The march of the redcoats continues -- out of American history and into fashion.
The fall collections of such designers as Versace, Stella McCartney and Giorgio Armani all have coats cut from seemingly the same crimson cloth. The shade's been a perennial favorite of Valentino, who also uses it in several double-breasted versions this season.
Red-hot with shoppers are the less aspirational (read: affordable) options that abound as the mercury dips.
Soia & Kyo -- a three-year-old Canadian label -- made a topcoat from a diagonal twill wool in cherry red, which features an asymmetrical industrial zipper, fold-over collar and contrast piping.
A Kristen Blake wool melton coat is tailored with inverted pleats for a feminine, nipped waist, while Marc by Marc Jacobs offers a military inspired double-breasted coat in a vermilion felt with bracelet sleeves (that's fashion talk for just above the wrist ).
"Maybe it's bad to say, but I like the fact that everyone notices it," said Janet Norbeck, a 33-year-old interior designer who wore a ruby-hued trench coat by designer Trina Turk while shopping in Alexandria. "Plus, it's a classic color and I can easily dress it up or down."
And unlike the cocooning bubble shapes of seasons past, these curve-caressing coats are the sartorial equivalent of a tiny red sports car: sleek, sexy and sure to get the owner noticed.
-- Cory Ohlendorf