Designers often talk about their clothes the way investment brokers advise clients: A certain dress is the one "to own," or a particular skirt "does more." There's even "investment dressing"--buying classic expensive pieces that are meant to last. If you "invest" this year, think about a coat, and not one stuffed with down.

Coats this year are big and roomy with emphasis on the top: big collars, sometimes double ones; capelike shoulders; capelet collars; wide dolman sleeves that give you room to move, even with a bulky sweater underneath.

Jackets this year are hip-hugging blouson length, updated car coats, softened pea coats with a less boxy shape.

So invest wisely and don't forget: Button up your overcoat. Models, from left to right: Gail Gray, Lee Reba, Millicent Reynolds, Gary Locke and Michele Young.

Coats, from left to right: twill coat-jacket ($350) and ivory wool blouson ($250) and skirt ($180), all by Rebecca Moses at Cachet Four Seasons.

Daniel Hechter bomber jacket, which reverses from khaki to wool ($150) at Hecht's; chino pants and beige Hush Puppies, also at Hecht's.

Red wool jacket by Mr. Fred ($160) at Garfinckel's; plaid overshirt ($190) and tartan plaid skirt ($220) both by Perry Ellis at Garfinckel's; Anne Klein olive riding boots ($265) at Garfinckel's; bright blue wool gloves at Hecht's; Yves Saint Laurent earrings from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Robert Comstock padded leather jacket ($400), Daniel Hechter khaki pants ($60) and leather high boots ($80), all at Woodies.

Red and black checked coat by Ilie Wacs ($390) at I. Magnin; hat by Frank Olive at Hecht's.