classic camel coat
photo sources here and here

Every fall I find myself sighing over images of camel coats. No matter what else you’re wearing, there’s something about a camel coat that just classes up the joint.

In our Southern California climate a nice overcoat tends not to be a smart investment; that kind of warmth is mostly overkill. But with the popularity of long vests, ponchos and capes this season, I thought there might be another way to crack this camel-colored nut (click on arrows to view more options)…


Do you have a longer vest in your wardrobe? If so, how do you style it?

colorblocked vest | structured long vest | petite knit vest | women’s knit vest | reversible ruana | ribbed poncho

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  1. I’m a former Angeleno transplanted in the Northeast and a camel coat was one of the first things I added to my wardrobe. This year I’m going to see how far into the season I can wear Eileen Fisher’s long boiled wool vest.

  2. i’ve had a number of camel items…just remember, these are very high maintenance, esp outerwear. I remember the edges of sleeves and hems getting grey with dirt very quickly. I would only buy washable now.

    As for the long vest–I was looking at one with longing. then, a few days ago, I was perusing things in my closet and noticed a very nice one that I had totally forgotten about. Luckily, I noticed it before i bought another one–not always the case.

  3. All of a sudden I am crazy for this look. Which means I shouldn’t spend tooooo much for one, but I will add one to my closet. The A Wang is stunning, xox.

  4. I adore long cardigan vests. I am allergic to wool, cashmere, alpaca – etc and adore natural fibers. I am also buxom, short waisted with a V-O body type. Vests work since I can wear something under them. The long, lean line of a fine gauge sweater vest is the most flattering and comfortable thing I can wear in winter. It’s the only way I can look good in a white shirt and I also wear them with cowl neck cotton or rayon tops which look good while protecting my itchy neck.

    I would kill for a good quality long black cashmere boyfriend sweater vest. And one in warm brown. Woolovers has some in a cashmere blend which I have but I would love a higher quality version.

  5. I have two and never feel right in either one. One is tunic length, a style I keep buying because it looks so good on others, but invariably looks on me as tho I am wearing a dress that is too short. The other is a great moto style, but I fear that it ends at the widest part of my hips. If there is a lesson here, I think it is that lengths you like (or not) in sweaters or jackets, you will also like (or not) in a vest.

  6. Very interesting. I’ve been looking seriously at the “museum vest” from Anthropologie in a blush color; it bears a a striking resemblance to the Alexander Wang vest – without the $700 price tag.
    Long wool vests are great to wear to my office which is next to the loading dock and on the chilly side. My only gripe is that it’s longer than my Winter coat and I’m not into the layered look when it comes to heavy coats.

  7. Living in a SoCal inland valley, I feel the same ache with fall coming on. It’s still 90!!! I’d love to explore how to add the interest of a topper without the topper. Even scarfs can be too warm and “statement” necklaces feel fussy to me these days. Vests can do the trick, but it’s hard to hit the right note, so I appreciate your exploration.

  8. I love a long sleeveless vest. I have a couple, my favourite being a faux fur white vest, which I’m afraid that would be a ridiculous garment for your climate. I am glad you have found a workaround for the overcoat though.

  9. I haven’t worn my wool coat for many, mean years…it does not get cold enough for it very often, and when it does, I’m most often in snow gear or, for dressy evenings, my incredibly warm but light, big Russian shawl.. For me, even the warmth of a wool vest, cape or poncho is too much, so I look for those garments in cotton or cotton blends. I search for beautiful jewel-tone colors and wear them with long skirts and dresses as well as trousers, usually with no jewelry. Your further help in exploring the range of long (low hip-length and lower) vests and capes will be much appreciated!

  10. I seriously covet a Max Mara camel wool coat. I doubt that I will ever buy one, because I live in south Texas and seldom even wear a coat, much less a very expensive coat. But I still WANT one. Don’t think I am a fan of the coat/vest, maybe it will grow on me.

  11. Great topic!

    I love longer vests and lightweight coats–they are staples in my wardrobe.

    I have a much loved forest green Adrienne Vittadini knit lightweight three quarter length coat which is a great traveler, a boiled unlined wool mustard three quarter length coat, and just ordered the Anthropologie Museum District vest in the blush color–thanks, Rose AG for the suggestion! The fur collar shown with it on the website takes this piece up a notch–looking forward to this look.

    Since my height is just under 5’4″ with shorter torso and long legs, elongating the torso area is always a challenge.

    I try to style these coats and vests with a V neck piece underneath with either multiple long necklaces and chains, strings of pearls, or of course scarves.

    These pieces are important because they make me feel put together and finished, plus the layering helps when temperatures fluctuate, even outside to inside.

    An addition to the fall wardrobe is a lined camel wool coat, unstructured with no buttons or belt, from The Letter.
    Plans are to wear this with boots and jeans with a scarf, and beige riding type pants with the front seam sewn and an ivory
    silk blouse.

    It’s good to see the posts again, Susan, and always helpful information and comments from readers.

  12. No long vest here but I like the ones with flow. The ones that are made of a heavier fabric and are structured are zero flattering, imo. They look so stiff, and almost like a menswear-inspired-idea-in-progress. But, like most things, if they’re around long enough I’ll get used to them. I’ll pass on this one, and still enjoy my sweaters with the longer fronts. I choose flowy over boxy.