Wish List: A Camel Topper

camel wool cashmere topper

Every fall it’s the same thing: magazines and other fashion and style websites announce that THIS is the year to buy a camel jacket, coat or topper. And every year, I go hunting for one in vain.

It’s not just media influence that drives me. There’s a space in my wardrobe that would be nicely filled by a soft longer jacket or structured cardigan in camel. Camel works so beautifully with leopard print, olive, burgundy and other fall colors. And it has an elegant, classic vibe that’s a nice counterpoint to the denim I frequently wear. I don’t want a blazer, or something super structured and tailored. I’m open to a longer cardigan too, if it hits the level of “softly structured” I’m looking for.

In past years, I’ve either found almost nothing in camel on retailers racks or websites, OR what I do find is either too heavy or light, OR the wrong shade. This year I’ve had a bit more luck, and have a few contenders to try.

Above: I tried on that wool-cashmere soft jacket in a light pine color during my visit to New York, and loved it, but had qualms about the price. I’ve ordered it “Palomino” (camel) and if the color is a good one for me, the versatility could translate to a lower cost-per-wear and make it more palatable. Though I might be concerned about how that fabric would hold up, and how prone it would be to showing dirt. We’ll see.

cashmere long cardigan in camel

I have this long cardigan currently hanging on my “maybe” rack and haven’t yet removed the tags. I love how soft it feels, and the color. The style is a bit more oversized, which is my only point of hesitation. Otherwise I see this as something that would work well for cooler months in our climate, and that I could wear indoors as well as out.

camel reefer coat

If it’s not too heavy, this wool blend reefer coat has possibilities. (Also available in Plus here.)

topcoat in camel

And while it’s more structured than what I’m looking for, I did want to show you this topcoat too, as it’s a good-looking one.

Do you have a camel jacket, coat or cardigan in your wardrobe? If so, do you find you wear it often?

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  1. October 27, 2016 / 4:24 am

    I have a camel blazer. The Regent from J. Crew and I love it! It is incredibly versatile. Yesterday I received a camel faux suede skirt from j. Crew factory that will be getting lots of love from me. The combo of camel and black is one of my faves! With outerwear, my trench is the closest thing to camel for me–I’m too much of a slob to keep a camel coat clean

    • October 27, 2016 / 7:40 am

      I have the same one, and it made the cut for my carry-on wardrobe for my current ten weeks away from home. With a good scarf, in temperate Bordeaux at the moment, it’s doing yeoman service as outerwear…and I love it with black as well! So good with jeans too

      • October 27, 2016 / 5:50 pm

        Frances–I’m bringing that blazer to Paris with me next month. As long as I have a hat to keep my ears warm, a scarf to pull up over my face, and gloves, I don’t need a heavy coat–especially when walking around the city and stopping in shops and museums. I’m funny that way!

        • October 28, 2016 / 12:07 am

          Yes! I’ll be doing the same. I do love a good coat at home, but to save room for other stuff this trip I brought a faux-fur vest, a trenchcoat, and that blazer, and I think that I’ll be warm enough even for our time further north (Paris!!) for a few days in December. Happy to be “funny that way” too 😉

  2. October 27, 2016 / 4:41 am

    I love camel, but can you make some suggestions how to wear? I am gray/white, medium -yellowish complexion, navy blue-brown flecks eyes. Jeans always!! I am stuck! Don’t know how to mix this with my wardrobe. I wear grays, navys, and white I feel like the camel washes me out a little. Help!

    • October 27, 2016 / 8:08 am

      Of course, you can always add a scarf! If you use a darker layer underneath also, it would add more color to your face…I like camel with navy.

      • October 27, 2016 / 8:58 am

        hmmm… sounds pretty- will try that

  3. October 27, 2016 / 4:54 am

    A camel coat is classic. Camel gets trendy from time to time, which just makes it easier to find a style you like. Even when it isn’t all over the latest fashion posts, it never looks “out of style.” Reefer and bathrobe styles are especially timeless.
    And camel plays so well with leopard!

  4. nell
    October 27, 2016 / 5:09 am

    Who doesn’t love a beautiful camel coat? With me, the shade of camel is crucial– if it’s too “golden”, it will not work with my pale, blue-undertone skin tone.

    So It’s rare that I can wear camel. Maybe if I ALWAYS wore a cobalt or red scarf next to my face– but even that is not optimum. I’d rather pick a coat color that is pretty guaranteed to be flattering as is.

    So my go-to coat is a soft but rich rose! Second string coat is a deep (but not quite navy) blue…

  5. Ronda
    October 27, 2016 / 5:27 am

    I bought the double-face wool open-front wing-collar jacket from Talbots recently and have been very pleased with its versatility. It is unstructured, comes in petite and plus sizes, and works with all the colors you mentioned. It hits me at my lower hip so it is shorter than the items you show in this post. I love your blog, Susan, you have inspired me over and over.

  6. Susan
    October 27, 2016 / 5:38 am

    I would love a camel coat, but I don’t think that color looks good on me; I think it washes me out!!!!

    • Avicenna
      October 28, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Have you considered a slightly darker camel color? I have an light olive complexion and have found darker camel is Ok.

  7. Debra
    October 27, 2016 / 6:09 am

    I travel to Chicago during the winter every other year or so to visit family, so I always have a wool coat in my closet, and for the last ten years or so it’s been camel. A couple of years ago I replaced my reefer with a Cole Haan wool trench that has unfortunately never been worn as I haven’t made that trip in awhile(I’m holding out for Paris in December!). The thing is, the coat is two years old but still looks au courant; I think camel is timeless.
    I also have camel hair and camel summer-weight wool blazers that get a lot of wear. I do think that any of the pieces you have chosen above would be in style for a long, long time.

