mixing it with wool is a wonderful way to reap the benefits without the hefty price tag of 100 percent cashmere.

Pictured: Paula Ryan indigo wool/cashmere mix coat, $790

3. Shop with purpose:
Consider your lifestyle. A lawyer going to court has very different coat needs to a busy mum running here, there and everywhere. And if you find yourself with mounting evening engagements, it’s worth investing in an evening coat to take you from the car to inside. This could see velvet or satin on the collar or cuffs. Here the wool count isn’t so important as it needs to be not too cumbersome once indoors.

Paula Ryan Evening Satin Trim Coat
Pictured: Paula Ryan evening coat with satin trim, $790

4. Consider colour:
If there was ever a season to break out of the black, this is it. We have never seen so much colour and embellishment on jackets and coats. A bright coat is also an easy fix to lift even the blackest of wardrobes.

Jane Daniels Red Wool Palace Coat
Pictured: Jane Daniels red wool Palace coat, $1035

5. Study the collar and shape: This can be the deciding factor as to whether a coat is ‘the one’. A long-line slim lapel can balance out a fuller bust and a wider collar can give shape to a petite or very tall frame. Gut feel is everything when it comes to coats. If it doesn’t feel right, leave it in the shop. But if you find yourself doing a little jump for joy when trying it on, clutch it firmly with both hands and head straight to the sales counter. Do not pass go. Finding the perfect coat can be akin to finding the perfect man - in definite short supply!

Shjark lilac Willow coat
Pictured: Shjark lilac 100% wool Willow coat, $699

First published in Metropol magazine, March 30 2017.