Your winter coat should be your best friend, so it's worth spending time choosing the right one.

From duffels to military, crombies to camel - the high street is full of stylish winter coats that will suit any taste and budget. Georgina Heffernan guides you through the options...

As the nights draw in and the weather grows colder, a girl's thoughts turn to the winter coat lurking at the back of her wardrobe. But if your coat turns out to be tatty beyond belief or the buttons are falling off, it could be time to invest in a new one.

A great coat will disguise figure flaws and show off your good points. Choose wisely and it will be your winter wardrobe saviour. Don't be dictated to by trends, instead concentrate on flattering your figure, and use accessories to add an edge.

Petite: It’s important not to swamp your frame with big, bulky styles and layers of thick fabric. Instead, opt for neat, cropped shapes that will perfectly match your proportions. Peacoats and neat, fitted shapes will help to lengthen your figure. Remember not to choose a coat that stops lower than your hips, as this will make your legs appear shorter.

Crombie coat Next €81

Boyish: Because you have a slender shape, you’re literally spoilt for choice, just remember to avoid skinny cut coats that will only serve to emphasise your ‘straight up and down’ figure. Instead, opt for coats that are belted and flare out slightly, as this will create the illusion of curves.

Jonathan Saunders Fit Flare Coat Debenhams €232

Plus size: Stick to long, lean cuts that will lengthen your figure, and choose a style that will look good open - wearing it like this will trick the eye and make you seem slimmer. Avoid bulky materials, especially puffa jackets, and double breasted styles, all of which will visually add pounds. If you want a belted version, make sure the belt is wide so that it looks proportional. Avoid patterns; instead pick a solid coloured style.

Double Collar Coat €195 Chescea

Tall figures: Maxi length and midi coats are prefect for this body shape. Once you have found the perfect coat, you can alter it depending on the occasion by swapping the belt or adding a scarf to give it some colour.

Green Belted Wool Coat €290 East

What's on the rails?
Coats of all shapes and sizes are in most high street store, with bright pea coats to complement the trendy 60s look and heritage tweeds for a taste of the countryside. To add extra glamour on a wintery night, hunt for coats in luscious fabrics like fake fur and shearling.

Principles by Ben de Lisi millitary coat Debehhams €153

Animal prints also add a dash of colour and excitement and can look stylish when done the right way. If you want to stay ahead of the trend, look for military cuts, double-breasted styles, stud embellishments and coats that are belted at the waist.

Georgina Heffernan