  8. Meg
    October 27, 2016 / 6:16 am

    The year I got married ( 1986!) I found a beautiful classic wool camel coat , longer length, below the knee and beautifully made. I looked at it and balked at the price, which was $145. I thought about it and even brought my mother with me to look at it . She said, “that is a classic, you will wear that coat for at least 10 years and it will not go out of style, it is a good buy” so I purchased it.
    I STILL have this coat in my closet and I wear it every winter. It’s the perfect length for dresses since no hem plays peekaboo under the coat. Looks great with trousers and heels, boots and skirts. you name it. And every time I wear it , I think of my late mom and silently thank her for good advice.

    • Bobbie
      October 27, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      What a great story!

  9. Kristi
    October 27, 2016 / 6:23 am

    I love the first jacket, if the colour works for you. The sweater is just too big for you, I think – better for a taller person. And yes, I love camel!

  10. October 27, 2016 / 6:41 am

    I love the longer cardigan – it’s a good camel, peachy rather than yellow undertones. Also so good for our climate. I do have a camel coat from a long time ago, but rarely wear it now. Lighter weight outerwear that I don’t have to take on and off, is my favorite.

  11. October 27, 2016 / 7:33 am

    Love that first jacket to pieces. And I love my MaxMara camel coat, although I really don’t wear it here except for winter nights in SF, or trips back east. Still like owning it though;).

  12. Deborah Lindsay
    October 27, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Hi Susan- thanks for doing the hunting for me! I’ve been wanting a shorter camel coat. Just ordered the Lauren version from Nordstrom. Again, merci!

    • Linda
      October 27, 2016 / 9:59 am

      The Lauren topper is on sale on RL website. Big discount today.

      • Deborah Lindsay
        October 28, 2016 / 6:08 pm

        Thank you Linda- you saved me $100!

  13. Donna
    October 27, 2016 / 8:13 am

    Hi Susan,
    A camel coat is on my wish list, as well. I have been going back and forth with myself trying to rationalize if I really need one. I am at the point where I will probably purchase one I find on consignment if it has all the correct classic detailing.

  14. Jeanne
    October 27, 2016 / 10:23 am

    My classic camel coat is a Marella design, bought at Galleries Lafayette in Paris twenty years ago. It comes down nearly to my ankles. Maybe that was stylish at the time – I doubt it. Anyway, I wore it every day for a long time and then set it aside for a few years. When I retrieved it last year it had been eaten by moths. But whereas I liked it twenty years ago, now I love it for its warmth and funkiness. There’s no repairing it, and most of the damage isn’t immediately apparent. A stylish friend said to me, ‘You’ll never be able to get it fixed or replaced. So just walk fast.” Recently I went by a Max Mara store and saw the coat in the window. Same thing only better, probably some cashmere in it. Price tag: 1,900€. So I’m walking fast. . .

    • Avicennia
      October 28, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Such a nice story!

  15. October 27, 2016 / 11:14 am

    Hi Susan, yes, I’m a bit of a camel coat fan. In the past 20 years I’ve had two full length coats which I I have worn to the ground, yet they still look good, as they are classically cut. But a couple of winters ago I bought a 3/4 length, a car coat, and it’s taken over from the longer versions as it fits in with my retired lifestyle and clothes. I think camel coats always look classy and expensive, no matter how much is spent on them.

  16. Lyn Mowles
    October 27, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Hi Susan, I have had a camel coat and scarf but have stopped wearing the colour as my hair is going grey and it makes my skin look too sallow. I still like the look, though and feel you could wear it with white or soft blue closer to your skin.

  17. jannike
    October 27, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    I’m wearing my old Ann Taylor camel coat as I write. It’s my go to transition coat fall and spring. Love wearing a lighter color before the dark winter coats come out. My coat is looking tired and a bit too structured for my current job. I do like your first option.

  18. Julia
    October 27, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    I just returned from Copenhagen and found a great danish designer Won Hundred
    The first thing I looked at was a beautiful camel cardigan.
    Somehow it was classic and updated in a wonderful weighted wool.

  19. Nicole
    October 27, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    I admire camel hair coats from afar.. I can still see my mother’s faraway gaze as she pondered how wonderful they are. The color does not work for me and it would necessitate always having make-up and/or pops of color to keep me from disappearing. And since clothes are to enhance one’s look and not overshadow (I think), I enjoy navy, brown and eggplant wool coats. Lucky are those who wear this color. It is a classic.

  20. Nicole
    October 27, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    Oh I have to vote for the Theory Palomino jacket. Classic, modern, feminine cut. Great color, not too dark, too light or too yellow. Great for two, maybe three seasons in California. And you really can dress it up or down. Sigh. Wish I had it in my style budget this season!

  21. Mary
    October 28, 2016 / 6:21 am

    Any chance you can find out who makes the shoes (black flats) in the 2nd photo? Thank you!

    • Susan B
      October 28, 2016 / 6:46 am

      Hi Mary, they’re not referenced and I did a couple of quick searches but didn’t find them. I’ll keep an eye out and report back if I locate the style.

      • Mary
        October 28, 2016 / 6:16 pm

        Susan, so kind of you! Thank you for checking and for your fashion advice. I truly enjoy it and so appreciate your style.

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